Sports News Archive
Summer Term 2012
The Celebration of Sport Dinner
Celebration of Sport Dinner was held on Friday 22 June following
The Games in the Memorial Hall and the Dining Room. The evening is
placed to acknowledge and celebrate the success of the boys'
achievements throughout the year in sport. This year Mr Jim Fleming
MBE joined us to address the 156 boys and 22 staff after dinner and
to present the three major sporting prizes of:
The Crerar Quaich for International Ahievement
The Mann Shield - team of the year
The Duncan Watson Memorial Vase for the Sportsman of the Year
Jim Fleming is Scotland's highest achieving referee to date and is very highly respected worldwide in the rugby. He was educated at Boroughmuir High School and he played his rugby at school and also Boroughmuir rugby club. He was a promising lock forward but his playing career was somewhat short lived due to a number of concussions in one season. He was asked by one of his old PE teachers to stand in for a referee that had called off (luckily something I rarely have to face at Merchiston) and after reflecting on how much he enjoyed the role he continued to 'stand in' and his career developed from there. Jim, a chartered surveyor by profession, became one of Scotland's top 10 referees in 1982, nine years after embarking on his new role in rugby. Within a year he had been appointed as an international referee, and in 1985 he took charge of his first international match - Ireland v England in Dublin. As well as the 40 internationals he officiated in, he also ran the line on 75 occasions in major matches, he also holds the distinction of having come on as a replacement referee twice in internationals and he still remains one of only two referees who have refereed in four Rugby World Cups. Having officiated the semi-final between Australia and New Zealand in 1991, he had the honour of controlling one of rugby's most memorable matches eight years later at the RWC in 1999 - France's semi-final win over New Zealand at Twickenham. This was one of the World Cup all time matches. France performed a miraculous comeback to beat the tournament favourites New Zealand. After going 24-10 behind, Les Bleus fought back, scoring a further 33 points to just seven in reply. It was this kind of game that Ian MacGeechan spoke freely of Jim's Refereeing: "He produced good games of rugby," Scottish coach Ian McGeechan said of his compatriot. "People keep telling me that referees do not have an influence on the game, but you only have to look at the games Jim produced to see that that's not the case. From the coaching point of view, he was the sort of referee you always wanted," McGeechan concluded.
Jim very kindly addressed us after dinner and he reflected on his wonderful journey in rugby refereeing, giving us an insight into being in a completely different role on the field. He spoke freely about the need to be empathetic with the players and working with them. He made reference to the decisions that he had to make on the big stage, one front row would complain of the other one collapsing the scrum whilst the other one would claim that the other didn't engage! Jim opened to the floor for questions and it is always a testament to our guest speakers to how long the boys engage with them in questions. He gave his views on current laws of the game, current referees, the development of referees in Scotland and also the wonderful career he has had as a world wide referee that has been one of two that have been to four world cups! At the end of his address Jim spoke about the qualities that he found within himself to pursue his career in refereeing. He started refereeing by helping out and then after a while he found an inner belief and determination to be the best referee in the world and he firmly stands by a quote by Mohammed Ali, the World famous boxing champion; " Champions aren't made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision." A powerful final line to end a fantastic presentation.
Jim was then invited to present the three most prestigious sporting awards and these were given to:
The Crerar Quaich for International Ahievement
Jay Younger has had a successful start to this season. He has already secured his Scottish Schools Gold Medal in the 400m. He was selected to represent the Scottish Mens Team at a home International event at Loughborough University. His International status therefore meant that he gained his Senior Cap whilst still at school. An accolade that Oliver Hairs achieved in 2010 for cricket, but the last recorded achievement on this level dates back to 1894 when WG Neilson achieved the same in rugby. Jay has gone on to achieve 3rd place in the Aviva UK Athletics Under 20 Championships and as we celebrate this evening, Jay is preparing to run in the AAA Aviva Olympic Trials which he achieved his invite for only a week or so ago.
