Ardrossan 16 -17 West
29th October 2016
West travelled to the Ayrshire coast to play Ardrossan Academicals, whose young team have been having a hard time of it recently. The match was between 3rd and 2nd bottom and if West could win, it would take them clear of the relegation zone.
The match started strongly for West, winning a penalty early on. Unfortunately it hit the post and Ardrossan cleared.
West succeeded in scoring when after a tap penalty and a series of pick and drives a clever switch out left found Sandy McCallum who scored confidently, Blair Smith converting to make it 0-7. Ardrossan's number 8 was yellow carded for a high tackle, and West capitalised when Andy Love found a big hole in the defence to score, Blair Smith again converting. 14-0 and West were feeling confident.
However, Ardrossan finally managed to get inside the West half and proceeded to give West some trouble. Firstly a long range penalty from Ruaridh Grayson then after good pressure an overlap found Bruce Hunter who scored in the corner, this time unconverted.
The weather took its turn to intervene, a heavy drizzle making the ball like a bar of soap. Fraser Smeaton was closing on the line when the ball slipped out of his hands and then a Blair Smith penalty made it 8-17 at half time.
Ardrossan picked up the pace in the second half and found an overlap, centre Ruaridh Anderson outpacing the West defence. The conversion was missed but it was getting closer at 13-17.
West then hit back with a series of lineouts and driving mauls from 5m out. Despite suffering another yellow card, Ardossan managed to hold out and when West elected to take a scrum penalty just in front of the posts instead of going for goal, Ardrossan managed to win the scrum against the head.
The drizzle was now even heavier and Ardrossan's Ruaridh Grayson managed to succeed with a penalty to close up the scores to 16-17. This was now a cliff hanger and the last 10 minutes were spent just inside the West half with Ardrossan trying hard without success to breach the West defence.
A relieved West team are now sitting mid table in 8th with table-anchoring neighbours Hillhead Jordanhill visiting Burnbrae next Saturday.
West: 1. Billy Dineen 2. Stuart MacDonald 3. Andy Love 4. Tom Grey, 5. Mark Jenkinson (c) 6. Angus Thomson 7. Darren Allen 8. Fraser Smeaton 9. Richard Tran 10. Ross McAulay 11. Calum Booth 12 Sandy McCallum 13. Blair Smith 14. Ross Carnegie 15 Alex Fisken. Subs 16 Mark Vallance 17. Glen Sutherland 18. Jack Urquhart 19. Donald Wilson.