Scotland A beat England Saxons in a thriller at Kingston Park
Last Updated: 01/02/13 10:18pm
Elliot Daly: Tackled by Greig Tonks of Scotland A
Duncan Taylor scored the only try of the game as 13-man Scotland A got the better of England Saxons for the second year in succession, running out 13-9 victors at a wintry Kingston Park.
The Saracens wing went over in the opening minute of the game after collecting George Ford's kick as it held up on a howling wind.
Leicester fly-half Ford kicked three penalties to keep Jon Callard's side in the hunt until the death, but Tom Heathcote's conversion and two penalties ensured victory for the Scots, despite the premature departures of props Grant Shiells and Jon Welsh in a dramatic finale.
Saxons got off to the worst possible start in front of a crowd of 6,480 when Ford's attempt to find touch into a strong wind was picked off by right-wing Taylor, who ran it home with the minimum of fuss to allow Heathcote to establish a 7-0 lead.
Ford and Heathcote traded penalties before Scotland encroached as England enjoyed their most promising spell of possession, and Ford duly obliged to reduce the deficit to 6-10.
The Scots were playing the more expansive game with full-back Greig Tonks threatening repeatedly and Heathcote' place-kicking making life uncomfortable for the Saxons.
However, two shots at goal went begging, the first of them crashing against an upright, as Scotland failed to make the most of English indiscipline and the Saxons grew in confidence.
Ford had to be alert to halt scrum-half Sean Kennedy's sniping run as the half-time whistle approached, but the sides went in at the break separated by just four points.
Heathcote's second successful penalty gave the Scots some reward for their extended stay in enemy territory, but with the wind at their backs, England set up camp in the Scotland half as the searched for a way back into the game.
Handling became increasingly difficult as the rain turned to sleet, but with the Scots battling doggedly, it was the Saxons making the errors.
England thought they had their chance when Tonks carried replacement winger Kyle Eastmond's kick through over his own line, but after the resulting five-metre scrum was reset three times, referee Dudley Phillips awarded a fifth set-piece to the Scots and then penalised England as they wheeled it.
Shiells and Welsh were both yellow-carded as the Saxons laid siege to the Scottish line with the clock running down, but when the ball was eventually spun wide, full-back Elliot Daly knocked on and their chance had gone.