West lose to Peebles in close match
Peebles v West 8/10/16
Result: 38 -34
The fact that 11 tries were scored in this game at the Gytes sports ground in Peebles indicates the ding dong nature of the match. Unfortunately the extra try was scored by the home side and West came away with another disappointing loss with the only consolation being the two bonus points gained.
West definitely had the better start – keeping the home side in their own half for the first 20 minutes of the game. With the set scrums tending to be in West favour the home side found the pressure difficult and tended to be harried into a number of mistakes and poor clearance kicks. Eventually this pressure paid off when, after a number of rucks on the Peebles line, scrum half Alex Fisken pounced on a gap to score just beside the posts. Blair Smith duly converted to give West a 7 point lead.
From the kick off Peebles finally found some time in the visitors half and it was West’s turn to defend their line. A number of penalties conceded by West did not help their cause with kicks to touch being driven on the West line. West defended well but eventually a break down in front of the posts saw the Peebles hooker Ryan McConnell power over between the posts. The conversion by their stand off Greg Raeburn took the scores level at 7 all.
From the kick off Peeble again rumbled progressively into the West 22 but an excellent clearance kick by West stand off Ross McAulay to touch well into the home half gave some relief. Peebles moved the ball across the park but an excellent opportunistic interception by West centre Jack Urquart saw him gleefully trot between the posts to give West the lead again. Blair Smith converted to take the score to 7 – 14. Yet again however the West penalty count started to play against them allowing the home side to use the line out drive to good effect. One of these resulted in a touch down by their second row Ross Brown out wide. The conversion was missed but the home side came back within touching distance at 12 – 14. West managed to finish the half again on the attack and were rewarded with a penalty to increase the half time lead to 12 – 17.
The half time talk by the Peebles coach certainly had an effect as they came out at the start of the half with all guns blazing. Three tries to the home side in the first twenty minutes (the second admittedly a gift by West) had West reeling and the home side in front by 33 – 17. However West regained their composure and got back into the Peebles half. A good break through the middle by Ross McAulay and a pop pass to Jack Urquart saw a touch down by Jack under the posts. Smith converted to bring the score back to 33 – 24. West continued from the kick off to pressure the Peebles line and it was a quick dart by replacement scrum half Richard Tran that got another score. Unfortunately the conversion was missed but West were back in the game at 33 – 29 and a bonus point.
The last 15 minutes was a nervous affair with both teams trying to get the crucial score and it was Peebles who found the break up the wing and an overlap (and what many of the West loyal support were convinced was a forward pass) saw them score in the corner. The conversion missed but Peebles now fairly secure at 38 - 29. With only minutes to go West found themselves in the home 5 metres and a couple of penalties put to touch saw them eventually drive over the line to gain the extra losing bonus point.
Final score 38 -34. The three tries scored by Peebles at the start of the second half meant that West were chasing the game from then on and they did so valiantly. A home game this Saturday against Kelso (KO 3 pm) will give them another chance to gain that vital win but there are no easy games in this league.
West team: Stuart MacDonald, Neil Fullerton, Glen Sutherland, Colin McInally, Mark Jenkinson, , Angus Thomson, Craig MCall, Fraser Smeaton, Andrew Goodall, Alex Fisken, Ross McAulay, Jack Urquart, Blair Smith, Calum Booth, Ross Carnegie, Peter Burns.
Replacements: James Harley, Rory Cuthbertson, Mark Vallance, Richard Tran.