Match Report
Dollar Academy 1st XV vs  High School of Dundee
On: Thursday, 27 Jan 2005
Venue: Away

Dollar Academy retained their title as champions as they lifted the Bell Lawrie White Scottish Schools Cup for the third year running at Murrayfield this evening in front of a highly vocal record crowd of 6972. In a hard fought, nail biting game that went right down to the wire, the Clackmannanshire side kept out the Tayside team long enough to make the sole successful kick of the evening the crucial decider.

Dundee battled their way until the final whistle, pushing Dollar at every turn but luck was not on their side and no amount of forward momentum could help them seal the scoreline as they sought valiantly a desperately needed try in the dying second of the game. Credit was due to the solid Dollar defence however Dundee did themselves no favours at times as their handling became too frantic.

Dollar opened the scoring with a neat little chip ahead and captain Cameron Ferguson cleared up the scrappy ball to plough over for the try in just the second minute of the game. (5 - 0) but full back Nick Alston missed the conversion.

Dundee did some good strong work in the scrum, driving Dollar back but Dollar looked more streetwise and made sure to capitalise on any Dundee mistakes, securing possession and clearing their lines. They couldn't however profit when it came to putting points on the board in front of the posts - another kick going astray when they were awarded a penalty for Dundee diving over the top at the breakdown.

Persistence did pay off for Dollar though as some lovely solid mauling saw them drive over Dundee's try line in a heap of bodies all wanting to claim the touchdown. It was lock Malcolm Peebles however who came up victorious (10 - 0) but again, Alston was off target with the conversion.

Dollar began to open up the game, growing in confidence with some sweeping passing at speed as Dundee retreated in defence and speedster Victor Awnse, the Dollar No.11, looked to be heading over in the corner but for some staunch tackling into touch from Dundee.

The Taysiders made good use of the high ball, testing Dollar with their clearances and were fond of heading for the touchline with their lineout being an obvious strength. Locks Paul Gibson and Ramsay Hall towered with precision in the set piece collecting Polok Islam's well-flighted throw-ins.

Deserved Man of the Match, Dundee captain Richard Vernon, looked powerful beyond his years as the No.8 led his team mates in several attacks on the Dollar line, legs pumping while dragging numerous defenders with him.

As the game moved on, the pace picked up and Dundee began to look a tad frenetic in areas while Dollar kept up the clinical tackling lessons - stand off Cameron Ferguson looking particularly strong.

It was Dundee though that next made it onto the scoreboard. Flanker Daniel Levison made a superb solo effort picking and going from the base of the scrum and showed real passion to make it over the line. Stand off Colin Goudie's conversion attempt unluckily bounced off the upright (10 - 5).

Dundee seemed to move up a gear in both pace and intensity but steady-headed Dollar always looked the more composed leaving Dundee no way through. At that point though, they would not be blamed in feeling aggrieved in the first of several near-misses and it seemed that for all the effort they were putting in, Dollar found a way to drive them back to their own line.

A magnificent solo effort from Dundee captain Goudie was denied by referee Andy Ireland who adjudged the stand-off to have knocked on while touching down after a race to a loose ball.

On several other occasions they were deemed to have been held up over the line and just could not manage to ground the ball to turn their effort into points.

Dollar's Alston managed to slot a penalty in front of the posts, the only successful kick of the game (13 - 10) and no matter the pressure from Dundee, the scoreboard was not to change.

The Tayside crowd were most definitely not amused by the decisions not to award Dundee the scores and even with the last move of the game, they were again held up over the line.

While, sympathy lay with Dundee, admiration had to go to Dollar for their tenacity in defence - they shut the game down and made sure of their win to secure their hat-trick of victories in the Bell Lawrie White Scottish Schools Cup Final.

Dollar coach John Foster said: 'In fairness, a draw would have been the right result.'

Niall Gallagher, High School of Dundee coach, said: 'I'm disappointed for the boys as they put everything into it. The difference between Dollar and Merchiston Castle (who Dundee beat in the semi-final) is that Dollar really know how to close a game down.'

DOLLAR ACADEMY

Nick Alston, Matthew Pope, Alastair Robertson, George McIntosh, Victor Awnse, Cameron Ferguson (captain), Scott Borrowman, Donald Sutherland, Mark Nelson, Mark Nelson, Will Allman, Malcolm Peebles, Alistair Scougal, Scott Paterson, Oliver Gilmartin, Ranald Baird.

Substitutes: John-Patrick Wars, Richard Hill, Nathan Skipper, Angus Bell-Scott, Gordon McRorie, Stephen Bailie, Angus Armstrong.

HIGH SCHOOL OF DUNDEE

Gordon Ferguson, Mark Robbins, David Arbuckle, Michael Walton, Gordon Gray, Colin Gaudie, Andrew Dymock, alan dymock, Polok Islam, Matthew Fairlie, Paul Gibson, Ramsay Hall, Daniel Levison, Andrew Quin, Richard Vernon (Captain).

Substitutes: Neil Bryden, Neil Crosby, Donald Paterson, Olly Rymer, Andrew Wallace, David Arnot, Stephen Lahoar.

Referee: Andy Ireland (Grangemouth)
Man of the Match - Richard Vernon (Dundee captain)