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Watsonians in stamping storm
January 30, 2000

Furious Currie chiefs are ready to point the finger at a prominent Watsonians star after Geoff Caldwell was the alleged victim of an alleged deliberate head-stamp at Myreside.

The flashpoint came after just two minutes of the home side's 125th anniversary match when the winger had to be taken off on a stretcher.

While thrilled with his team's 36-29 victory, coach Bruce Macnaughton's was upset at the incident.

He refused to name the culprit, but declared: "I am told it was a deliberate stamping by someone who should know better.

"Geoff is upset and we will see if the video comes out with anything. If that does turn out to be the case then we will do something about it."

Currie were certainly the party-poopers as they snuffed out any lingering relegation fears.

Nick Armstrong, Alex Ranon, Jarrod Werber, Rob Hogg and Bruce Ward all broke through to ensure the bonus point for the Malleny men, while Mike Duncan slotted four conversions and a penalty.

Sonians' touchdowns were claimed by Andy Garry, Scott Hastings, Rob Forbes and Andy Olsen, with Bruce Aitchison bagging four kicks.

Sonians coach Andrew Ker said: "I still think we are a good side, but the players have got to believe that.

"We have not found the winning habit and it is hard to get out of the rut. We face a lot of hard work to remain safe.

"Last season Boroughmuir went down with 34 points, so we have to start picking them up."

Heriot's took another leap towards the title crown by beating gutsy West of Scotland 30-13 at Burnbrae but another big win for Glasgow Hawks kept them mathematically in the hunt.

West at least restored some pride and credibility in the wake of their hammering at the hands of Glasgow Hawks the previous weekend by refusing to buckle, while Heriot's director Fraser Dall was far from happy with his men's showing.

He said: "We didn't play well, although the conditions were pretty bad. It was hard for our guys because they are now expected to beat teams like West easily."

Bruce Douglas, Gregor Lawson, Simon Taylor and Charlie Keenan went over for the Edinburgh outfit, with Gordon Ross adding two conversions and two penalties.

Full-back Alan Williamson celebrated his recall to West's starting line-up with a brace of touchdowns, while Jamie McKee landed a penalty.

Hawks coach Bill MacDonald was understandably delighted as his men hit the half century for the second week on the trot, but their 53-8 romp at Kelso will probably be too late to stem the Heriot's tide.

Hooker Chris Docherty went over twice, with the other tries coming from Eugene Martin, skipper Scott Hutton, Rob Niven, Andy Plastow, Dave Wilson and Chris Simmers.

Martin scored the rest of their points with the boot, while Gordon Laing had Kelso's only touchdown.

MacDonald said: "We played really well considering the weather. It was always going to be hard for Kelso after we ran in four tries in 25 minutes.

"We've got to keep plugging away and hope Heriot's tread on a banana skin."

Kelso coach Bob Hogarth groaned: "We did everything we promised ourselves not to."

Jed-Forest's purple patch was extended as they deservedly outgunned Gala 25-10 at Riverside Park.

Skipper Clark Laidlaw beamed: "It's our first three wins in a row sequence for a couple of years and it shows what can be done with a little confidence."

First-half counters from Laidlaw, man of the match Mark Lee and Kevin Liddle snuffed out the Maroons, who could only manage tries by Tom Weir and player-coach Jim Hay.

Hay said: "We gave them too much of a start with some really soft tries."

Melrose's troubled run continued as they plunged 10-6 to Border rivals Hawick in the Cup rehearsal at Mansfield Park but player-coach Gary Parker refused to criticise his troops.

He said: "What we were looking for was a step up in commitment and I couldn't complain on that front."

In a contest that was more open and exciting than the scoreline suggested, stand-off Scott Welsh was the man who mattered most for the Greens.

Not only did he claim their decisive second try but he was a constant handful in midfield for the Melrose markers.

Hawick's other touchdown went to prop John McDevitt, while Callum MacRae replied with two penalties for the Greenyarders.

Their coach Colin Easton said: "Scott has an old rugby head and he controlled
matters well."

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