The Mann Shield - team of the year
The D1 rugby team had a fantastic season; they won all but two of their matches through an extensive fixture list, losing to Stewart's Melville both home and away. They then went on to win both the Loretto and Ardvreck Sevens. The D2 rugby team have had a most impressive season. The team, coached by Dr Pettigrew lost their first game of the season against Stewart's Melville and after their disappointment; they then went onto win all their matches from then on. This included the return match at Stewart's Melville. The season consisted of 12 matches and in that time the team scored 62 tries and conceded just 4. They were successful against George Watson's which was the first time a D2 side won that match since 2003. What is also impressive is a number of the matches was against other school's D1 teams. A season to be proud of.
The Duncan Watson Memorial Vase for the Sportsman of the Year
Angus has had a particularly strong year in the sporting arena. He has been a member of the 1st XV and Cup XV and he was very influential at St Joseph's and at the Rosslyn Park Sevens. He has recently been invited to attend some specific skills sessions with Scottish Rugby. Following the latter he then went onto play in the UK Fives Championships at St Paul's School in Hammersmith. After two days of gruelling rugby sevens, Angus went onto win a Plate event on the national stage. Angus is also a talented athlete, at the Scottish Schools Indoor Championships, he set a new school record in the High Jump winning the national title by just over 5 cms. Scottish Athletics believe his is a real talent. He is a natural shot and has been influential for the shooting team. He has also been a member of the Senior Hockey team.
On Friday 22 June we took the decision to move The Games to Meadowbank Stadium due to the poor weather conditions. This was the first time The Games was staged offsite for some 14 years. Over 155 boys and some 20 staff were involved in marshalling the events which proved to be a huge success with the boys and parents alike. We were fortunate to have use of the indoor sprint track where the boys prepared before bracing the elements, but also Mr Main ran the high jump events indoors throughout the afternoon. In very wet and windy conditions the boys produced some excellent performances and one or two games records were set. An excellent occasion to end a difficult term with the weather!
British Tennis - Clay Court Nationals
Over the last week, Calum M and Cameron B have been
competing in the National Clay Court Championships at Queenswood
School in Hertfordshire. Up against the best players in the UK the
boys wanted to perform well. Calum played in the Under 14 Singles
and Doubles and Cameron in the Under 12 Singles and Doubles. Both
boys reached the last 8 of the singles events. After defeating the
number 4 seed in the last 16, Cameron lost to the number 5 seed and
Calum (who was seeded 8) lost to the 2nd seed. In the doubles,
Cameron lost in the final and Calum became a National Champion
winning the Under 14 Boys Doubles. A great achievement for both
The Under 14 Draw can be found here.
The Under 12 Draw can be found here.
Scottish Schools Athletics
On Friday 8 and Saturday 9 June, 14 boys from a number of year
groups took part in the annual Scottish Schools Athletics
Championships at Grangemouth. This event follows the team events
reported below. Jay Y continued his fine form in the 400m running
an excellent time in poor conditions. Euan R and Ross C secured
Merchiston's other two medals in their respective events. The other
11 boys performed well and the following highlights their
|Jay Y||Open 400m||Gold Medal|
|Ross C||U14 Javelin||Silver Medal|
|Euan R||Open Triple Jump||Bronze Medal|
|Cameron M||Open Shot||4th Place|
|Cameron C||U17 Javelin||4th Place|
|Donald V||U17 Shot||4th Place|
|Daniel T||U15 100m||PB|
|Patrick K||U17 800m||PB and 5s short of the School record|
|Benn M||U15 1500m||PB and 3s short of the School record|
|Antoine M||U17 1500m||PB|
ISGA Golf - Scottish Open
The first ever Independent Schools Golf Association
Scottish Open was held at Kings Acre Golf Course on Monday 4
June. Our Under 15 team was very young indeed and made
up of Kayau S (II), Charlie Y (III) and Morgan W (Shell), they won
both the U15 nett and gross competitions. In addition to this
Morgan shot an incredible 4 over par 74 to win the individual U15
The Under 18 team came third overall losing out to Stewart's Melville. Calum H finished second overall with a 72 losing by one shot to the eventual winner. Our other elite golfers also played well (Calum S 78 , Tomas V 78 , Fraser G 78).
The full story can be seen here.
The Under 13 and Under 15 Tennis teams have completed their group matches in the regional Year 8 and Year 10 AEGON Team Tennis Championships and will now compete in the Scottish Finals in September at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre.
