WHILE Lomond-Helensburgh's under-18s played with sparklers for parts of the match, it was Balfron-Strathendrick who set off the November 5 fireworks with a 40-17 victory in the Scottish Schools Cup play-off in Fintry.

In dank, wet conditions, the match was old school, abrasive rugby, and the under-18s found it hard to get a foothold in the match - a position which was not helped by the high penalty count and frustrating decision making.

Despite the result, there were positives to be taken from the match. Lomond and Helensburgh never gave up and continually worked to put pressure on the hosts.

Miller had a good debut and Blake stepped up from the under-16s to be handed his under-18 debut, making one of the best tackles of the day. Several lads played out of position and the experience will be good for their long-term development.

Lomond and Helensburgh scores came from Farrar, Picken and Clark, with a conversation from Devenny.

The result means that Lomond-Helensburgh will now play in the Scottish Schools National Bowl.

This Saturday, November 12, the under-18s and under-16s face Queen Victoria School at home in the Conference play-offs.

The U16s’ fixture is a cup and conference double header, deciding which stage of the cup they will enter. Kick-off is at 10am and all supporters are encouraged to come down and give the teams their backing.