BT National League Three



By Danny McGreish

A TRIP to the west end of Glasgow was on the cards for Ardrossan Accies for their latest league fixture.

And given the respective placings of both teams, the travelling Accies support was reasonably optimistic of an away win, but they were to be disappointed.

On a dry Hughenden pitch Jack Anderson kicked off the match for Accies, good harassing play by Ewan Thomson and Kyle Wood was rewarded by Accies being given the first scrum of the match. Within two minutes, Accies were forced to use their bench when Callum McKechnie had to be withdrawn after being injured through being tackled late. A penalty was awarded and a kick to touch for an attacking lineout, a good catch by Martin Henry released the backs where Andy Duncan drove through the middle of the home defence to score in three minutes. The conversion was missed.

Accies increased their lead in seven minutes after Gordon Telfer went in for a try following a good handling move along the line; Jack Anderson converted to put Accies 12 points in front.

At this stage it looked like the home side were in for a torrid afternoon but for some unexplainable reason, the visitors capitulated.

In 14 minutes, the home side launched a speculative kick upfield and not for the first time in the game the Accies defence dithered to clear the ball ,allowing the "Hills" captain Owen Gemmel to gather and score. The conversion by Euan Brown was good. They further extended their points in 20 minutes after right wing Jimmy Griffith caught a clever cross field kick and went in at the corner. Euan Brown converted to put his side two points ahead.

The visitors defence was becoming very porous as the home backs exploited an alarming inability by some Accies players to tackle their opposite number. On the half hour Accies lost a scrum inside the home 22 and the ball was passed to Ciaran Halliday who sprinted the length of the field before being tackled just short of the Accies line, but good support play by Connor Ferguson allowed him to gather the ball and go in for the try. The conversion was good.

The visitors were now on the back foot as they struggled to get into the match. Clearance kicks were not finding touch and they were also being penalised regularly for a variety of offences. From a penalty in 35 minutes, Brown put his side on 22 points.

Straight for the restart kick off, a yellow card was given to home number four Chris Warnock for taking an Accies player out while in the air. Even with a numerical advantage the visitors were still struggling and when they did get open ball, the preferred option was to kick ahead and chase rather than commit into physical contact. Another Hillhead penalty in 55 minutes increased their lead to 13 points.

Accies scored on the hour after a Stewart Lewis break took play close to the home line and recycled ball found Andy Duncan who went in for the try. The conversion was good to put Accies on 19 points.

From the restart kick, the visitors were again penalised and up stepped Brown to add another three points. Five minutes later he added another after Accies had been " pinged " for the ninth time.

The visitors' miserable afternoon was further compounded when Andy Duncan was yellow carded with 11 minutes left.

With the clock ticking down Accies had a chance to score. From a driving maul it appeared that they had gone over but the referee decided that the ball had been held up and no score given.

This was a pretty abject performance by an Ardrossan team who looked totally disjointed, far too many penalties ,some players just did not perform and there are others who were defensively weak. After the first 10 minutes Accies not only took their foot off the gas but turned the engine off as well with the hosts worthy winners.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton; S Docherty, Innes Frazer, M Henry, E Thomson, K Wood, S Campbell, G Telfer, S Lewis,

J Anderson,C McKechnie, B Hunter, R Hunter, M Gaetano, A Duncan, G Lewis, R Anderson, A McDonald, L Maxwell.