West of Scotland open season with GHK cup derby

Wests Alex Fisken tries to resist a Falkirk tackle as team-mate James Harley lends a hand.
Wests Alex Fisken tries to resist a Falkirk tackle as team-mate James Harley lends a hand.

A new rugby season gets under way for West of Scotland on Saturday when they take on GHK in the first round of the BT Cup at Burnbrae.

It was the makings of a cup cracker between the two sides preparing for a higher grade of rugby after gaining promotion from National Division 3 last season.

Matches between the two city rivals were very competitive with GHK winning 37-19 at home and only just edging through 23-17 at Burnbrae.

Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm.

West, whose league opener is at home to Cartha Queen’s Park next Saturday, earned a creditable draw away to National League Division 1 side Falkirk last Saturday.

West, preparing for their Division 2 campaign following last season’s promotion, were facing a side who themselves won promotion last season.

The home side began in what they felt was lacklustre fashion, but it became increasingly obvious West meant business and it came as no surprise when they opened up their account in the 12th minute.

Putting together some promising phases of play, West surged into Falkirk’s 22 metre area and set their back division in motion with stand-off Ross McAulay scything through some weak Falkirk defending for a deserved converted try, Blair Smith adding the extras.

Falkirk responded just three minutes later when, following good interplay near West’s goal line, left-winger Angus Rennie came in off his berth to take the scoring pass from the resultant five metre ruck under West’s posts. Liam Brims added the conversion.

Retaliating seven minutes before the end of the half, West’s pack got the better of their opposites when they drove over from a ruck on Falkirk’s five metre line for another try, scored by Fraser Smeaton. Smith once more converted, giving the visitors a 14-7 lead at half-time.

A forceful and positive start saw Falkirk draw level within five minutes of the resumption when lock forward David Stoddart stormed in under West’s uprights. Brims converted.

West went ahead for a third time as they caught Falkirk napping with a breakaway try from Andy Goodall, Smith again converting.

But with only 10 minutes remaining a run from Andrew Hamilton deep in West’s last quarter of the field paved the way for Connor Faulds to take possession and canter in under the posts, Brims again converting to tie the match.