Tennent's National League Three



By Danny McGreish

THE visitors to Memorial Field on Saturday were Kirkwall-based Orkney RFC.

In last season's fixture, the visitors suffered their biggest defeat in their inaugural league campaign, so they would be looking for a better outcome.

After the narrow defeat at Newton Stewart, Accies had Stuart Lamont back at No 8 and Cieron Couper on the wing.

In dry but windy conditions, Orkney's Graham Poke kicked off. Gordon Telfer secured the ball and passed to Nathan Welsh who drove up the middle, allowing Stuart Lewis to use the wind and clear upfield. A good charge up the left wing by Orkney returned play into the home 22 where they were awarded a scrum. The Accies' pack drove, turned the big heavy Orkney forwards back and were rewarded with a "put in". For the initial 15 minutes, play was somewhat fractious and being contained between both 10 metre lines. The visitors were using their big forwards in a succession of close support charges but Accies' defence was sound and preventing any danger.

Accies shrugged off any complacency in 17 minutes when a pick-up at the base of the scrum by Stuart Lamont released the ball along the back line.. Recycled ball was transferred quickly along the visiting 22 before Accies were awarded a scrum. A hefty drive by the Accies pack drove their counterparts over their line and Lamont touched down, the conversion was missed.

Accies were leaking a succession of penalties and the visitors eventually opened their account with points after a spell of sustained pressure inside the home side's 22.

The hosts went further ahead in 25 minutes after a wonderful lineout catch and drive by Lamont was finished by Gordon Telfer, the conversion was missed.

Accies were now in the ascendency and the majority of play was taking place in their visitor's half, Finlay Cairns came agonisingly close to scoring but the referee judged that the ball had been nudged forward in the touchdown.

Home pressure was rewarded however on the 40th minute, after a drive by the pack and quick distribution of the ball was finished off by Andy Duncan in the right hand corner, Robert Hunter converted a difficult kick.

Five minutes after the restart, another Lamont take at the lineout allowed quick transfer, allowing Andy Duncan to come in at pace and touchdown for the fourth and bonus point score, the conversion was missed.

Despite being "under the cosh" Orkney were still battling away but their play was restricted to keeping it close and they very rarely threatened to spread the ball wide . However, ground was being made by their hooker ( Scott Rendell) and No.8 (Alec Kansour) but again sound defence was denying them any reward.

Another Accies score followed on the hour after a lineout take by Lamont was gathered by Gordon Telfer , he passed to Lewis who sprinted through the visitors defence and scored under the posts. Robert Hunter converted.

The home side again came very close to scoring after a searing break by Cieron Couper was stopped 2 metres short of the try line. A scrum was called and the home pack again drove their opponents back and Stuart Lamont touched down, the conversion was missed.

Robert Hunter retired injured and Lewis moved to full-back, allowing old Memorial Field favourite Allan Wilson to slot into the No.10 berth.

With 10 minutes remaining and victory more or less secured for the home side , Orkney scored a consolation try after Scott Rendell touched down, Poke added the conversion.

In the final move Accies scored again after Bruce Hunter finished off a forward surge to the try line, the conversion was missed.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton; S Campbell,K McNulty ,E Thomson,F Cairns, G.Telfer N Welsh, S Lamont, B Hunter, S Lewis,C Couper, R.Hunter,R Anderson, A Finnigan, A Duncan, L Maxwell, J Thomson, H MacDonald, A Wilson