For the first time in 14 years the School entered a team into the Edinburgh Schools Badminton Championships. The team consisting of Jeff H, Marcus C, Jun Hay A, Ralph C, Ying J won all their matches against Stewart's Melville College, James Gillespie's, George Watson's and Firhill to win the competition this year.
Jay improves his PB and School record
On Saturday 26 May, Jay Y competed in Belgium recording a new PB of 47.62secs for the 400m. This now stands as the new school record.
T20 Cup - 1st XI v Fettes
After nearly three weeks of wet conditions, the 1st XI were keen to get out and compete in their second match in the newly formed T20 National Cup. The match was the semi-final of the East section and the beautiful conditions in Colinton provided a perfect setting for the late afternoon start. Merchiston batted first and after a slow start and the loss of two early wickets, Hamish S and Angus P put in a solid stand of 77 runs. Hamish batted through the innings scoring and unbeaten 57 runs setting a total of 119 runs. After a short break for tea the team to took the field to defend the total. The boys had to work hard in the field as Fettes played some superb shots and they got off to a solid start. Captain Chris S took two wickets, one catch and also ran out two players, which really lifted the team going into a tight finish. In the end Fettes were all out for 109 runs. The match was played in superb spirit and all the boys worked hard in hot conditions.
Tennis - Glanvil Cup
On Thursday 24 May the tennis team played RGS Newcastle in the last 32 of the Glanvil Cup. We have played RGS at the same stage for the last four years sharing the qualification for the National Finals over that time. We know the team well and with three Upper 6th pupils in their team, we knew we had to play well to go through. Calum M had a fantastic match lasting nearly two and a half hours but fell short in a tough second set. Maxim R played really well as the anchor man and secured our only singles win. We were 3 - 1 down going into the doubles but the boys fought hard and David C and Maxim R secured another point for the team. In the end RGS won the match 4 - 2 and we wish them every success in the National Finals in July.
International Selection and New School Record
On Sunday 20 May, Jay Y became a senior athletics internationalist, whilst he is still at School. Jay is in our Sixth Form and competed for Scotland's senior men's athletics team at Loughborough University. He recorded a PB of 48.05s and ran against some of the UK's top 400m runners, this also replaces his own School record which he set 18 months ago. Jay follows in the footsteps of Merchiston's last senior internationalist, Oli Hairs, who played for Scotland's senior cricket team in 2010. The School's previous recorded internationalist whilst still at school was WG Neilson in 1894 for rugby.
The 1st IV travelled to the Lake District on Friday to play Windermere School in the Glanvil Cup. On a wet day the team played well and secured a 5 - 1 victory, taking them in to the final of the North Section against RGS Newcastle. This match will determine whether the team will qualify for the last 16 teams in the UK.
On Saturday 5 May all six of the School teams were successful in
their matches against Dollar and The Edinburgh Academy. The 1st XI
were very competitive and Captain Chris S led by example with the
bat, scoring an unbeaten 53 and brought the team home in an
extremely close battle. In the Under 15A match Angus H (3rd Form)
hit a superb 53 before being caught at mid-on but Jamie C (2nd
Form) topped the individual performances by scoring his first
unbeaten Merchiston 100 for the Under 14 A team.
Athletics - HMC Track & Field
On Wednesday 3 May, Merchiston for the first time, were
invited to the HMC Track & Field Independent School
Invitational at Monkton Staduim, Jarrow. This prestigious
competition brings all the best athletes in the area together and
allowed our top athletes to gauge their ability against the very
best opposition south of the border. Schools competing included
Ampleforth, Sedbergh, QEGS Wakefield, Barnard Castle and Oldham
It was a fantastic competition with extremely high standards in all the track and field events. This inspired the boys to raise their standards and helped them achieve in a variety of events.
HMC North of England Championships
Senior Javelin - Chris S
Senior 110m Hurdles - Toby S
Senior 400m - Gavin P
Junior 1500m - Benn M
Senior Shot - John G
Senior 100m - Claude M
Senior 4 x 400m Relay
Senior 4 x 100m Relay
National Schools Fives
Due to Teddy's injury, Angus S was the only senior representing the school in the Open Singles competition. After playing in the Rosslyn Park 7s on Thursday and Friday morning, we rushed him across to play in the Fives, which unfortunately was probably too tall an order. He lost both of his group matches. However, this saw him placed in the Second Plate competition. Returning with renewed vigour over the weekend, he defeated boys from Alleyn's, Whitgift and St Paul's, before winning the Second Plate, 11-4, 11-5 against a boy from Bradfield. The standard of the final was particularly impressive, and Angus should be aiming to qualify for the Cup next year.
