West closing in on league leaders

West of Scotland v East Kilbride. Mark Jenkinson set up the final try with this surging run
West of Scotland v East Kilbride. Mark Jenkinson set up the final try with this surging run

West of Scotland ran in six tries for the second week in a row as they defeated East Kilbride 34-13 on the new 4G pitch at Burnbrae.

As they seek to make ground on the BT National Division 3 leaders this rescheduled fixture was one of their matches in hand and they came fast out of the blocks.

After destroying the first East Kilbride scrum, West took a catch and drive from a lineout and no 8 Andrew Goodall scored off the base of the maul to make it 5-0.

The wind was swirling badly and wide kicks were always going to be difficult. The conversion was duly missed.

West extended their lead when, after a driving move, the ball went through the backs and Blair Smith found a big hole in the defence to score, again unconverted.

Fraser Smeaton then snuck round the back of an excellent scrum to score, again unconverted, and it was looking good at 15-0.

East Kilbride managed to get into the game when Calum Blackwood converted two penalties, one for a high tackle and the other for offside, to make the score 15-6 at half-time.

West put more pressure on after the break and EK’s Alastair Dalgleish was sent to the bin for taking out the jumper at a lineout.

West took the penalty to touch and a smart catch and drive saw Darren Allen touch down amid a pile of bodies. Smith converted this one to make it 22-6.

A period of yellow cards followed, Smeaton taking a sidelining for cumulative team offences and James Harley binned for taking out the lineout jumper.

The scoring then stopped until both sides were back to 15 and EK captain Gareth Jones rumbled over the line after a tap penalty for a score converted by Blackwood to cut West’s lead to 22-13.

Another East Kilbride score could have caused West problems but they were having none of it and another driving maul near the line set up Smeaton to sell the defender a dummy and score.

There was no conversion but the score was reflecting the play more closely.

A powerful run right at the end from the influential Mark Jenkinson then nearly found the line and although he ran out of gas he neatly passed to speeding winger Calum Booth who scored West’s sixth try. Smith converted to complete the scoring.

West have no game this weekend due to Scotland’s Six Nations opener with England.

Next league match is away to Dalziel on Saturday, February 13, kick-off 3pm.