West of Scotland maintained their winning start to the National League 3 campaign with a comprehensive win over Carrick, writes Alan Patterson.
The match against the South Ayrshire side at Burnbrae on Saturday is thought to have been the first ever 1st XV fixture between the sides.
Conditions were good, sunny but a bit blustery and West were quick to get started, scrum half Jacob Seims sniping well early on.
Carrick - promoted to the National League after winning last season’s West Division 1 title - were up against it and the hosts made the breakthrough after sustained pressure, Jamie McAulay finding a gap to score.
Dru Nicholson converted and soon after landed a penalty shot after several strong West scrums, to give the Milngavie side a 10-0 lead.
and it was 10-0.
West were overpowering Carrick in the forwards and after a driving maul Dylan Matthews wriggled through the defence to score a second try with Nicholson, having a good game with the boot, again adding the extras.
Then Dru Nicholson executed a lovely delayed pass to Jamie McAulay who did the hard work, breaking the defence so that Nicky Sutcliffe had only to touch down to score. Nicholson again converted and Weest had a 24-0 advantage at half-time.
West were totally dominant in the scrum and McAulay scored off the base of a driving scrum; unconverted on this occasion but West had their try bonus at 29-0.
Another break off the back of a powerful scrum then saw Calum Booth score, Nicholson converting to make it 36-0.
Then, for many, the highlight of the match came when James Harley chipped forward, followed it up, booted ahead and grounded in what seemed like slow motion to score a rare try.
James does a lot of hard work in the pack, but will never be a winger. Nicholson converted and the lead was 43-0.
Shortly after, Carrick ran out of props and scrums became uncontested. They have a lively set of backs and once they had some ball, they woke up, prop Andrew McColm managing to force his way over the line twice after Carrick pressure, one of the tries converted by Greg Montgomery.
They were now showing what they could do and a sweeping move saw John Dewar score in the corner, again converted by Montgomery.
Right at the end they nearly got their bonus when their winger dropped the ball when he looked to have a clear run in to score, but the final score saw West win comfortably 43-19.
West are now second in the league on points difference to Newton Stewart and have a good young team which is now starting to look fluent. Next week sees an away trip to Haddington, who are currently anchoring the table.
West: 1 Peter Rhodes, 2 Danny Dineen, 3 Andy Love, 4 Scott Cochrane, 5 James Harley, 6 Marc Zoma, 7 Craig McCall, 8 Jamie McAulay, 9 Jacob Siems, 10 Dru Nicholson, 11 Dylan Matthews, 12 Nicky Sutcliffe, 13 Gareth Hopkins, 14 Calum Booth, 15 Harry Brewster. Subs: 16 Dylan Dawson, 17 Neil Fullarton, 18 Jack Gemmell, 19 Matthew Irvine.