On Saturday the boys were not involved in any matches so we went to Wembley to watch Saracens v Harlequins with 83,000 other people. It was a great day out and the boys enjoyed the experience.
On Sunday, the Junior Singles took place. Lewis B and Benn M won their respective groups and therefore both went into the Cup. Benn was particularly comfortable, winning 11-0, 11-1 in the group. Lewis lost narrowly in the last 16 and Benn in the quarter finals, both of them to the two eventual finalists! It was brilliant that they both qualified for the Cup and this will give the boys confidence for future years.
This left the Junior Doubles competition, where we had great success. The boys hadn't lost a game all season in Scotland and this is definitely where they were most confident. However, I didn't expect them to play quite as well as they did! They had a comfortable first few rounds, beating Sedbergh II, Malvern College I and Winchester II. The semi-final brought them up against St Paul's I, who they impressively beat 15-10. The final was against Whitgift I, best of three games to 11. The boys really rose to the occasion and played the best fives I have seen them play, losing very narrowly in an epic deciding game, which could have gone either way.. 12-10, 6-11, 9-11. It was the final match to finish out of the whole tournament, so the gallery was absolutely packed! The tournament organiser described it as the match of the whole tournament and said it was the highest standard of Junior Fives he had ever seen. The boys were devastated, but I could not have been more proud of them.
Master i/c Fives
Rosslyn Park Sevens
In the first week of the Easter break the 1st VII travelled to Roehampton to play in the National Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park Rugby Club. The National Sevens is reported to be the largest schools sevens competition in the world involving over 7000 players in 6 different competitions. The Open Boys Competition fields 105 teams and as only one team qualifies from each group, it is important to get off to a good start. In our first group game we were successful against King John School, winning 35 - 7 and the team were pleased to get over a nervous start in the game. After a good break we played Queen Mary's, Basingstoke and scored 45 points against their 10 points. There are always a number of Welsh Schools in the competition and they are always very competitive matches so the boys were delighted with a 56 point win over Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade. Two years ago we drew Wimbledon College in the knock-out competition and we knew that they are a well-organised side and therefore the final group match against Wimbledon would decide our plans for day 2. We were also surprised to be welcomed onto the pitch by Wayne Barnes who had popped into the competition to referee a few matches. After a nervy start and conceding the first try we organised our defence well and secured the top place in the group by winning 40 - 10. This meant for the second time in three years we qualified for the second day at Rosslyn Park RFC. the second day produces some outstanding teams and we were drawn against Filton College from Bristol, a school with an excellent reputation on the rugby field. After conceding the first two tries of the game the boys gathered their shape to compete just before and just after half time scoring two tries of our own, but the strength of the Filton side shone through in the final stages winning the game 31-12. Merchiston was the only Scottish representative in the competition and we have been delighted with the results over the last three years, reaching the semi-finals in 2010 and the last 16 this year.
King John School w 35-7
Queen Mary's Basingstoke w 45-10
Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade w 56-0
Wimbledon College w 40-10
Last 16 v Filton College L 12-31
Lent Term 2012
School Cross Country
On the last
Friday of the Lent Term we staged the School Cross Country
Championships for all the boys in the Middle and Senior School.
Over 250 boys took part in a fantastic event in the School grounds.
The first race involved the boys from Chalmers East and Chalmers
West and the top three places were taken by:
1st Benn M
2nd Tom B
3rd Kyle M
The second race involved all the boys in Fifth and Sixth Forms and the top three places were taken by:
1st Antoine M
2nd Gavin P
3rd Douglas C
On Sunday 11 March we hosted the 23rd Annual Merchiston Sevens
competition. Approximately 400 boys represented 38 different teams
in the afternoon which included 64 matches across four age groups.
