THE South of Scotland beat Edinburgh District 50-17 at Netherdale in Round 1 of the reinstated competition last night.

Edinburgh opened the scoring within two minutes with a try from Ali McCallum. Stand-off Jamie Loomes added the extras.

The South responded moments later with a try from Jae Linton in the corner. The conversion was missed.

Gala’s Craig Dods then gave the South a one point lead with a penalty and that advantage was extended with a try from Dwain Patterson, who gathered a fantastic grubber through to dot down in the corner. Despite a wide angle, Dods converted the kick with ease.

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Loomes reduced the deficit with a straightforward kick to the posts but the Borderers responded with a third try from captain Shawn Muir who barged his way across the line and Dods once again added the extras.

Shortly before the break, a scrum some five meters out set Bruce McNeil up nicely to drive across the line. Dods added to his string of conversions successfully to make the half time score 29-10 in favour of the South.

Edinburgh’s captain Rhys Davies reduced the deficit with a superb team try and . Loomes added the extras.

But the South struck back when Dods kicked a penalty to for touch, finding the five-meter line. The maul from the hosts line out was initially well defended but sustained pressure to drive saw the men in red and white cross the line, with Fraser Renwick dotting down. Following his great form from the first-half, Dods converted again.

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Proving to be a powerful force, the South added another try in the 70th minute through Luke Pettie, who joined the field to replace Fraser Renwick.

After a phase of strong attack inside Edinburgh’s 22, the hosts won a penalty with the visitors offside. Craig Owenson opted for a quick tap and go, looking to reach the whitewash, but was held back. But in the next phase of ball it was Pettie who dotted down. Dods added the extras once more.

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After a back and forth final ten minutes, it was in in the final play of the game, that the South added a seventh try their tally through Ronan McKean, who received a long pass deep inside Edinburgh’s 22, to dot down. To no surprise, Dods converted again to close the game and book the South’s spot in the Inter-district Championship final.

The South: 15. Kirk Ford 14. Dwain Patterson 13. Andrew Mitchell 12. Craig Dods 11. Ronan McKean 10. Struan Hutchison 9. Bruce Colvine 1. Shawn Muir CAPTAIN 2. Fraser Renwick 3. Nicky Little 4. Andrew McColm 5. Shaun Fairbairn 6. Bruce McNeil 7. Liam Scott 8. Jae Linton

Replacements: 16. Matt Carryer 17. Luke Pettie 18. Craig Owenson 19. Michael Badenhorst 20. Calum Renwick 21. Gareth Welsh 22. Frankie Robson 23. Donald Crawford

Edinburgh: 15. Charlie Brett 14. Ian Sim 13. Greg Cannie 12. Neil Armstrong 11. Lewis Wells 10. Jamie Loomes 9. Aaron Porteous 8. Ruari Campbell 7. Rhys Davies CAPTAIN 6. Finn Simpson 5. Ali McCallum 4. Jamie Sword 3. Graeme Carson 2. Ryan Stewart 1. Cole Imrie

Replacements: 16. Danny Dineen 17. Chris Anderson 18. John Lascelles 19. Gregor Nelson 20. Ali Johnston 21. Cameron Lessels 22. Ben Heber 23. Benn Morris

Referee: Calum Lazenby

AR1: Scott Cubitt

AR2: Willie Anderson

Attendance: 1,514