National League Division Three



by Danny McGreish

AFTER nearly a four-week layoff due to the Autumn International fixtures, Accies' visitors were the border club St Boswells.

The visitors, who currently lying third, would need a win if they were to challenge for a promotion place.

The Accies teamsheet showed Stewart Lamont returning to the back row after being out injured and new recruit Fraser Gilbert from Arran RFC on the bench.

Prior to kick-off, a respectful minute's silence was observed for former player Stewart Gillan who passed away recently.

Jack Anderson kicked off for the hosts, who were attacking towards the Saltcoats end. The ball was caught and kicked back upfield , Stewart Lewis gathered and put in a long diagonal kick to find touch inside the visitors' 22.

Accies were penalised at the lineout and the visitors kicked to touch for an attacking lineout. From the lineout a grubber kick was put through and Accies' defence blundered as they attempted to clear with a scrum five awarded to St Boswells. From the scrum the ball was transferred to outside centre Walker who broke through two attempted tackles to score. Full-back Greg Ponton converted to make it 7-0 ahead in 10 minutes. The hosts got on the scoreboard five minutes later when Anderson kicked a penalty.

Accies were beginning to dominate the set-piece, driving the opposite eight back. Their front row was "popping up" repeatedly as the home side applied pressure, but the referee who was poor officiating at the scrum, was not penalising them.

Jack Anderson added another three points in 20 minutes after the visitors were penalised for not releasing in the tackle. Straight from the restart St Boswells scored again, they transferred the ball wide and full-back Ponton went in for the score but the conversion was missed.

On the half hour, Accies had the first of several chances but with a clear overlap the ball was knocked on with the line clear.

The Accies forwards were providing a solid platform from which to attack with Euan Thomson and Scott Campbell particularly prominent. Martin Gaetano replaced Grant Lewis on the wing and his first touch ended up as a try, after he gathered and went in at the corner. As half-time approached the visitors began falling foul of the referee and eventually a yellow card was produced.

Early in the second half Andy Duncan broke up the right to take play deep into the opposition 22 but his final scoring pass was spilled.

An injury to Duncan forced him to retire and he was replaced by Fraser Gilbert, who made his debut.

Ten minutes into the second half Accies scored their second try after Euan Thomson finished off a driving maul to score. The conversion was missed.

St Boswells scored their third try on the hour through open-side flanker Graham Slorance and the conversion was good to put them a point ahead.

Accies again applied pressure inside the opposition 22 where they were awarded a series of penalties. Each time they opted for a scrum and the St Boswells front row foiled them. On the third reset scrum the spectators were expecting a penalty try but Gordon Telfer picked up at the scrum base and drove over for the score.

With five minutes remaining and against the run of play St Boswells scored their fourth and bonus point try. From a ruck on the Accies 22 line, the ball was moved wide for left wing Gary Mulroy to go in unopposed, and he conversion was good.

As full-time approached the home side laid siege to the visitors' line. They were awarded a penalty and opted for the touchline rather than take the points. Another penalty and such was their dominance in the set piece they opted for a five metre scrum.

The St Boswells front row buckled and another penalty was called with a yellow card given to the visiting tight head prop.

Accies' momentum was stopped however when the visitors announced they did not have a replacement prop so scrums would have to revert to being uncontested, and therefore the real threat of a pushover try or penalty try was eradicated.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton; S Campbell, S Docherty, M Henry, E Thomson, K Wood, S Lamont, G Telfer, S Lewis,, J Anderson, G Lewis, B Hunter, R Hunter, R Anderson, A Duncan, J Thomson, M Gaetano, F Gilbert, S Kelt.