West 15 - 34 Kelso
15th October 2016
West took on Kelso who were relegated from National 1 last year, West being promoted from National 3. This time last year there was a two league gap between the teams, and in the first half it showed.
The touch judges were visiting referees from Leicester who were in Glasgow to see the Tigers game, and with both teams' consent they ran the line and had a 4th official with full wireless communications.
However, at the start of the game they had little to do, Kelso being utterly dominant. First a break off the back of the lineout by no 8 Ian Wallace scored and was converted, then after Richie Tran was yellow carded prop Colin Arthur rumbled over the line, again converted by Phil Hume.
An accidental clash of heads saw Ross MacAulay leave the field with a bad nosebleed, requiring stitches and he didn't return, forcing West into a makeshift midfield.
Kelso's other prop Rhys Morgan ran in after a series of pick and drives, this time unconverted, and Kelso had the bonus point in the bag when a well angled run from Ian Wallace saw him score his second try. Ian Hume converted the try and added a penalty and Kelso were leading 0-29.
A high tackle gave West a penalty and Blair Smith scored to make the halftime score 3-29.
The second half saw Kelso pick off where they left off with a smart passing move finding winger Arran Jackson who scored in the corner. But that was Kelso's scoring done for the afternoon, and it was West making all the headway after that.
Mark Sim had looked West's best player all match and his powerful break out of defence went through the hands to eventually find Alex Fisken on the wing to touch down in the corner. A Kelso player said something to the referee, the touch judge being neutral was allowed to report it and a red card resulted. Blair Smith hit the post with the conversion.
Another series of smart passes found Blair Smith on the overlap. He rounded the defence, scored under the posts and drop kicked his own conversion. West were trying to get back in the match and two more Kelso players were yellow carded, but Kelso's 12 men held out for what in the end was a convincing win, despite the 2nd half dramas.
West: 1. Neil Fullerton 2. Stuart MacDonald 3. Billy Dineen 4. Tom Grey, 5. Mark Jenkinson (c) 6. Angus Thomson 7. Craig McCall 8. Fraser Smeaton 9. Richard Tran 10. Ross McAulay 11. Calum Booth 12 Jack Urquhart 13. Blair Smith 14. Ross Carnegie 15 Mark Sim. Subs 16 Sean Hendry 17. James Harley 18. Alex Fisken 19. Andrew Goodall.