BT National League One

GHA 22


By Stewart McConnell

HISTORY was made at 3.38pm on April 1, 2017 at Braidholm when William Farquhar raced in for a try to seal the bonus point Marr needed to complete a glorious journey to the Premiership.

But never ones to settle for half measures - although champagne would overflow later - this remarkable team went on to rack up a 21st straight win and celebrate title success in style.

Seven years after starting their quest to reach the top under coach Craig Redpath, Marr will next season be mixing it with the game's elite Including Ayr, Melrose and Glasgow Hawks.

Roared on by an army of 500 fans, Marr were awarded a penalty following an infringement in three-and-a-half minutes and Sturgeon nailed it from 30 yards.

Adam Barnett was huckled to the ground by two Marr players in four minutes as the hosts tried to get back into the match.

Good defensive work by Scott Bickerstaff gained Marr 50'yards in nine minutes. A pass was then dropped by Tom Steven 30 metres from goal when a score looked possible.

Gregor Ness shrugged off two challenges to drive Marr forward in 13 minutes.

Marr thought they had a try when Farquhar went over the line only to see it being chalked off.

The major breakthrough came in 17 minutes when Stephen Adair hurtled over the line from close range for the opening try, but the conversion from Sturgeon was missed, making it 8-0. Marr were awarded a penalty after a infringement in 21 minutes but Sturgeon's kick came up short.

Marr then brought on Andy Kelly for Chris Nisbet .

GHA reduced the deficit in 25 minutes when Andy Goudie's penalty hit the bar but went over.

Marr made another change in 27 minutes when Kyle Vallance replaced Kris Kirk. However Marr increased their advantage in 28 minutes when Conor Bickerstaff went on a surging run and beat two opponents before touching down and Sturgeon completed the conversion.

Marr gained 20 yards in 35 minutes but failed to add any points.

A great run by Mackenzie Pearce took Marr deep into GHA territory. Try number three was scored from four yards by Adair in 36 minutes. Sturgeon added the extras to make it 22-3.

A great run by Pearce took Marr to halfway and Farquhar raced in to score from 10 yards in 38 minutes to seal the title. Sturgeon missed the conversion.

However GHA reduced the deficit in 50 minutes when Michael Scott raced into score a try and Goudie completed the conversion.

Conor Bickerstaff handed the ball off to Gregor Paxton who sprinted in to score at the corner in 54 minutes. Sturgeon missed the conversion.

Grant Mollison powered in to score a try for the hosts to make it 32-15 and Goudie missed the conversion.

Daniel Law set up Scott Bickerstaff who powered over the line and Sturgeon converted to make it 39-15 with 15 minutes remaining.

Dario Ewing touched down for GHA in 78 minutes and Goudie added the conversion to make it 39-22 and the whistle was greeted with rapturous applause and champagne with huge celebrations to follow at Fullarton.

MARR: Craig Kolarik; Scott Bickerstaff, Gregor Paxton, Conor Bickerstaff, Tom Steven, Colin Sturgeon, Grant Baird, Chris Nisbet, Stephen Adair, William Farquhar, Fraser Grant, Kris Kirk, Daniel Law, Ben Johnston, Mackenzie Pearce. Replacements: Andy Kelly, Ollie Rossi, Kyle Vallance, Gregor Ness, Stuart Howie.