West of Scotland again get the better of Murrayfield at Burnbrae

Rowland Ossi outstrips the Murrayfield opposition as he races to the try-line (pic by John Cameron).
Rowland Ossi outstrips the Murrayfield opposition as he races to the try-line (pic by John Cameron).

West of Scotland saw off the challenge of Murrayfield Wanderers at Burnbrae on Saturday for the second time in two weeks.

Following their cup win a fortnight previously, West this time prevailed in a National League 3 encounter to build on their opening day at Orkney last week.

West went in their opening home game with a fuller complement of players than at Orkney.

But it was Wanderers who opened the scoring with a successful penalty shot by Lachlan Lee, but West missed a penalty a few minutes later so were right in it.

West were showing more attacking intent and went into the lead when a run through the middle by Jamie MacAulay split the defence.

He passed to Nicky Sutcliffe for a touch down under the posts which was converted by Dru Nicholson and West led 7-3.

After a strong scrum West looked as if they were about to score again. But they dropped the ball and flying winger Murrayfield Calum Marshall broke out and won the foot race to the line.

The conversion was missed but the visitors were back in the lead at 7-8.

If that seemed a fluke, Marshall proved otherwise when he won another foot race to the line after a defensive clearance. Again it was unconverted but it meant that West, who also then suffered a yellow card to Ally Doull for a punch, were 13-7 behind at half-time.

However after the break it was West winning a foot race with Rowland Ossi breaking clear and scoring, with Dru Nicholson converting to put West back in the lead at 14-13.

Murrayfield’s best tactic appeared to be to pass to Marshall and when they did just that, he completed a deserved hat trick. Once again there was no conversion but Wandies were now ahead again at 14-18.

West weren’t happy with affairs, however, and hit back, banging away at the Murrayfield line until a catch and drive was converted by Scott Cochrane at the base. No extras were added, but West led 19-18.

West pushed on and after another powerful catch and drive by Danny Dineen grounded, Nicholson converted to make it 26-18 with West’s try bonus in the bag.

This was always a close match though and Murrayfield won their own try bonus when, yet again, Marshall broke clear, this time passing to full-back Michael Pomphrey who scored in the corner.

Lachlan Lee landed the difficult conversion and the match was close again at 26-23 in the home side’s favour.

West weren’t finished though and after a passing move Alex Fisken battled through the defence and scored under the posts,

Nicholson was successful with the conversion, finishing the scoring for the day at 33-25.

It had been an enthralling game between two clubs who have been playing each other since the 19th century.

A Borders visit to St Boswells away next week awaits but West have started well and are one of four sides who have won both their league games so far.