Caledonian Thebans 15

Walkerburn 48

Colin McCudden at Murrayfield

ON the first Saturday of 2018 it seemed fitting that Walkerburn RFC should travel to the home of Scottish Rugby looking for their first away win of the season.

On a bitterly cold afternoon they took on the Caledonian Thebans on the 4G back pitch through at Murrayfield.

Thebans started strongly as the Burn took some time to settle into playing on the unfamiliar turf, however they managed to weather the early pressure.

They then established themselves in the game, the ball was sent wide, and a half break by Sandy Walker was finished off by Ryan Scott scoring in the corner.

More pressure from Burn saw an errant kick from Thebans punished as Jack McDonald caught cleanly and fell over the line.

The most popular try of the day was scored by the late convert to the game that is Colin Stewart, picking up from the back of a ruck and hammering through the Thebans defence from close range.

Stand off Elliot Freeman, enjoying the fast track, was next to score, finding a gap in the midfield and scoring a converted try under the posts.

The Thebans scored on the stroke of half-time to stay in the game with a scoreline of 5-22.

Injuries were taking there toll, centre Gary Alexander went off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Sandy Walker who came back on after his ankle injury was deemed less severe.

Despite the numerous replacements Burn continued to weigh in with scores.

A clever grubber through from Adam Williams was gobbled up by Stansfield scoring under the posts.

Williams grabbed a loose ball in midfield and showed great pace to run in another try.

To their credit, the Thebans stopped the tide, scoring two tries of their own as they showed there were two teams in this contest. Fittingly the Burn finished on a high, Freeman racing through to grab his brace and James Matthews jinking in off the right-wing after a flowing backs move.

Special mention goes to Dean Gilchrist on his return to Walkerburn RFC, playing as if he had never been away, in a master back row performance.

From the shadow of Murrayfield next Saturday the Burn will return to the equally iconic setting of Caberston Haugh for a home game against Moray House.