West 34 v31 Preston Lodge
17th September 2016
West faced Preston Lodge on a sunny day at Burnbrae. PL gained promotion a year before West and have always been tough opponents, but have had a slow start in the league.
An early injury to scrum half Harry Brewster saw Mark Davis come on, alternating with Alex Fisken at scrum half. The team from Prestonpans were looking like the quality outfit West faced in the last few years, and went into the lead when Alan Whittingham scored in the corner. The conversion was missed, and West pegged back some points when Blair Smith converted a penalty to make it 3-5.
PL then looked good for a pushover try before knocking on at a crucial time, before West capitalised on a poor clearance to find Mark Davis who forced his way past the defence to score. No conversion, but West extended their lead when excellent work from Darren Allen and Mark Jenkinson found Ross McAulay who squeezed the ball over. West were now 15-12 up after Blair Smith converted.
PL hit back, after they found an overlap and Pete Johnstone scored in the corner. Robbie Griffin converted and it was tight at 15-12 to West at half time.
An excellent chip found PL winger Euan Higgins who didn't miss, unlike the conversion. Excellent defence from Mark Jenkinson repelled another PL foray, before they extended their lead when after Alex Fisken was yellow carded, a pick and drive found Jason Riley who touched down. Robbie Griffin converted and PL were looking as if they could take the match at 15-24.
West had other ideas and after Blair Smith ran the ball back from a poor PL clearance, the ball went through the hands to find Tom Gray who scored, with Blair Smith converting. West were closing in at 22-24.
PL increased their lead, however, with winger Euan Higgins finding an overlap to touch down in the corner, Robbie Griffin converting to stretch the lead to 22-31.
West pegged it back when Mark Jenkinson offloaded to Pete Burns who scored under the posts. Blair Smith converted and it was now very tight at 29-31, with the try bonus in the bag.
The clock was ticking down when PL had two chargedowns but couldn't make anything of them and then danger man Euan Higgins was yellow carded. West had an attacking maul near the line in the last minute, and spun the ball wide to Pete Burns who touched down on the overlap to finally win a dramatic match for West 34-31.
The 2s and 2As also had good wins to cap off an excellent afternoon for the red and yellow.
West: 1. Stuart MacDonald 2. Scott Carmichael 3. Neil Fullerton 4. Mark Jenkinson (c), 5. Colin McInally 6. Angus Thomson 7. Darren Allen 8. Fraser Smeaton 9. Harry Brewster 10. Ross McAulay 11. Calum Booth 12. Sandy McCallum 13. Blair Smith 14. Alex Fisken 15 Pete Burns. Subs 16 James Harley 17. Andy Love 18. Tom Grey 19. Mark Davis.