Glasgow's first steps to Europe

Edinburgh 13 Glasgow 23
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The Independent Online
Glasgow, the only one of four Scottish districts denied a place in this season's European Cup, took a step towards ending their exile when they opened a domestic qualifying tournament with a 23-13 win over Edinburgh yesterday.

The match, switched to Murrayfield (which has undersoil heating) due to the overnight frost, formed the second part of a double-header, Border Reivers having earlier drawn 26-26 with Caledonia Reds. Glasgow's win represented a major turnaround from the corresponding inter-city fixture 12 months ago when they were humbled 57-13. When Derrick Patterson crossed for a try it seemed Edinburgh would carry on from where they left off but Glasgow's commitment, inspired by Fraser Stott's efforts at scrum- half, resulted in tries to Callum MacGregor and Derek Stark for a 16-11 interval lead.

Kenny Logan exploited slack defences to cross under the posts to make it 23-10 after 57 minutes. Glasgow never looked back from then on in a game of more sustained movement than the Caledonia-Borders game, which was moved from Kirkcaldy. If most of the play was scrappy in a match Caledonia managed to draw after their prop Danny Herrington broke from a maul to score with four minutes remaining, there was some pre-Christmas cheer for the Scottish selectors. Stewart Campbell, capped 13 times at lock, made his first appearance at any level since damaging knee ligaments in August. He lasted the pace well.

Borders, who lost their international outside-half Craig Chalmers with a groin injury just before kick-off, seemed to have matters under control when Gary Parker converted a Tony Stanger try for a 16-9 half-time lead. Caledonia hung in and had a chance to snatch victory in the closing moments but Mark McKenzie hooked a long-range penalty.

Caledonia: Tries Longstaff, Herrington; Conversions M McKenzie 2; Penalties M McKenzie 4. Border Reivers: Tries Stanger, Welsh; Conversions Parker 2; Penalties Parker 4.

CALEDONIA REDS: S Burns (Edinburgh Accies); S Longstaff, P Rouse (both Dundee High), A Carruthers (Kirkcaldy), J Kerr (Watsonians); M McKenzie (Stirling County), P Simpson (Edinburgh Accies); T Smith (Watsonians), K McKenzie (Stirling County), D Herrington (Kirkcaldy), S Grimes (Watsonians), S Campbell (Melrose), D McIvor (Glenrothes; capt), M Waite (Edinburgh Accies), G Flockhart (Stirling County). Replacements: D Officer (Currie) for Kerr, 70; J Manson (Stirling County) for Herrington, 79.

BORDER REIVERS: C Turnbull (Hawick); M Changleng (Gala), A Stanger (Hawick), S Nichol, G Parker; S Welsh (Hawick), B Redpath (capt) (all Melrose); N McIlroy (Jed-Forest), S Brotherstone (Melrose), S Ferguson (Peebles), S Aitken, C Hogg (both (Melrose), S Bennet (Kelso), R Kirkpatrick (Boroughmuir), N Broughton (Melrose). Replacement: I Elliot (Hawick) for Broughton, 19.

Referee: R Megson (Edinburgh).

Edinburgh: Try Patterson; Conversion Hodge; Penalties Hodge 2. Glasgow: Tries MacGregor, Stark, Logan; Conversion Logan; Drop goal MacGregor; Penalty MacGregor.

EDINBURGH: D Lee (Watsonians); H Gilmour (Heriot's FP), S Hastings (Watsonians; capt), M Craig (Currie), S Reed (Boroughmuir); D Hodge (Watsonians), D Patterson (Heriot's FP); R McNulty (Boroughmuir), G Ellis (Currie), B Stewart (Edinburgh Accies), D Burns (Boroughmuir), A Lucking, B Ward (both Currie), S Reid (Boroughmuir), G Dall (Heriot's FP). Replacements: A Binnie (Heriot's FP) for McNulty, 79.

GLASGOW: K Logan (Stirling County); D Stark (Melrose), A Bulloch (West), A Garry (Watsonians), G Metcalfe; C MacGregor (both Glasgow Accies), F Stott ((West); G McIlwham (GHK), G Bulloch (West), B Robertson (Stirling County), S Munro (GHK), S Begley (Glasgow Accies), F Wallace (GHK), D McLeish (West), M Wallace (GHK).

Referee: K McCartney (Hawick).