West of Scotland FC 53
West ran out for the first league match of the new season in front of a brand new electronic scoreboard named after former honorary President Frank Hogarth, donated by his family. Fortunately for West, the scoreboard was very busy with West running up most of the points.
Initial exchanges were cagey with some handling errors but Mark Sim made a good break and kicked forward for Fintan Cuthbertson to touch down. Ross MacAulay converted to make it 7-0.
Dunfermline’s David O’Donnell then converted a penalty which turned out to be the away team’s only score of the afternoon to peg it back to 7-3.
The match did not stay tight for long. Ross MacAulay scored with a penalty to make it 10-3 and West started some fluent passing moves after that. The first was knocked on just short of Dunfermline’s line and then Neil Fullerton was sin binned. But West then scored a somewhat bizarre try. Jamie MacAulay made a telling interception and passed to his brother Ross who was tackled grounding the ball, which was knocked loose. However, Scott Hunter was following up to touch down and a relieved Ross MacAulay converted to make it 17-3.
Leask Carnegie made a good run up the wing which ended with Dunfermline scrum five after some desperate defence. West then dominated the following scrums which were reset twice, but pushed the Dunfermline pack for a strike against the head on the third engagement, with Richie Tran passing off the back of the scrum to Andy Love, who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed but West were now leading 22-3.
Dunfermline’s handling was poor and Mark Sim intercepted but couldn’t quite control it. The ball ending up in touch on the Dunfermline 22. The lineout was overthrown and Darren Allen picked up the ball and after several phases Ross MacAulay found a gap in the defence to score. He converted his own try to make it 29-3 at the turnaround.
The second half was a re-run of the first half with West piling on another 24 points.
This was an excellent West performance and things are looking bright for this season. The team has moved on from last year and with both the 2nd XV and the under 18s also having good wins, there was definitely a feel good factor at Burnbrae.
West: Fullerton, Henderson, Love, McLaren, Sharkie, Harley, Allen, Carmichael, Tran, MacAulay, Sim, MacAulay (c), Hunter, Carnegie, Cuthbertson. Replacements: Carmichael, Smeaton, Smith, Cochrane.