National League Division Three



by Danny McGreish

THE visitors to Memorial Field on Saturday were one of Scotland's oldest clubs and a founder member of the Scottish Rugby Union.

Until this fixture, they had only lost one game in the league programme to date and were widely tipped to win promotion.

On the previous meeting between the two clubs, Glasgow had triumphed on the lush pitch at New Anniesland but the home side would be trying to reverse that result as they were beleaguered with injuries on that particular day.

On a cold day and a heavy playing surface Glasgow kicked off the match. Gordon Telfer received and drove up the pitch, the ball was dislodged in the tackle and Glasgow responded by moving the ball wide to pressurise the Ardrossan defence. T

The referee issued his first of 14 penalties against the hosts and the ball was kicked to touch for an attacking lineout. The visitors were moving the ball wide at every opportunity but the home side were defending well. Glasgow should have moved in front on the 10th minute after they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but the ball rebounded off the upright and the chance lost.

For the first 15 minutes of the half Glasgow enjoyed both territorial and possessional advantage, going through passages of phased play and switching direction of attack but they could not breach the Ardrossan line.

The home side were beginning to get into the game and the pack was getting the better of their opponents in the scrum, by providing a stable platform and good supply of ball. This enabled number nine Bruce Hunter to vary play behind the scrum with darting runs or releasing the ball out wide.

The stalemate between the two sides was broken in 26 minutes after Glasgow's right wing Chris Woods finished off a very clever handling move and went in for the games first try, the conversion was missed.

Ardrossan were still being penalised relentlessly by the referee but the visitors could not capitalise on these opportunities due to robust counter play by the Ardrossan pack.

Three minutes into the second period Ardrossan were awarded their first penalty of the match and this decision was met with ironic cheers from the home support. Another penalty was awarded soon after and Jack Anderson successfully opened Ardrossan's account with three points. The home side were now playing with confidence but were still guilty of lateral movement on a few occasions. Their forward pack however were beginning to dominate and all eight of them were producing abrasive carries into the Glasgow defence. The home side had the chance to add another three points to their tally but opted for a kick to touch instead, Glasgow disrupted the attacking lineout and cleared downfield however.

The visitors were still dangerous and on one such attack the ball was transferred very quickly along the backs and only an excellent tackle by Ardrossan's full back Fraser Gilbert saved a try being scored.

Then in 709 minutes, the home side drove deep into the visitors' 22 where they were awarded a scrum. The pack drove the Glasgow eight back over the try line and Bruce Hunter was there to touch down, the conversion was missed but the score was now tied at 8-8.

Five minutes later Ardrossan went in front after Anderson kicked a penalty.

With six minutes remaining Ardrossan were encamped deep inside the Glasgow 22. A penalty award was given to them and they opted for a scrum, another penalty, another scrum and again Glasgow were driven over their own line. Hunter was there to score his second try but the conversion was missed.

On the final whistle Ardrossan Accies Rugby manager David Frazer said: "It was an all round team performance and they deserved their win against a very good side."

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton(captain); S Campbell, S Docherty, E Thomson, S McMaster, J Thomson, G Telfer, S Lamont, B Hunter, J Anderson, C McCann, R Anderson, R Hunter, G Lewis, M Gaetano, J Young, S Kelt, S Leitch.