Stark reminder for national selectors

Edinburgh Academicals 19 Boroughmuir 35
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The Independent Online
The clubs versus districts power struggle enveloping Scottish rugby is so intense, and the fear of relinquishing power so real, that few should be surprised to find players wrapped up in the general tension.

For 40 minutes neither Edinburgh Accies nor Boroughmuir were prepared to give each other an inch as the ball was persistently killed. Th referee, Eddie Murray, could do little other than distribute penalties in a half which produced only three scrums. Predictably it took a penalty try to break the deadlock and set Boroughmuir on their way, but the world's original international ground at Raeburn Place cannot have seen many more sterile and sub-standard encounters.

Only a handful of players, including the Boroughmuir scrum-half, Graeme Beveridge, and Academicals' line-out jumper, Scott Murray, rose above the mediocrity while Derek Stark gave a reminder of his finishing power out wide at a time when Scotland will have to replace the injured Craig Joiner against Western Samoa next month.

This is the first season in which leagues in Scotland are being conducted on a home and away basis. But with only eight teams in a division, return fixtures such as Saturday's come round quickly and the whole competition will be wrapped up by November to make way for a district championship which attracts little attention and no television coverage.

Clubs are ready to assert themselves and a meeting last week reaffirmed plans to block districts instead representing Scotland in Europe next season.

That way they hope to see more of their crowd pulling players, and as clubs flex their muscles the Scottish Rugby Union are facing the real possibility of being left to run the national team only, a situation it can be guaranteed they will not take lying down.

Edinburgh: Try Waite; Conversion Barber; Penalties Hay-Smith (2), Barber; Drop goal Hay-Smith. Boroughmuir: Tries Penalty try, Beveridge, Wallace, Stark; Conversions Easson (3); Penalties Easson (3).

Edinburgh Academicals: K Baillie; S Burns, R Barber, C Murray, G McKinlay; B Hay-Smith, J Troup; J Fayers, D Wilson, B Stewart, S Murray, A Adamson, D McIvor (capt), M Waite, G Richardson.

Boroughmuir: D Macrae; D Stark, D Laird (capt), S Lineen, I Tukalo; B Easson, G Beveridge; G Wilson, N Dickson, L Graham, D Burns, D George, A Cadzow, G Dickson, F Wallace.

Referee: E Murray (Greenock Wanderers).