Accies kick off with win

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The Independent Online
Boroughmuir 3 Edinburgh Academicals 18

Fred McLeod, a Scottish delegate to the International Board involved in deleting amateur regulations, was all smiles as he left Meggetland after witnessing one of the four away wins in the First Division which marked the start of a new league programme north of the border.

Perhaps McLeod had won the clubhouse raffle, for there was little in Edinburgh Accies tryless 18-3 victory over Boroughmuir to suggest the transition to a new professional era will be managed painlessly. Even allowing for continuous rain and a new format which will require two out of eight teams to be relegated, players could scarcely have shown less regard for paying customers.

By exposing Boroughmuir's inexperience at half-back and among the forwards, Accies did what they had to do - gain field position and allow stand-off Brian Hay-Smith to kick them to victory. Other sports have already developed a technical term for that kind of approach - it's called getting a result.

Ironically Boroughmuir and Accies are among the more progressive Scottish clubs with plans to appoint commercial managers. They can be relied upon to realise that rugby's heavy reliance on the three Ps - pile-ups, punts and penalties - will have to be addressed urgently.

Meanwhile, Gary Armstrong's return to competitive rugby after an 18-month absence due to wrist and knee injuries lasted only three minutes. The Scotland and Lions scrum- half was taken off with sprung rib cartilages playing for Jed-Forest against Glasgow High/Kelvinside and is expected to be sidelined for a further six weeks.

As one door closes another opens and making his debut as Armstrong's replacement was 17-year-old Clarke Laidlaw, son of Roy, another former Jed-Forest, Scotland and Lions scrum half.

Boroughmuir: Pen: Knight. Edinburgh Academicals: Pens: Hay-Smith (3). Drop goals: Hay-Smith (3).

Boroughmuir: N Marden; D Stark, D Laird, S Lineen, I Tukalo; A Knight, G Beveridge; G Wilson, N Dickson, P Wright (capt), D Burns, D George, A Cadzow, S Reid, S Wands.

Edinburgh: K Baillie; R Porter, C Murray, C Simmers, G McKinlay; B Hay- Smith, K Troup; D Wilson, P Haslett, B Stewart, J Richardson, S Murray, R Hoole, D McIvor (capt), C Allan.

Referee: I Ramage (Berwick).

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