Edinburgh lift 1872 Challenge Cup

28th Dec 2007, 22:07

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Ben Cairns: Edinburgh's match-winner

Ben Cairns: Edinburgh's match-winner

Former Glasgow star Ben Cairns stuck the boot into his old team-mates as Edinburgh notched a dramatic 35-31 injury-time win in a seven-try Murrayfield thriller, to lift the 1872 Challenge Cup and score five precious Magners League points on Friday.

Former Glasgow star Ben Cairns stuck the boot into his old team-mates as Edinburgh notched a dramatic 35-31 injury-time win in a seven-try Murrayfield thriller, to lift the 1872 Challenge Cup and score five precious Magners League points on Friday.

Dan Parks looked to have ended a 27-year hoodoo as the visitors recovered from a 15-point deficit to grab the lead two minutes from time of this Magners League clash.

But the Warriors' hopes of a first win in the capital since 1980 were dashed when Cairns nipped over deep into injury time to settle a ding-dong inter-city clash.

The Gunners were first to strike but Phil Godman breathed a huge sigh of relief as he watched his penalty sneak over off a post after being blown off course by a gust of wind.

Glasgow responded with a period of pressure sparked by Bernardo Stortoni's enterprising burst forward.

Eventually the visitors forced an error from their rivals and Parks easily slotted the equalising penalty.

However, a monster effort by Godman from near the left touchline restored Edinburgh's advantage as eagle-eyed referee Andrew Small pounced on every infringement.

The whistler penalised Glasgow's forwards again for collapsing a scrum in front of their own posts and Godman had a much simpler task to stretch the capital side's lead.

And moments later the Gunners notched the game's first try in dramatic fashion.

Mike Blair looked certain to score after pinching possession from opposite number Chris O'Young.

However, the scrum-half was brilliantly tackled a metre short of the line by Tom Evans.

Dave Callam then plunged over in the corner as Kelly Brown dived in with a last-ditch tackle.

It took the video referee several minutes before deciding that Callam had grounded the ball before sliding into touch.

And the Warriors suffered another savage blow on 33 minutes when Evans was stretchered off after being knocked unconscious by a team-mate.

The winger was struck full on the face by Argentinian full-back Stortoni as the pair went for Godman's crossfield kick.

It could have been even worse for Glasgow when Godman's dummy suddenly opened a huge gap in the visitors' defence.

However, the fly-half was unluckily penalised for a forward pass to John Houston who was clean through.

Instead the Warriors reduced their arrears when Parks notched his second penalty only to fall further behind through a brilliant opportunist try by Blair.

The fly-half gathered a Parks punt before swapping slick passes with Simon Webster and nipping in under the posts to give Godman an easy conversion.

Parks slotted his third penalty to hand Glasgow a lifeline in the 11th minute of first-half stoppage time.

And they stepped up their recovery on the restart when power prop Moray Low plunged over after John Barclay stole possession from the Gunners' pack.

Parks' conversion reduced the leeway to just five points and the fly-half was just off target with a drop goal attempt as the Warriors piled on the pressure.

But the Gunners regrouped to give themselves breathing space when Webster stormed through to score after great work by Nick de Luca and Ben Cairns.

Glasgow responded immediately when Brown showed amazing strength to barge through three opponents and touch down in the corner.

Moments later a Parks penalty hauled the visitors within four points as a thrilling clash reached a frantic finale.

Parks appeared to be the Warriors hero when he jubilantly touched down in the corner two minutes from time and then converted his own score.

But Cairns denied his old mates with that last-ditch score.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries:
Callam, Blair, Webster, Cairns
Cons: Godman 3
Pens: Godman 3

For Glasgow:
Tries:
Low, Brown, Parks
Cons: Parks 2
Pens: Parks 4

Edinburgh: 15 Ben Cairns, 14 Andrew Turnbull, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 John Houston, 11 Simon Webster, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Callam, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Allister Hogg (c), 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Matt Mustchin, 3 Gavin Kerr, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Augusto Allori, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 Roland Reid, 20 Ben Meyer, 21 David Blair, 22 Hugo Southwell.

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Lome Fa'atau, 13 Graeme Morrison, 12 Daryl Gibson, 11 Hefin O'Hare, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris O'Young, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alastair Kellock (capt), 4 Andy Newman, 3 Moray Low, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Justin Va'a.
Replacements: 16 Eric Milligan, 17 Ed Kalman, 18 Dan Turner, 19 James Eddie, 20 Sam Pinder, 21 Scott Barrow, 22 Thom Evans.

Referee: Andrew Small (England)
Touch judges: David Changleng, Alan Forrest
Assessor: Les Dennis