West hold on to edge derby decider and enjoy local bragging rights

Captain Jamie McAulay displays the commitment and determination with which West played.
Captain Jamie McAulay displays the commitment and determination with which West played.

West of Scotland secured bragging rights with victory over local rivals GHK in the third, and deciding, derby of the season on Saturday.

The season score stood at one apiece with West winning the early season cup tie and GHK taking the league match under the lights at Old Anniesland.

The ‘decider’ at Burnbrae started with a series of turnovers before the first score came from West pick and drives towards the GHK line, finishing in a pushover try from Billy Dineen. Blair Smith confidently added the extras.

West nearly scored after a forward pass at the wrong moment ended a good move but were pummelling the GHK line. A panic clearance gave West a lineout not far out and Darren Allan grounded from the base of the inevitable driving maul, Smith again converting.

West were well on the front foot and a break saw Fintan Cuthbertson tackled just short of the line. West then missed a penalty just before half-time but went in comfortably ahead.

But with one of the league’s most potent attacks GHK were not going to give up and, after James Harley was both injured and yellow carded, made the extra man count as Callum Kerr found a gap to score.

They then broke clear of the West defence, Michael Martin winning the foot race to the line to score in the corner. But both conversions were missed, leaving West 14-10 in front.

The yellow card over, West regained their first half form and battered the GHK line and when a defender dropped the ball near the line, Smith picked it up and muscled in to score.

He didn’t manage to convert his own try and GHK hit back after another West yellow card, this time to Darren Allan, when a poorly defended line out saw Robin Coates catch the ball with no marker and just had to amble in to score. Danny Campbell converted and it was now tight at 19-17.

Ghk then had a shot to win the match but Danny Campbell’s shot hit the post and West managed to scramble the ball away for a hard fought and very welcome win.