We have lost three of the tournaments in years gone by to the
weather and we were delighted that the conditions were kind this
year. All schools and clubs are proud of their alumni, but we were
very pleased to welcome back two Merchistonians who have been
involved in the IRB World Sevens Series. Sam-Hidalgo Clyne has
represented Scotland as a player and Charles Samson has been
involved as a referee: both shared their experiences in a short
interview on Sunday. All the teams completed a minimum of three
matches each and many of the contests were very close. All the
results can be found on the links below; however, in brief the
winners of each of the categories were as follows:
Under 14 - North Berwick High School
Under 15 - Edinburgh Academy
Under 16 Plate - Robert Gordon's College
Under 16 - George Watson's College
Under 18 Plate - Strathallan
Under 18 - Merchiston
Scottish Schools Indoor Athletics Championships
Angus S attempting 2 metres after achieving a new School record and becoming the Scottish Schools Indoor Champion at 1.96 metres.
Scotland Under 18
Congratulations to Joe Jones for being selected in the Scotland Under 18 Team for the matches against Wales and England.
The tennis team have had a very successful spell over recent weeks. In the AEGON Senior Schools Competition, the team defeated Winstanley College, Wigan 6 - 0 to secure a place in the National Finals in Bolton. This event will take place on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 March and the team will play a minimum of three matches to be placed in the final 8 teams. Maxim R, Rob W, Richard W, Justus M, David C and Hamish G will be working hard to prepare for the finals next week.
In the new format of the Scottish Schools Cup this year, all schools have been placed in regional round robin groups, with matches to be played by the end of this term, in preparation for the knock-out stages in the summer. The team, which has also included Calum M and Cameron B have been successful in matches against, George Heriot's, Stewart's Melville and George Watson's. The team now go on to play The Royal High School in the last of the group matches.
British Schools and College's Golf
Merchiston's golf team set out on a blustery day for Royal
Musselburgh to compete in Round 5 of the British Schools and
Colleges. Buoyed by a good performance against Rugby School,
Merchiston looked as keen as ever to set themselves against even
tougher opposition. They would have to be on top form to take
anything away from the current number one School in the UK, Loretto
and the older and more experienced players from the specialist golf
college and current leaders Elmwood. The previous 4 rounds had seen
Merchiston's top golfers Calum H and Tomas V score consistently
well to put themselves firmly in the top 8 in the individual order
of merit, putting them in strong contention to qualify for the
national finals in June. However, it was the team competition that
Merchiston's Director of Golf, Alan Murdoch had really set his
sights on in the lead up to this match.
The six-man team selected were Calum H, Tomas V, Calum S, Fraser G, and Moritz W who are all currently in the LVI and playing number six was current Fourth Form pupil Max B. With the best 4 scratch scores counting the pressure was on and the boys did not disappoint. Calum H and Tomas were first out and scored well on the day shooting 72 and 76 respectively which not only cemented their positions in the individual order of merit but also got the team off to a great start. Next in were Calum S and Fraser with scores of 77 and 84 respectively. Calum S's score was very good on the day and meant that with only one more sub 80 score Merchiston had a chance of competing for the top spot off scratch! Moritz continued his good run of form shooting a solid 77, his best performance in this event to date. This meant that for the second consecutive day the fate of the team was in young Max's hands. Mr Murdoch's faith in him was vindicated when he came in with a superb 77 on the day, a truly inspired performance by the young lad.
The day got better and better as the scores were counted in the clubhouse and the team from Merchiston defeated both Loretto A and Loretto B on the day. I was extremely proud of the boys' performance, they showed signs of self-control and good course management. The boys are in action again on Thurs 8th of March at Charleton Golf Club for the Final Round of The British Schools and Colleges where they will be looking to build on this tremendous start to the season.
Director of Golf
Scottish Schools Champion
On Sunday 26 February Ying won the Under 16 Scottish Schools Table Tennis Finals. Ying has also been selected to represent Scotand at the Senior Schools' International Championships staged between 22-24 June in Guernsey.
Prep Schools Football Competition
This year we invited one 'professional team': a local club,
Currie Star, knowing they would be skilful and tactical. So it was
quite an achievement for a typically tenacious Ardvreck side to put
three goals in their net before they had found their feet.
