Tennent's National Three



By Danny McGreish

ON a very windy and dreich day, Accies welcomed the Edinburgh club to the Memorial Field.

Accies' teamsheet showed Kyle Wood in at 12 and the return of Gordon Telfer in the back row.

The visitors kicked off, Stuart Lamont received the ball and drove forward to set up a ruck. Murrayfield were then penalised and Stuart Lewis kicked to touch to give the home side an attacking lineout. The visitors conceded another penalty and Stuart Lewis stepped up to open his side's account four minutes in.

For the first quarter, Accies were completely in control, and indeed, Wanderers still hadn't managed to get into their half. Such was the home team's early dominance in both scrum and territory that it was surprising they were not further ahead. With the visitors leaking penalties, Stuart Lewis added another three points in 20 minutes.

Accies came very close in 25 minutes when after a well-rehearsed move from a lineout, Euan Thomson and Stuart Lamont combined well to take play just short of the visitors' line - a final grubber kick into the dead ball area - but the cover defence just won the footrace to the ball as it trundled over and avert the score.

With Accies' continued domination it was no surprise a try was eventually scored, Stuart Lamont picked up from the base of a scrum and broke right. Play was taken into the corner and Bruce Hunter touched down, the conversion was missed.

On the last move of the first half, Accies moved further in front after Stuart Lewis added another three points after Murrayfield's tight head prop was penalised for not "driving straight"

Accies kicked off the second half playing into the strong wind, the ball was caught and using the wind in his back, the visiting number 10 booted upfield. Accies then pressed the self destruct button by fumbling on their own line, allowing Murrayfield's No 13 Morgan to touch down. Stand -off Lee kicked the conversion from probably only their third visit into the Accies 22.

Play was stopped for five minutes after the visiting hooker sustained a leg injury and had to be stretchered off.

Home player Andy Duncan launched one big break down the left and when tackled, the ball was switched right to Connor McCann who went close. Recycled ball and a deliberate knock on by a defender gave Accies another penalty.

Such was the home pack's confidence in their scrum dominance that they were opting for the set-piece rather than kickable penalties. They were keeping it tight and getting close to the try line but still couldn't capitalise on possession. When the ball went wide, far too many long passes were still being attempted, where in the very windy conditions this was near impossible.

Despite lengthy spells of being pinned in their 22, Murrayfield's defence was effective in preventing the home side from scoring further.

ARDROSSAN ACCIES: K McNulty, S Campbell,B.Hamilton (captain) E Thomson, F Cairns, G Telfer, J Thomson, S Lamont, B Hunter, S Lewis, G Lewis, K Wood, R Anderson, C McCann, A Duncan, K Young, L Maxwell, M Gaetano.