Dec 28 2012 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser
The final score flattered Peebles and the Eagles recovery is now well on track.
In atrocious conditions both teams produced a hugely exciting game of rugby.
Peebles took the lead in three minutes when Raeburn slotted a penalty and thereafter they really took the game to Shire, running the ball at every opportunity despite the driving rain.
Perthshire elected to kick for territory but for once, Shame Imo’s boot was a bit suspect, and his kicks merely supplied Peebles with more ammunition to throw back at them.
However, a sublime break by Imo made space for Reuben Elley who put Shire into the lead as the big Kiwi sprinted under the posts and O’Connor made the easy conversion.
Peebles were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Perthshire .
But the tackling by every single player was immense and the home team could find no way to bust through the black and white wall.
Eventually the Peebles pack managed to grab a try as Shire couldn’t contain their driving maul but there was nothing between both sets of forwards as they fought in the rain.
Peebles managed to stretch their lead with another two Raeburn penalties but Shire fought back well in the 2nd half until Adam Pattinson received a yellow card and Peebles used their extra man to drive the Shire scrum and the referee awarded them a penalty try.
Shire just upped their efforts again and were the dominant force in the final quarter.
Matt Rae was denied a try when the referee couldn’t see the ball grounded and they won enough penalties to win the match but elected to run them instead and with Peebles tiring, Shire finished the stronger side but couldn’t get the tries they needed.
Saturday may see Howe of Fife at the North Inch in the Cup but Shire are struggling with so many players away for Christmas and are hoping that Howe will agree to a change of date.