Thereafter Currie got better and better. Meanwhile, Merchiston were
going strongly while Ardvreck struggled to recapture that best
form. Belhaven played some very good football, and their statistics
did not do them justice. Loretto were hard to beat and they were an
important part of the tournament. They found it hard to score goals
but their against the run of play score against Merchiston denied
the latter a goal difference win of the competition! As it was,
Currie and Merchiston played 'sudden death' which resulted in
Currie emerging the winners. It had been as close as it can be, but
the best team won. Belhaven won the penalty shootout.
It was all very competitive and closely contested: everyone deserved to have enjoyed themselves. While accepting that Currie were the top team we were correctly disappointed that we did not quite manage to edge it. We missed Sam and the calm and precision he brings to our attack. But some fine goals were scored and our defence did well. A win would have been a huge achievement! Thank you Ardvreck, Belhaven, Loretto and Currie Star for a great afternoon's sport.
Winners: Currie Star FC
Runners Up: Merchiston
Penalty shootout winners: Belhaven
Ireland Under 18
Congratulations to 1st XV member, Alex Webb on his selection for the Ireland Under 18 Club Team.
For many years the Jesters Club (made up of adults between
18 and 70!) have enjoyed an annual Fives weekend in Edinburgh,
where they have played matches against Merchiston and other
schools, in addition to games against Edinburgh University, the
Caledonian Club and the Merchistonians.
On the Friday evening, six Jesters pair up with six of the best schoolboy players in Edinburgh, at least one representative coming from each school. This year, Merchiston provided three boys to compete in this tournament; they were also selected as the top three seeds out of the six. After the games, the boys joined the Jesters for a buffet dinner and enjoyed the opportunity to chat with adults about their experiences in Fives and also more generally in life.
Merchiston played three fixtures against the Jesters this year, which ultimately resulted in three losses. The U15s lost by 14 points, the Colts by 18 points and the Seniors by 53 points. However, the fixtures were keenly contested and played in great spirit; the Merchiston boys undoubtedly learnt a huge amount from them. The Jesters were constantly keen to pass on tips throughout the games and this will stand the boys in excellent stead for the rest of the season.
Edinburgh Under 16 Extended Training Squad
We are delighted that the following boys have been selected in the Edinburgh Under 16 extended training squad:
Autumn Term 2011
Merchiston has a proud tradition in Fives, instilled over
previous generations under the tutelage of Mr Swan. His legacy
remains, as Merchiston Fives has continued to go from strength to
strength this term. With regular fixtures against the Calendonian
Club, a local adults' team, the 1st IV have had excellent
preparation for the fixtures against other schools; they have
beaten Edinburgh Academy by 70 points, Fettes by 100 points and
Sedbergh by 52 points. The latter fixture was the tightest game so
far, particularly in the first half of the tie, but still saw
Merchiston come out as comfortable victors in the end. The 1st IV
will be looking to take this momentum into the Edinburgh Schools
Championships next term.
The Colts have also started the season in fine form; they have beaten Fettes by 68 points and Loretto by 55 points. They will also be focusing on the Edinburgh Schools Championships. The Juniors, who have only started playing the game in the last few months, have also been extremely impressive. They are a very focused group, who clearly enjoy playing the game, and practise regularly in their free time. They have defeated Fettes by 67 points, Edinburgh Academy by 77 points, and Loretto by 28 points.
