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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 20:28 GMT 21:28 UK
Borders break duck
Borders 22-20 Blues

CELTIC LEAGUE
Borders' Clark Laidlaw
Borders (13) 22
Tries: Utterson
Pens: Morton 4
Cons: Morton
Blues (8) 20
Tries: Van Vuuren
Drop Goals: Macleod
Pens: N. Robinson 4
Att: 2,160

Borders grabbed their first win of the season thanks to an injury-time drop goal by stand-off Clark Laidlaw against the Blues.

Laidlaw had earlier given away a penalty that saw Nick Robinson kick the Blues ahead for only the second time in the match almost on the full-time whistle.

But it was the Scottish side who bounced back just in time to take the Celtic League points.

It was a scrappy game marred by mistakes on both sides, with the only two tries coming in the first five minutes.

The Blues took an early lead when full-back Donovan van Vuuren exploited a gap in the Borders defence to touch down.

But the Borders were level within three minutes as Colin Stewart won good lineout ball and captain Kevin Utterson was on hand to break through for Gareth Morton to convert.

Defences were on top for most of the first half and two Morton penalties, split by a Robinson kick, took the Borders into half-time with a 13-8 lead.

Robinson and Morton exchanged penalties early in the second half, while the Blues' Jamie Robinson missed the best chance when he dropped the ball with the line at his mercy.

Nick MacLeod dropped a goal with five minutes left to cut the deficit.

And the Borders' hopes seemed to have gone when Robinson's fourth penalty put the Blues ahead for only the second time.

But the 2,000 crowd were on their feet when Laidlaw's drop goal a minute later clinched victory for the home side.


Borders: Morton, Paterson, Stuart, Utterson, Turnbull, Laidlaw, Armstrong, Todd, Ford, Dunlea, MacLeod, Stewart, Rennick, Kane, Feather.
Replacements: Scott, Cross, Weir, T. Walker, Fairley, MacRae, Moir.

Blues: Van Vuuren, Walne, J. Robinson, Allen, Morgan, N. Robinson, A. Moore, Fourie, Lewis, Evans, McShane, Brownrigg, Appleyard, Baugh, Malpas.
Replacements: Yapp, Phillips., Stamatarkis, N. Thomas, Sowden-Taylor, Powell, Macleod.

Referee: Olan Trevor (Munster)




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