West of Scotland went down 38-26 to Cartha Queen’s Park in their first league match back in National Division 2 at Burnbrae on Saturday.
The visitors scored first in the drizzle with a kick and chase finding former Ugandan international Tony Nyanweso who touched down, Wayne Burrows converting.
West hit back after Fraser Smeaton scored off the base of an excellent driving maul, the conversion not finding its mark.
Cartha led 7-5 and increased their lead after a driving maul near the line was initially defended but they passed wide and a neat reverse pass found centre Garret Doughty who found a gap in the defence. Wayne Burrows converted and it was now 14-5.
Mark Davis then made an excellent run only to be brought down illegally. A penalty and yellow card followed and Smeaton once again scored off the base of a driving maul, Blair Smith this time converting.
West made the best of the man advantage, with several scrums against the head. A penalty hit the posts before Ross McAulay went through the defence by sheer determination, Smith converting to make it 19-14.
However, Cartha hit back once they were back to 15 and a Thomas Davidson try, converted by Mark Barrowman, put the Dumbreck side 21-19 ahead at half time.
Cartha suffered a second yellow card for a high tackle after half time, but West couldn’t capitalise and Cartha increased their lead when, after a period of pressure, scrum-half Davidson snuck over in the corner to score unconverted.
It was West’s turn to go down to 14 after Andy Love was carded after a maul was brought down. Cartha capitalised after scoring off a driving maul, the conversion being missed.
West wanted at least a try bonus and it came when, after the ball went through the hands, Mark Davis found a gap in the defence, Smith converting. But Cartha are no mugs and denied West the bonus when lock Graham Williamson stumbled in a try converted to make the final score 38-26.