West 17-15 Aberdeenshire
A strong West team faced Aberdeenshire, conditions cold but calm and relatively dry. Early exchanges saw West better in the breakdown but Aberdeenshire passing more fluently, but the visitors were pegged inside their own half for long periods. West's lineout is usually good but they managed to overthrow five in a row early on.
West scored first, a maul moving forwards about 10m and when it broke down, West went through the Aberdeenshire defence, Robbie Greenhaugh nearly scoring before passing to Mark Jenkinson who did score. Blair Smith landed the conversion and West led 7-0.
Another good West move saw Ross MacAulay nearly score but the ball didn't reach its intended recipient and then after a West interception another move nearly scored but the visitors' defence stopped it just short of the line.
Aberdeenshire managed a foray into the West half shortly before half time and capitalised on the territory when a smart passing move found winger Luke Taylor who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed and West led 7-5 at the break.
The visitors then struck again after half time, a big hole opening up in the West defence and full back Nigel Coe breaking through the tackles to score under the posts. This conversion wasn't missed and Aberdeenshire nosed in front 7-12.
A series of West penalties saw Sandy McCallum yellow carded and then a Paul Paxton penalty increase the visitors' lead to 7-15. This was proving tough going for West as tails were going down. However, West won a lineout about 8m out and normal service was resumed with Fraser Smeaton scoring off the back of a powerful driving maul for a classic pushover try. West were now in striking distance after the conversion was missed at 12-15.
It was now a confidence game and West took the points when another driving maul was stopped short of the line but several pick and drives found Mark Jenkinson who was not to be stopped. That was it for the scoring, West holding out for a 17-15 win.
Victory against Ardrossan at Burnbrae next Saturday will guarantee Premier 2 rugby for another season, and West climbed two places after the Aberdeenshire result.
West: 1. Billy Dineen, 2. Darren Allen, 3. Glen Sutherland, 4. Tom Grey, 5. Mark Jenkinson, 6. Craig Mc Coll, 7. Jamie McAulay, 8. Angus Thomson, 9. Richie Tran, 10. Ross McAulay, 11. Alex Fisken, 12. Blair Smith, 13. Robbie Greenhaugh, 14. Ross Carnegie 15. Calum Booth. Substitutes 16: Stuart MacDonald, 17. Danny Dineen, 18 Fraser Smeaton, 19. Sandy McCallum