West stay top despite narrow defeat

This top of the table clash just before Christmas was a game that lived up to its billing with both teams putting in a massive effort.

West started brightly with a sustained attack on the Preston Lodge line that saw scrum half Alex Fisken popping through a gap to score. Blair Smith converted to take West into an early 0-7 lead. This was short lived, however, as the home side used a good pop up pass from a tackle inside the West half allowed a breach of the West defence – allowing them to balance the score since the conversion by their stand off Cameron Simpson was successful.

West regained the lead when a penalty put to touch saw a great take from Mark Jenkinson and a drive to the line. James Harley touching down but the conversion was missed. This was extended further when a good drive into the opposition 22m sucked in the home defence and the ball was moved to winger Fintan Cuthberston who scored in the corner. Again the conversion was missed. With the possibility of the game slipping away from them the home side redoubled their efforts winning a converted try and a penalty to take the score to and even 17–17 at the half time whistle.

Preston Lodge got on the scoreboard first with an unconverted try, but their lead didn’t last long as West came back with a converted try of their own which crucially gained a try bonus point.

This, however, was to be the last score by West and it was two late on penalties by the home side which saw them put another six points on the board through the excellent kicking of their stand off Graeme Patterson to give them the narrow win.

Despite this defeat West are still two points clear at the top of the league. West start their 2015 part of the season in January with games against Dumfries Saints and Lasswade.

West Team: Iain Henderson, Scott Carmichael, Andy Love, Mark Jenkinson, James Harley, Darren Allan, Angus Thomson, Fraser Smeaton, Alex Fisken, Ross McAulay, Ross Carnegie, Jamie McAulay, Blair Smith, Fintan Cuthbertson, Mark Sim. Subs: Stuart McDonald, Andy Ritchie, Thomas Grey, Ritchie Tran.