Tennent's National Three



by Danny McGreish

ACCIES' visitors to the Memorial Field were Haddington Rugby Club who currently prop up the league table with a winless record to date.

The hosts, on the other hand, have had a mixed season with some good wins along with a few abject performances ,of which the club President addressed in his match programme comments.

With the home side fielding a strong squad a convincing win was expected and that is what the Accies delivered - their pace in attack and robust defence was too much for their visitors to deal with and recorded a final score that could have and should have been much more.

In light rain and overcast conditions, Haddington kicked off, the kick went straight to touch and a scrum was set on the halfway line. A Stuart Lamont feed instigated a drive down the right, the ball switched left and it looked as if Finlay Cairns had scored from a charged down defensive kick, but the referee judged that the ball had been "knocked -on" and no score was given.

A lovely break by Stuart Lewis in five minutes and slick support handling was finished off by Stuart Lamont touching down. Lewis's boot added two points for the conversion.

Accies were dominating and it took 18 minutes before their visitors managed to get into their half where they were awarded a penalty , but their attacking lineout was taken by Lamont and Accies cleared any danger. The home side came very close to scoring twice within five minutes but both times the final pass was deemed to have been forward.

In 25 minutes, Andy Duncan exploded through the Haddington defence to take play into their 22 and his offload when tackled found Ruaridh Anderson who went in for the try, the conversion was good.

On the half hour Accies scored their third try after right wing Connor McCann finished off a sweeping move to score the first of his hat-trick.

Haddington's big heavy forwards were toiling to contain Accies' wide game and their tighthead prop Kenny Harper had to withdraw . Consequently, as they did not have a replacement available, the rest of the match was to be played out with uncontested scrums, which negated the home side's dominance in that area.

With Gordon Telfer coming off the bench, Accies kicked off the second period and within two minutes extended their lead - the accurate boot of Stuart Lewis kicked a penalty after a Haddington player was "pinged" for obstruction.

Excellent drives through the middle by Euan Thomson and Scott Campbell were causing havoc inside the visiting defence but their fine work was being spoiled by some errant distribution and over-elaboration from support runners.

In 50 minutes, Accies scored their fourth and bonus point try after Nathan Welsh - who was having a fine match - gathered a ball at the tail of a Haddington throw-in and sprinted in for a score and Lewis converted.

Straight from the restart the ball passed to Andy Duncan, who powered up the right before offloading to Connor McCann to go in for his second score and again Lewis added the conversion.

A somewhat dispirited Haddington were now under the cosh with wave-after-wave of Accies' attacks penetrating their scrambling defence, eventually another try was added after Euan Thompson finished a driving maul to score, the conversion was missed.

In 75 minutes, Accies scored their seventh try after Connor McCann completed a sweeping move to score his third of the afternoon. Lewis converted.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: B Hamilton; S Campbell, l Maxwell, E Thomson, F Cairns, J Thomson, N Welsh, S Lamont, B Hunter, S Lewis, K Couper, Duncan, R Anderson, C McCann, G Lewis, G Telfer, R Hunter, M Gaetano, C McLaughlin.