7 years, plus two weeks, was the last time Scotland had tasted a Six Nations victory, and nearly 12 years since they had last beaten Wales. All that changed in Cumbernauld this evening.
It had been coming. Since Shade Munro arrived Scotland had been improving game by game. In the first round of games against Ireland they had lead and were within a heartbeat of a win, but fell at the last. Could they go a step further against Wales?
To begin with the artificial pitch at Cumbernauld came into its own, the snowy effects of Storm Doris being swept to the touchlines before play began.
The half-time score bore little relation to the action on the field. Scotland dominated possession and territory in the first half, with little reward until the final play of the half, while Wales made two visits to the Scotland end and came away with converted tries on both occasions.
Scotland had an early opportunity to get points on the board when Sarah Laws was given a roughly 30m penalty after two minutes, but the kick went wide to the left. Nonetheless Scotland retained the advantage, but for all their possession the red line in front of them was an unbreachable wall, with Scotland rarely threatening the line.
Instead after 20 minutes Wales finally broke out – and scored, a line out and driving maul to which Scotland had little answer put Carys Phillips in for the first score.
Another quarter hour of Scottish attack was again fruitless, until again Wales escaped, won a scrum on 5m, drove forward and this time were awarded a penalty try. 14-0.
Only from the final play did Scotland at last get their reward, Lisa Thomson seeing a gap and racing in to crash through the Welsh line. 14-7 to Wales at halftime.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was deadlock with most of the play firmly anchored between the 22s, but just before the hour another good line from Lisa Thomson finally took Scotland to the Welsh 5m. Wales held out to huge pressure under the posts, but Scotland then moved wide, finding an overlap and a chance for Rhona Lloyd to score in the corner. Scotland were back to 12-14.
As the rain fell and benches were emptied deadlock in the centre third continued, and tensions mounted as it was clear that one more score would decide the outcome.
Then with just four minutes left Law had chance to put right her second minute penalty from a similar place – and this time was on target. Scotland were 15-14 ahead.
Scotland just needed to retain possession, until with seconds to go an attempted clearance kick going straight into touch seemed to give Wales a chance – but in the excitement the throw was not straight, Scotland won the resulting scrum, hacked into touch and victory was theirs!
Scotland: Chloe Rollie (Murrayfield Wanderers), Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University), Lisa Thomson (Edinburgh University), Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers, capt), Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University), Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University); Tracey Balmer (Worcester), Lana Skeldon (Hillhead Jordanhill), Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill), Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers), Deborah McCormack (Aylesford Bulls), Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead Jordanhill), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill).
Replacements: Lucy Park (Murrayfield Wanderers), Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill), Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University), Sarah Bonar (Lichfield), Lyndsay O'Donnell (Worcester), Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield), Eilidh Sinclair (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lauren Harris (Melrose)
Wales: Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets), Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets)*, Kerin Lake (Ospreys), Rebecca de Filippo (Newport Gwent Dragons), Elen Evans (Scarlets), Elinor Snowsill (Newport Gwent Dragons), Rhiannon Parker (Cardiff Blues)*, Cerys Hale (Newport Gwent Dragons), Carys Phillips (c) (Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Rebecca Rowe (Newport Gwent Dragons), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets),Rachel Taylor (Scarlets), Sioned Harries (Scarlets)
Replacements: Lowri Harries (Scarlets), Gwenllian Pyrs (Scarlets), Caryl Thomas (Scarlets), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Nia Elen Davies (Cardiff Blues), Sian Moore (Newport Gwent Dragons), Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys), Gemma Rowland (Newport Gwent Dragons)