West 19-17 GHK
West faced neighbours GHK in what has become a Switchback Series. This was the 3rd matchup between the teams - West won the early season cup tie, GHK won under the lights at Old Anniesland and a bright cold day welcomed the teams for a series decider.
The match started with a series of turnovers, neither side making inroads into the other's defence. West were looking the better in the forwards with a strong scrum and dangerous driving maul. However, the first score came from a series of West pick and drives towards the GHK line, finishing in a pushover try from Billy Dineen. Blair Smith confidently added the extras for a welcome 7-0 lead.
West won a series of penalties, the GHK having a lecture from the ref, but no yellow card as often happens after so many infringements. Ross McAulay went off injured with the back line shuffling up one and Blair Smith taking over as out half.
West nearly scored after a forward pass at the wrong moment ended a good move but were pummelling the GHK line. A panic clearance gave West a lineout not far out and Darren Allan grounded from the base of the inevitable driving maul, Blair Smith again converting to stretch the lead to 14-0.
West were well on the front foot at this stage and a break saw Fintan Cuthbertson tackled just short of the line. West missed a penalty just before half time but went in comfortably ahead.
GHK have one of the potent attacks in the league and were not going to give up. A lineout infringement saw James Harley both injured and yellow carded, GHK making the extra man count as Callum Kerr found a gap to score. No conversion, however. They then broke clear of the West defence, Michael Martin winning the foot race to the line to score in the corner. The conversion was missed again, kicking being the difference between the two sides at this point with the score now 14-10.
The yellow card over, West regained their first half form and battered the GHK line. GHK just managed to defend two good West attacks before a defender dropped the ball near the line, Blair Smith picked it up and muscled in to score. He didn't manage to convert his own try but West now led 17-10.
GHK hit back after another West yellow card, this time to Darren Allan, when a poorly defended line out saw Robin Coates catch the ball with no marker and just had to amble in to score. Danny Campbell converted this one and it was now tight at 19-17.
Only 5 minutes left and this was a cliff hanger. West were picking and driving their way out of the GHK half when a penalty was awarded to the visitors. Danny Campbell had a shot for the match winner but hit the post. West managed to scramble the ball away for a hard fought and very welcome win.
West: 1. Neil Fullarton, 2. Darren Allan, 3. . Billy Dineen, 4. James Harley, 5. Mark Jenkinson, 6. Tom Grey, 7. Jamie MacAulay, 8. Angus Thomson, 9. Alex Fisken, 10. Ross McAulay, 11. Fintan Cuthbertson, 12. Sandy McCallum, 13. Blair Smith, 14. Ross Carnegie, 15. Mark Sim. Substitutes 16: Glen Sutherland, 17. Stuart MacDonald, 18 Colin McInally, 19. Robbie Greenhaulgh