Apr 6 2012 by Andy Galloway, Lennox Herald (main ed)
National Bowl semi-final
LAST week it was the league title.
And now Helensburgh can celebrate the club’s first-ever trip to Murrayfield after Saturday’s National Bowl semi-final victory.
The result was never in doubt as a group of courageous, hard-working players kept the dream of a treble alive.
In front of a support which outnumbered the Grangemouth fans, Helensburgh took an early lead when Ali Rogers raced for possession and touched down.
David Sterry was unable to convert but already belief was flowing in the Burgh ranks. There was real relish in Burgh’s tackling and after 25 minutes Sterry made amends for the conversion by kicking a penalty for an 8-0 lead.
There was a blow just before half time when Jeremy Hanks damaged his shoulder and had to leave the action to be replaced by James Musset.
However, that was made up for by the time the interval came as David Riding surged into the home 22 and played in Rogers for his second try.
Sterry contributed another two points to the scoreline with the conversion and a 15-0 half-time lead suggested that Burgh already had one foot on the Murrayfield pitch.
The third try of the day came early in the second half and was scored by Phil Rogers after several drives inside the Grangemouth 22.
Sterry again added the conversion.
But despite the widening deficit Grangemouth rallied.
And after a number of attempts to break down Burgh, they finally broke through for a try, which was unconverted.
However, the visitors simply fought back and Ollie Curtis ducked under a tackle on the line to score his side’s fourth try.
The conversion went wide but sitting 27-5 ahead with 10 minutes to go, Burgh pretty much knew at this point that they were heading for the final.
There was, though, time for one last hurrah on the day as Riding received the ball 30 metres out and he calmly slotted the ball over for a drop goal which finished off the scoring.
Burgh will play Dunbar in the final at Murrayfield on Saturday, April 21, which is a day everyone at the club – on and off the pitch – will relish.
In the meantime, they still have two games to play in the league they have already won.
This Saturday they travel to face Strathendrick in a game which has an earlier kick-off time of noon.
Helensburgh: Sterry, A Rogers, Cairns, Riding, Drake, Black, Curtis, Feltham, McNee, Gard, Voight, Calderwood, P Rogers, Somerville, Hanks. Subs: Inglis, Musset, Floyd, Smith, Sloan, Bowman.