Master i/c Fives
On Sunday 18 boys competed at the annual Edinburgh Schools Swimming Championships at Ainslie Park Leisure Centre. Normally, this event would take place at the Commonwealth Pool but has been unable to for the past 3 years due to the renovations that are currently taking place. The junior events were staged in the morning. In this category we had 4 swimmers competing: Tom E, Rupert E, Milo D and Charlie de B. All these boys competed in both individual events and the relay. Tom E achieved a bronze medal in the 12-13 years 50 metres back stroke. The junior relay team made up of the same boys also came third winning a bronze medal in the 4x50 metres freestyle relay. This was a great achievement and overall in the junior events we came away with 5 medals. The afternoon saw the School's senior swimmers making their attempt to emulate the success of the juniors in the morning. We had 14 boys competing all of whom were again in individuals and 12 in various relay teams. The afternoon started with a warm up and it was great to have our coach Billy there to help us clarify any last minute questions. All the boys raced extremely well with almost everybody setting new personal bests for their 100 and 200 metre times in various strokes, as at School all our PBs are in yards. From all the senior individuals we achieved one medal in the 16-18 yrs 100m backstroke. However, there were many boys who narrowly missed out on medals. David B finished a narrow 4th in the 16-18 yrs 100m backstroke. Benjamin K was also 4th in the 14-15 yrs 100m breaststroke and Michael C again finished 4th in the 14-15 yrs 200m freestyle and 4th in the 100m fly. To put the high standard of this competition into perspective Benjamin and Michael are the current School Record holders for some of the events they were racing in and were unable to gain podium finishes. Having seen the quality of other swimmers throughout the day we knew it would be tough for medals in the relays. All relays were again 4x50 metres freestyle and we had 3 different teams: 2 in the 14-15 yrs age category and 1 in the 16-18 yrs category. The relays were run in a very strange format, meaning the way it worked out our senior relay team was racing next to 12 year old girls. Luckily we didn't get shown up and ended up fifth in our age category. In the 14-15 yrs age group relays both A and B teams performed very well. The A team raced superbly and managed to gain the gold medals and the shield for this age group. When they were presented the shield we noticed that Merchiston had previously won this. It showed that we had won it in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Well done to Michael, Antoine, Benjamin and Saunders for ending the ten year absence.
Our full results can be seen here.
Merchiston 3 Edinburgh Academy 36
The much anticipated cup semi-final was played today and it proved to be a tough game for the 1st XV. After a promising start the XV fell off too many tackles and allowed the Academy to dominate proceedings. At half-time the XV trailed 17-3 and were simply unable to claw their way back into the game. The Academy played really well and we wish them and George Watson's College well in the final at Murrayfield.
A good week of rugby at Merchiston with 11 fixtures being
played throughout the school. The block fixture against Glenalmond
was a very successful for one for the Merchiston teams with wins
recorded at the following levels: 1XV(21-10), 2XV (10-7),
3XV(22-7), U16B (17-7), B1 (39-0), C2 (21-0). Other sides to record
wins were the Development XV against the touring Omagh Academy 1XV
(22-15), the B2s had a great game against Balerno (57-22) and the
D4s had a real tussle against Fettes (12-10).
Next week sees teams from Pringle play Cargilfield, Ardvreck and St Mary's
The 1XV followed on from their success at Heriots on Saturday with a 24-12 victory over Dollar. This will give the side confidence as they head south on Friday to take part in the 25th St Joseph's Festival in Ipswich. Once again Merchiston are the sole representatives from Scotland and will face Dulwich College, Colstson's and QEGS, Wakefield in their group matches.
The 2XV also secured a win over Dollar (45-5) with a fine performance and it was great to see them building on their success at the weekend against Austin Friar's 1XV.
In the middle school the B1s had a tight game against George Watson's College with the game ending in a 5-5 draw. The B2s had a fantastic game and just fell short at the end (33-36). The B3s and C3s in their games played well and will look to build on these performances as the move into the second part of the season. The C1s and C2s both secured good wins away from home at George Watson's College and this will give both sides huge confidence for the second half of term. The half-term break will give the boys time to recharge the batteries and I look forward to seeing them making further progress in their teams when they return.
Merchiston 39 Glasgow Academy 0
The u18 cup side progressed to their 3rd successive semi-final in the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup following a 39-0 win over Glasgow Academy. The game was played in atrocious conditions for the majority of the game but despite the weather the side still scored 6 tries on the way to their victory. The game provided the coaches with the opportunity for a number of new players to experience u18 cup rugby and the side now await the draw for the semi-final with interest.
Director of Rugby
Director of Rugby
I look forward to seeing you on the sidelines this season.
Director of Rugby
Lent Term 2011
Merchiston's 1st XV half-back pairing of Scott Steele and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne played a key role in the defeat of England u18s at Leeds on Sunday 27th March. Sam scored 11 of Scotland's points as they recorded a stunning win on English soil. Both Scott and Sam were also part of the Scotland u17 side who defeated their English counterparts at the Wellington Festival in 2010.
