West of Scotland lose out to Whitecraigs

Whitecraigs RFC 28

West of Scotland FC 12

Premier League Division 2

West seemed to have the upper hand in the early stages against their south side rivals - but lost the plot in the middle two quarters of the game.

Although Whitecraigs took an early lead thanks to a penalty converted by Ryan Moffat, West overpowered their opponents forwards in both the scrum and maul.

It wasn’t long before centre Calum McConnell found the home line for a try. Ross McAulay missed the conversion but West had taken the lead at 5-3. Ex-West player Ally Stevenson, now back at Whitecraigs, kept the visitors on the back foot by kicking behind the attack and eventually the home side were rewarded pushing forward into West’s 22 for Jamie Christie to finally touched down from a driving maul – Moffat adding the extras.

Indeed Moffat kept the score board ticking over for the homeside with two further penalties to go into the half-time break 16-5.

With the wind behind them in the second half West stepped up a gear and made inroads into the Whitecraigs defence with a sustained period in the home half.

A gap was found in their defence by Neil Heron and McAulay was on hand to take the pass and score beside the posts.

He kicked his own conversion to take the score to 16– 2. A further attack from the kick off gave West another penalty which McAulay popped over to take the score to within one point.

Eager to turn the momentum they had gained into points West were perhaps guilty of losing their shape and forcing the game.

Often a knock on instead of a pass, a stolen ball in the ruck or a penalty to the opposition turned their attack into defence and it was the home side that worked its way into the West 22 and set up a sustained drive on the visitor’s line. Success eventually came with Moffat scoring under the posts. He converted his own try to take the score to 23–12.

This was repeated shortly after when another foray into the West half resulted in a drive over try touched down in the corner by Christie.

The conversion rebounded off the bar but the score now at 28–12 meant that West had a mountain to climb.

The final 15 minutes saw West pound the home line again and again but try as they might they could not find a way through.

A McAulay penalty was the sole consolation for what had been a lot of hard work. West now face a well at the bottom of the league that they are danger of falling into unless they can pull something out of the hat in the last three games.

Tomorrow (Saturday) West are at home to Peebles, kick off is 3pm.

West: Longwell, Kay, Simm, Cuthbertson, Kennedy, Thomson, McAulay, Walker, Russell, McAuley, McKenzie, Heron, McConnell, Horner, Sim. Replacements: Hunter, Morrison, Ross, Carmichael.