BT National League Two



by Danny McGreish

ACCIES' opponents at Memorial Field on Saturday were East Lothian club Preston Lodge.

With six places and 41 points separating both sides in the league table and the home side in the relegation zone, a victory for the visitors could be expected but Accies had other ideas.

Preston Lodge kicked off the match attacking towards the Pavilion end , Gordon Telfer caught the ball which was transferred quickly to Jack Anderson to punt long upfield. The visitors launched an attack down the right but "knocked on", giving the home side the first scrum.

Accies produced a good attacking move in five minutes after Andy Duncan released Grant Lewis who sprinted up the left wing but his kick ahead and chase to the try line was thwarted by the visiting full back who managed to get the touch down.

The hosts were beginning to fall foul of the referee, giving the visitors chances to get points, but their kicker was unable to find accuracy in his attempts.

With 20 minutes gone, both sides had parity in both possession and territory but the flow of the match was being regularly disrupted by the number of penalties being called by the match official.

The stalemate was eventually broken on the half hour after Jack Anderson was successful with a penalty attempt to put Accies 3-0 ahead.

The hosts were beginning to apply pressure inside their opponents' half and a Calum McKechnie burst up the right wing came very close to scoring, but his inside pass to Robert Hunter was spilled with the line beckoning and the chance lost.

Accies' pressure was eventually rewarded in 37 minutes when Ben Hamilton finished off a driving maul to touch down, the conversion was good to put Accies 10 points in front.

The home side's pack were beginning to get the better of their much larger opponents and the foraging play of Milan Marinkovic in particular was a constant threat to the visitors

Straight from the restart, Accies were awarded a penalty in front of the visitors' posts but instead of taking the three points on offer they took a quick tap but the ball was nudged forward in the transfer, giving Preston Lodge a scrum.

The home pack drove their opponents back and then a wonderful bit of ingenuity from Anderson saw him cross kick 30 metres into the grasp of Lewis to go in for the score. Anderson also converted a very difficult kick.

The hosts were dominating all aspects of the match and with 15 minutes of the half gone, the visitors had been unable to get into the home half.

Accies were opting for scrums rather than kicking penalties such was their confidence, they really should have scored twice in succession but the mist of "white-line fever" came over two close attempts on the Preston Lodge line.

Stuart Docherty retired injured and was replaced by Scott Campbell in the Accies front row.

Accies scored their third try in 24 minutes after the visiting full-back made a mess of clearing the ball inside his 22. From an attacking scrum, the ball was transferred quickly to Andy Duncan who offloaded to Robert Hunter to go in at the corner. The conversion was missed.

They further extended their lead six minutes later after Stuart Lewis broke up the blind side and his pass outside released McKechnie who stepped inside the cover defence and sprinted in for the try. Jack Anderson converted.

With 10 minutes remaining, Accies brought on Ruaridh Grayston, Ruaridh Anderson and Jamie Thomson.

Anderson finished off the match with another penalty.

Accies thoroughly deserved their bonus point win, as they probably put in their best performance to date.

Former Club President, Captain and scrum-half Owen Phillips named Milan Marinkovic as man-of-the match.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton; I Totic, S Docherty, E Thomson, D Alexander, S Lamont (captain), M Marinkovic, G Telfer,

S.Lewis, J Anderson, G Lewis ,R Hunter, B Hunter, C McKechnie, A Duncan, Subs: S Campbell, J Thomson, R Anderson, R Grayston (all used).