West Rugby FC 17
Preston Lodge 32
A young West side still have a lot to learn as this top of the table clash showed with Preston Lodge’s reputation as a tough phusical side winning through.
West started enterprisingly, when Ross McAulay tried a speculative drop goal, followed by a penalty - but no points.
Preston went ahead from a pushover try which was converted. The breakdown was strongly contested by both sides and a penalty for hands in the ruck was converted by the visitors to go 10 points up.
Mark Sim knocked on after a good passing move when close to the line and another Sim chip forward saw Preston scramble the ball away. A series of pick and drives for the home side followed which ended in Preston’s Blair Cowan yellow carded for tackling a man off the ball.
A good sweeping move was then put into touch by West near the corner flag and a quick thinking Ian Henderson found Mark Jenkinson who scored. The conversion was missed.
Ian Henderson found another gap in the defence for James Harley to score a rare try - this time converted by Ross McAuley for a half time lead of 12-10.
However shortly after half time Preston found an overlap to score in the corner, which was converted. Then came the turning point of the game. West kicked forward to test the opposing full back whose handling had looked shaky. He knocked on but Graham Carmichael shoulder charged him and was sin binned as a result.
Preston exploited their extra man with an overlap to score, and convert to go 12-24 up. They then edged further in front from a penalty given for not rolling away. The side from Prestonpans were now in the ascendancy and took a tap penalty near the line, went through several phases and scored, converted, to bring up their bonus point, 12-34.
West did not totally cave in and two excellent runs from Alex Fisken interspersed by a neat one-two with Richie Tran released Andy Love who scored an unconverted try in the corner just before the final whistle.
West: MacDonald, Carmichael, Love, McLaren, Jenkinson, Thomson, Allan 8. Graham Carmichael 9. Alex Fisken 10. Ross McAulay 11. Mark Sim 12. Jamie McAulay (c) 13. Scott Hunter 14. Leask Carnegie 15. Fintan Cuthbertson Subs: lan Henderson, Neil Fullerton , James Harley, Richie Tran