West of Scotland started the new league season on a winning note with a derby victory over Glasgow High Kelvinside at Burnbrae on Saturday.
GHK have had the upper hand recently against West and struck first.
After a short lineout and several phases, flanker Jeremy Hanks snuck in to score a try converted by Danny Campbell.
West hit back when a good break by Mark Jenkinson found Angus Thompson who released for Pete Burns to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but West were back in it.
As has been the pattern in recent exchanges, GHK had high class pacey backs and West had powerful forwards. West missed a try chance before some classic jackalling by Thompson won a penalty which Blair Smith slotted over to put West 8-7 in front.
West increased the lead when a lineout close to the line led to a driving maul and pushover try for Danny Dineen. Smith converted.
GHK weren’t able to live with West’s forward power and the score would have been more had passes not gone to hand.
The sides exchanged penalties - first Campbell scored in front of the posts for GHK then Smith restored the eight-point lead after GHK went off their feet. Another penalty for Smith then gave West a comfortable 21-10 half-time lead.
GHK tried to claw the score back after half time but excellent West defence stopped them. West extended the lead after a GHK yellow card led to a penalty which Smith once again converted.
But just when it was looking comfortable, GHK broke down the length of the field to find winger Scott Davidson who scored. The easy conversion was missed but it was back to 24-15.
However West were holding GHK at bay and scored possibly the try of the match when Robbie Greenhalgh went through six defenders to score, unconverted.
GHK pegged a try back when their winger outflanked the West defence and added another for their bonus point when they found an overlap and Mel Scott scored.