A horror misunderstanding cost Currie a shot at their 3rd championship title as Heriots snatched a dramatic last-gasp victory in Saturday’s BT Premiership semifinal at Malleny Park.
A ding-dong battle in which the lead changed a total of 5 times appeared to have swung decisively in the home side’s favour when No 8 Ross Weston finished off a driving maul for his 2nd try of the afternoon to put Currie 22 / 21 up with minutes remaining.
Heriots pushed for a response but, when they knocked on to concede a scrum, it looked like their dreams of a double (or treble if you include the Charity Shield) were over.
Currie kept possession as the clock ticked down but scrumhalf Richard Snedden was premature with the boot out and the Goldenacre side were given a lifeline, which they took superbly by setting up replacement flyhalf Gregor McNeish for his 2nd drop goal with the last kick, to spark wild celebrations in the away camp.
It means Heriots, who 1st face Melrose in the BT Cup final a week on Saturday, will travel to Millbrae to face Ayr on 23 April and look to retain their Premiership crown.
Explaining the confusion at the death, Currie assistant coach Mark Cairns said: “I’ve spoken to referee Mike Adamson and he said he’s counted down from 30 to 20. Our scrumhalf asked and he said ‘ten’ and he thought he had said ‘time’. Then, as he went to kick it, Mike then screamed ‘10 seconds’ to try to stop him but it was too late.”
McNeish showed nerves of steel under the pressure of a desperate rush defence to slot the goal and Heriot’s coach Phil Smith praised his side’s spirit.
“We could end up with nothing, but we’re in the mix. It’s finals, it’s exciting,” he said. “Hopefully we can relax now we’re in 2 finals – relax and enjoy it.