Blairgowrie and Portobello are getting ready to meet in the BT Men’s Bowl final this Saturday at BT Murrayfield at 11am.

The former reached the final after winning the BT Caledonia Regional Bowl Midlands in February with a 28-6 final win over Dundee University Medics.

Then last month they edged out Strathendrick 20-17 in the semi-final of the national event.

In the league they finished fourth with nine wins from 16 in BT Caledonia League Division Two Midland and they are excited to be heading to BT Murrayfield for the early kick-off.

Loosehead prop Peter Duncan said: “I have played for the club for 17 years, so this is a proud moment.

“The seasons been a rebuilding year, having narrowly avoided relegation at the end of last year, we profited from a small group of young players coming into the team. We also welcomed new Head Coach Craig Ormiston who brought a new dynamic hard working mentality to the training.

“We grew as a team through the season, playing very well against some long established clubs, finishing a respectfully fourth place.

“In our Bowl run we have had a great support from the town and had close to 500 spectators watching at the national semi-final.

“The potential for running out of the tunnel at Murrayfield is a special motivational for all in the squad.”

His team mate Neil MacRae added: “Everyone involved with the club can’t wait for the day which will be the biggest in the club’s history. The excitement seems to have spread throughout the town, even amongst people who had no previous interest in rugby, with nine full supporters’ buses travelling from Blairgowrie to support us on the day.

“I started playing rugby for the club in the mini rugby section back in 1993! I’ve enjoyed some great times at the club over the years, and I had the honour of being club captain a few years ago, but to reach the Bowl final at Murrayfield certainly tops them all.”

Portobello have had a good season in the league in the East and they have been ‘self coached’ this season.

Under the guidance of senior players Cammy Walker, Michael Ridd and Darren Roe the playing group have kept in regular contact via Whatsapp and planned training sessions accordingly.

And it seems to have worked, winger Ali Bain running in 30 tries as they have put in some good showings.

In the BT East Regional Bowl they got the better of RDVC 47-6 back in March while in the national semi-final they went up  to Moray and came back with a 17-11 victory.

Their skipper Chris Britee-Steer said: “I have really enjoyed this season and we have had competition for places in this final squad which has meant that training has remained at a high level.

“The guys have stuck together and those who have been setting up Ali for his tries deserve a lot of credit. A number of us have been involved with the club since we were very young, so to be heading to Murrayfield is something we are very proud of.”

And Walker told the Edinburgh Evening News: “I am 32 this year and my playing career is in the twilight years.

“I don’t think I will be in this position again so for me it is the last opportunity.

“And the youngsters can’t wait to play at Murrayfield. But it’s not just a big day for the players, the wives, girlfriends and all the support players also get the chance to share the 
excitement.”

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photo

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