Sam and Scott have played an integral part in the Merchiston XV's success this season, which has seen the side remain undefeated against Scottish schools, winners of the Caritas 7s and the Plate at the Powder Byrne 6 Nations Tournament. Sam has been a prodigious kicker this season and has scored over 250 points for the XV. Scott has worked tirelessly on his game and has been thoroughly professional in his approach throughout the year.
We will watch their progress very closely and wish them all the best as they head onto the next phase of their rugby careers.
Further information on the game can be found on the link below:
In the group stages they defeated Boroughmuir HS 31-14 and Dollar W 33-5. This put Merchiston into the semi-finals of the main competition. The semi-final saw them come up against the host side and also the recent winners of the Goldenacre Sevens, George Watson's College.
At half time the 1st VII were 12-0 down and facing an uphill task, but through some excellent link play and disciplined defence they came back to win 17-12.
The final saw Merchiston face Robert Gordon's College and the 1st VII remained in control for large parts of the game and ran out 38-12 winners. This will give the side a real boost as they prepare to compete in the National Schoolboy Sevens at Rosslyn Park in London next week.
Merchiston returned from the inaugural Powder Byrne 6 Nations Schools Tournament as winners of the Plate Competition. As one of two Scottish representatives in the tournament it was great to see a Scottish team competing for some silverware on finals day. After a slow start to the tournament on Friday Merchiston returned on Saturday to finish their pool games with 2 emphatic victories. This placed the side in the Plate Competition where they met Rydal Penrhos from Wales who were beaten 31-5. This set up a final against Sherborne on the Sunday. The Plate Final was an extremely physical encounter and the game finished 10-10 after normal time. This sent the game into sudden death extra time - Merchiston showed superb control and discipline in testing conditions and a Josh B drop goal secured the win for the side.
It was a great competition to be involved in and this will provide the boys with a real boost as they head into the domestic 7s tournaments before heading down to Rosslyn Park again for the National Schoolboy Sevens.
The Cup XV played the semi-final of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup on the 4G pitch at Murrayfield against The Edinburgh Academy.
Merchiston came out on top in the school fixture back in October in a match that displayed an amazing level of skill for schoolboys. Cup rugby always brings exciting challenges and in front of an estimated audience of 1900 both sides played very well.
The Academy had much of the possession in the first twenty minutes, which stopped us from getting into our rhythm. They managed to break two tackles to score two tries, one of which was converted. After some gruelling contact and pressurised play we sustained a blood and hamstring injury which required two replacements on the twenty minute mark.
Euan M has been training and competing over the last few months and in recent weeks he competed in the Cairngorm Open Ski Championships. He won both the Junior Male Slalom and Junior Male Giant Slalom events and he also went on to win the Fastest Male Category.
Euan has represented the school for five years through his own determination and this year he will be leading a school team in the Scottish Schools Championships at the Lecht on 17 March.
These took place in Glasgow on 10 February, and it was a great day out for the Merchiston Athletics team. A young team was entered and passed the challenge with flying colours. Our most experienced athlete, Cameron Goodall, won a Silver medal in the over 17 60m hurdles and Angus Sinclair came a close fought 4th in the the under 17 high jump losing out to count back. Unfortunately his personal best of 1.80m wasn't enough to get a medal. Furthermore Claude Millee also ran a personal best in the under 17 60m sprint with a great time of 7.32s.
Scott M, Matt F, Michael C and Dougal B ran extremely well in their track events and gained great experience running against some of the best athletes in Scotland. Finally, well done to Monty T who threw his personal best in the shot putt.
Overall, a great start to the season!
In the last few weeks the swim team have been preparing for the
upcoming school fixtures. Two swimmers have been developing very
well and have achieved two new records:
Michael C has recorded his second school record in the Under 16 200 metre Freestyle event. He achieved 2.00.81 which was 8.29 seconds faster than was previously set by Jonny Douglas in 2000. Benjamin K set a new time of 1.16.27 in the Under 14 Breastroke which was previously held in 1999 by Michael Legget. Jonny and Michael were fantastic Merchiston swimmers and I know they will both join me in congratulating these boys on their achievements.
In between Christmas and New Year three members of the Merchiston 1st XV attended the Scotland Under 18 Training Camp held at Ravenscraig. Scott, Sam and Josh were part of a 34-man strong squad that started their preparations for the testing international season in March and April.