BT National League Three



By Danny McGreish

ACCIES' opponents at Memorial Field were Edinburgh club Murrayfield Wanderers and a close match was in prospect.

Both clubs have won four of their last five games, so a keenly contested fixture was anticipated.

Accies were without both second row forwards Martin Henry and Stewart McMaster due to work commitments and Stewart Lamont is still unavailable through injury.

In pleasant conditions the visitors kicked off and the ball went over the dead-ball line, giving Accies a scrum on the centre line.

A Gordon Telfer pick-up at number eight started an attack down the right, but the ball was spilled giving the visitors a scrum. The big visiting eight exerted pressure on the Accies pack and were awarded a penalty. A kick to touch and a good catch and drive by the visiting pack saw them go over but the referee decided that the ball had been "held up".

Another scrum for the visitors - a pick- up and drive by Logan Thom saw them cross the line but again the ball was " held up".

Accies were defending desperately for the opening 15 minutes and it was total domination both in territory and possession for the visitors. Accies were on the back foot as they struggled to cope with the hard running and close support of their much bigger opponents.

Accies got into their opponents' 22 but were penalised for not releasing in the tackle. Number 10 Murray Hastie put in a good touch kick to give his side an attacking lineout. A good catch and quick hands saw the ball spun wide for outside centre Alex Godsmark to break through the Accies' defence to send Murray Hastie in for their first try, Hastie also converted to put his side 7-0 ahead after 20 minutes.

Two minutes later, Accies drew level after Gordon Telfer picked up at the base of the scrum and released Andy Duncan to burst through attempted tackles to score. Jack Anderson converted.

The Edinburgh club extended their lead in 28 minutes after they took an Accies line out ball. Poor defending allowed the ball to transfer to the right wing for Michael Pomphery to score and the conversion was missed.

Kyle Wood retired injured for Accies and the pack had to be re-shuffled with Maxwell coming into the front row and McNulty moving to the number five position.

When the visitors attacked they were continually putting two men in front of the ball carrier, so preventing being tackled but the referee was not penalising it. From such an occurrence they scored a third try with one minute remaining, when David Hampton touched down and Hastie converted.

Accies kicked off the second half and began to get much more possession. They had a couple of near chances but were guilty of not releasing when tackled. Bruce Hunter and Stewart Lewis both came close but the final pass went astray.

Accies winger Calum Mckechnie prevented a certain try when after a Murrayfield surge up the right wing, he produced a text book tackle to stop the ball carrier from crossing the line.

He also received a facial injury in the tackle and was replaced by Grant Lewis.

On the hour, Accies varied their lineout and threw to the front, resulting in a move which took them deep into their opposition half. Murrayfield cleared upfield but as Andy Duncan rose to catch the ball, he was taken out in mid-air.

A penalty was awarded to Accies and the spectators waited to see what colour of card was going to be produced but incredulously none were produced by the referee.

A good Accies move in 70 minutes resulted in a try, after Telfer had finished off good handling to go in at the corner. The conversion was missed.

Then a very good break by Stewart Lewis took him very close but Accies failed to gather his offload out of the tackle.

The hosts were beginning to rattle the visitors with several incursions deep into their half. From one of these they were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Anderson and the deficit was reduced to four points with seven minutes remaining.

Accies had another chance to score but instead of kicking the ball forward to the try line, an attempt was made to pick it up from the ground and the ball was knocked on.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton; S Docherty, KMcNulty, E Thomson, K Wood, S Campbell, J Thomson, G Telfer, S Lewis, J Anderson, C McKechnie, B Hunter, R Anderson, M Gaetano, A Duncan, L Maxwell, G Lewis, A Wilson, C McCann.