Rugby: West of Scotland keep up winning run at Haddingston

Jack Gemmell about to score for West (pic by Gordon Cairns).
Jack Gemmell about to score for West (pic by Gordon Cairns).

West of Scotland maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable victory at Haddington on Saturday, reports Gordon Cairns.

The Milngavie side made it five wins out of five in National League 3 so far and are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent record.

Although Haddington have not started the season well, West were taking nothing for granted since the East Lothian outfit have often beaten them at home in the past.

The Haddington pitch is very unusual in that one half is fairly flat but the other half slopes sharply towards the touchline. In addition, a blustery West wind did not help make playing conditions easy.

Haddington had a big pack and didn’t give West much change in the first 20 minutes.

They pegged away at West and eventually scored through a scrum half sneak from Cameron Simpson in the corner. Full-back Alex Ferguson converted to put the home side 7-0 up.

However West hit back when an excellent breakout from Jamie McAulay found Jacob Seim who scored under the posts.

Half-back partner Dru Nicholson added the extras for the visitors to level the scores at 7-7.

West forced themselves into the match and an excellent pick up and burst through the defence from new recruit Scott Mills saw him power through the defence to score, converted by Nicholson to make it 14-7 in their favour at half-time.

West were against the wind in the second half but scored quickly, Craig McCall charging down and grounding under the posts. Nicholson again converted to make the advantage more comfortable at 21-7.

Haddington were using the wind and trying to get back into the match but the West defence held out.

And it was the visitors who scored next, adding their fourth and bonus point try when a good break found Calum Booth who scored under the posts. Nicholson slotted over the extras for a 28-7 lead.

Haddington managed another score when winger James Dewar successfully chip chased to score under the posts, but he inexplicably fluffed a drop conversion and it stayed 28-12.

West winger Rowland Ossi nearly scored a breakaway but the sharp camber helped the defender push him into touch.

The home side were tiring with West making the headway and adding another try right at the end when a powerful run from Ally Doull found Craig McCall who released Jack Gemmell to touch down. This conversion was a kick too far, but West ran out 33-12 winners.

All the other top teams won so West are still second in the table, just behind Newton Stewart on points difference. Neighbours Hillhead/Jordanhill visit Burnbrae next Saturday for what should be an intriguing derby match.

West: 1 Neil Fullarton, 2 Dylan Dawson, 3 Andy Love, 4 James Harley, 5 Kieran Grant, 6 Alastair Doull, 7 Craig McCall, 8 Jamie McAulay, 9 Jacob Siems, 10 Dru Nicholson, 11 Calum Booth, 12 Nicky Sutcliffe, 13 Scott Mills, 14 Alexander Fisken, 15 Harry Brewster. Subs: 16 Peter Rhodes, 17 Jack Gemmell, 18 Mark Sim, 19 Rowland Ossi.