West 27 RBS Championship A West finally broke their duck this season with another cliffhanger of a match ending with the last kick.
This week West were the team scoring the last minute penalty to win after last week’s heartbreak against Whitecraigs. West started by far the better team on a sunny day at Dumfries’s Park Farm ground. A series of fluent attacking moves led to a West penalty which was kicked to touch and after a driving maul Stefan Birkmyre was the man with the ball over the line in a pile of bodies. Mark Davis converted to make it 0-7 to West.
Then a very good pass from Michael MacBeth went to Jamie McAulay who fed fellow centre Andrew Park who scored between the posts. Davis converted again to make it 0-14 to West. A further penalty from Davis made it 0-17 to West and it seemed plain sailing. However, hooker Dylan Dawson was injured and without an experienced hooker West were completely dominated by Dumfries in the scrum from that point on, which turned the tide of the match.
Dumfries fought back but were held back through West defence and poor handling until a West scrum won against the head by Dumfries unleashed a smooth passing movement ending in winger Andrew Wilson scoring in the corner. The conversion was missed making it Dumfries 5-17 West.
Another attacking move from a Dumfries scrum again ended with Andrew Wilson scoring in the corner. The conversion was again missed making the half time score 10-17 in West’s favour. There was some scrappy play after halftime but West pushed back, and a rare scrum won by West led to a good break by Jack Walker, a strong run from Stuart Morrison and a try by Davis under the posts. He also converted his own try to make it 10-24 to West. Dumfries then turned the tide starting from a penalty for a scrum offence, when from the tap David Henderson scored. John Carlisle converted to peg it back to 17-24.
West fought back but a series of Dumfries attacks ended up in a try from the lineout by Jack Johnstone. Fortunately for West the conversion was missed but the scores were getting close at 22-24.
Dumfries then assaulted the West line continuously and some dogged West defence kept Dumfries out until a penalty was conceded for coming in off the feet. Jack Johnstone scored the penalty to put Dumfries into the lead 25-24 with hardly any time left. However the drama was not over yet. West fought back from the restart and a deliberate knock on gave West a penalty in a kickable but far from easy position around 35m out near the touchline.
Davis - who unsurprisingly was awarded man-of-the-match - slotted the penalty in the last kick of the match to clinch the game.
A relieved West have now won their first match of the season and are no longer bottom of the table. West team: 1. Mark Valance 2. Dylan Dawson 3. Stefan Birkmyre 4. Angus Lean 5. Allan Sharkie 6. Angus Thomson 7. Andy Ritchie 8. Jack Walker 9. Mark Davis 10. Michael MacBeth 11. Fintan Cuthbertson 12. Jamie MacAulay 13. Andrew Park 14. Stuart Morrison 15. Alex Fisken Subs 16. Stuart MacDonald 17. Luke McLaren 18. Ross Carnegie 19. Neil Fullerton.