West of Scotland got their National League 3 campaign off to a winning start with a 25-17 over Carrick at a sunny Burnbrae on Saturday.
West’s line-up was stronger than the one which lost heavily to Lasswade in the cup the previous week with a number of stalwarts returning.
West made a bright start and some of the issues from the previous week looked to have been ironed out right from the start. The scrum was much stronger, and the passing slicker.
West went into the lead when Scott Cochrane powered through the Carrick defence to release Graeme Wallace on the wing who scored unconverted.
West were passing well but allowed Carrick to start a foot race which scrum half Conor Turnbell won, equalising at 5-5 with no conversion.
West were making good moves but not converting them to points. An attempted offload in an attacking position went straight to Carrick who went down the pitch in a near repeat of their first try, Turnbell grounding again, this time converted by John Fulton for a 12-5 lead.
Not the score West wanted but they were having none of it. A driving maul went forward 10 metres, it was passed out, then passed in for Cochrane to sneak over. Sean Cardin converted and the scores were level at 12-12.
Just before half-time another powerful maul saw Cochrane score off the base, Cardin again converting.
Things were much tighter after the break. Carrick nearly scored when their winger dropped the ball when about to score.
Carrick then had a player yellow carded for dissent and West had a penalty in front of the posts which Cardin converted to make it 22-12.
Near the end Carrick pegged a try back when winger Russell McCulloch scored unconverted. Things were tight at 22-17 so when West won a penalty for a high tackle, Cardin took the shot and scored.