Tennents National Three



by Danny McGreish

THE enigma that is Ardrossan Accies !

In their previous two fixtures they have huffed and puffed but today on a cold dry Burnbrae pitch, they recorded an emphatic win over a team that was sitting four places above them.

Accies' teamsheet showed club captain Ben Hamilton still missing from the front row but Gordon Telfer was returning in the back- row.

Stuart Lewis kicked-off for Accies, the ball was cleanly caught and dispatched upfield for a lineout to the visitors. From a Lamont catch, the ball was spread wide but a knock-on by a West defender gave Accies the first scrum. The home pack drove Accies back but Lamont picked up at the base and drove forward, another spilled ball and this time a West scrum. Again West drove Accies back and they were awarded a penalty- a kick to touch for an attacking lineout but Lamont soared high and secured the ball for Accies.

Accies were being penalised for not scrummaging straight and eventually Tight -Head prop Craig McLaughlin was yellow carded.

Although a man down, Accies ubiquitous back-row were winning the battle at the breakdown. Good ball carries were being well supported by the rest of the pack and the astute kicking of Stuart Lewis was keeping the pressure on the hosts' defence.

In 25 minutes, Accies' pressure paid off - a move from the base of the scrum released Andy Duncan to drive up the right side - his give and take pass with Robert Hunter finished with him scoring a very good try, Stuart Lewis kicked the conversion.

On the half hour, West further extended their lead, after a driven line-out was collapsed by a visiting forward and a penalty try was awarded

Straight from the restart Accies scored again - Lewis sprinted through a gap in the West defence before offloading to Robert Hunter who went in for the try, Lewis converted the try he had orchestrated.

Shortly after Accies should have scored again - another Duncan burst up the right wing - a feed inside 10 metres from the try line - bu Hunter was taken out before he took the pass and a definite try was prevented. The referee issued a second yellow card to West and Accies were given a penalty - instead of a penalty try. A kick to touch and a driven lineout, the ball was driven over but the referee decided that it was held up and another Accies try was denied.

The match reverted to uncontested scrums when Craig McLaughlin retired injured and no other front row player was available

Ardrossan had their hosts on the back foot as West laboured to match the pace of the Accies' attacks.

Accies scored their fourth and bonus point try after Cieran Couper finished off a fine handling move from a lineout - to score in the corner. The conversion was missed. Shortly after, Stuart Lewis kicked a penalty.

An injury to Gordon Telfer forced him to withdraw

With 10 minutes remaining and victory assured Accies took their foot off the pedal, allowing West to come into the game. A good dart up the right hand side by winger Rowland Ossi threatened the visitor's defence - from recycled ball Jamie McAuley burst through and scored, Nicholson converted.

In 85 minutes, Accies scored their fifth and final try - a West attempt to run out of defence - a fumbled miss pass - and Ruaridh Anderson scooped up and ran in to score.The conversion was good

In the final play, West scored their second try - a break upfield and quick distribution of the ball, was finished off by Alex Fisken. The conversion was missed.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: C McLaughlin; S Campbell, L Maxwell, E Thomson, F Cairns, JG Telfer, N Welsh, S Lamont, B Hunter,

S Lewis, C Coupar, R Hunter, R Anderson, G Lewis, A Duncan, S Kelt, C Small, M Gaetano.