West 43 - The Rest 36
Another high scoring internal match was held last weekend, as the Mighty West entertained the Rest in Dounby. Final score 43 -36 to the West.
For the second week in a row perfect conditions allowed players on both sides to play a fast and expansive style of rugby – with one player short in the back row and blind side wing – gaps were also easy to find.
A couple of no-shows and late call offs meant the Rest had succumbed to the West’s early psychological taunts, only managing to field eleven players. However some strategic borrowing and steeling of West players saw the match get under way 13-a-side, Erik Knight taking charge of the whistle.
The West got the game underway and some good early defence and contest around the breakdown saw both sides look for weaknesses in the opposition and try and gain their own second wind! The Rest took the early lead through a cheeky drop goal by Roger Hall – a typically English tactic not really in the spirit of open running rugby. The lead was short lived though as Steven Wylie took the resulting West kick-off and drove deep into the Rest half. Despite some good Rest defence, a lineout on the twenty-two saw a technical offence result in a short arm penalty from which Steven Wylie drove to the line, brushing aside a couple of mis-matched would be tacklers along the way.
Another returning player, Neil Lyon, capped a strong performance with a great mazy run before going through under the posts. Trevor Spence converted. Colin Risbridger clawed back a try against the run of play and the blind side opened up for him to go under the posts, unfortunately the conversion was missed.
As the match swung from end to end all players were getting involved and some good work by Daniel Kirkness, in his first match since mini-rugby, for the West and from returning Latvian (not Polish) Uvis Gurauskis for the Rest, in his second game ever! It was an old head who added to the West lead though as Al Watson flew over from one and a half yards!
Kevin Groundwater narrowed the West half time lead with fine score from distance which Andrew Cromarty converted. Half time 17 – 15 in the West favour.
Two distinct styles were beginning to show, with the West looking to make inroads around their formidable pack, with strong running from Murray Inkster and Steven Wylie in particular. Whilst for the Rest it was clear that the West were struggling to compete with their pace out wide – the problem was winning the ball and getting it out into space.
The Second half appeared more one sided with the West enjoying long passages of possession and adding to their lead with tries from Al Watson, Brian Inkster and Trevor Spence, all converted by Trevor. With this commanding 24 point lead the West began to tire and allowed the Rest back into the match. Colin Risbridger added a second and a third, converting both himself. With their lead being erroded nerves and fatigue began to play their part as handling errors prevented much fluent play in the last 10 minutes or so. It took a second Steven Wylie score extend the West lead and provide them with much needed breathing space.
A late score by another returning player Andrew Cromarty – also adding the conversion – look the scores to within seven, and the last play of the game the West kick-off. A good two minutes of time was enjoyed as the Rest fought for the tying score, whilst the West desperately tried get a turnover or a mistake to put the ball dead. For the Rest it was not to be, and as Al Watson belted the ball in to touch an audible sigh (or wheeze) could be heard from the West players – well probably both sides really!
West: Trevor Johnston, Roy Temple, Murray Inkster, Calum Elder, Mathew Lynch, Brian Inkster, Steven Wylie, Al Watson, Trevor Spence, Daniel Kirkness, Kevin Spence, Neil Lyon, Paul Johnston.
Rest: Michael Allan, Ian Rushbrook, Neil McCartney, Angus Firth, Derek Nicolson, Kenneth Kent, Kevin Groundwater, Ben Scott, Roger Hall, Uvis Gurauskis, Colin Risbridger, Andrew Cromarty, Alan Pirie.
Many thanks to Roy, Trev and Brian for organising everything in Dounby and especially to the Smithfield Hotel for supplying soup and pies for the players after the match, it was very much appreciated.
With the Shetland Inter-County being held on 24 November in Lerwick this weekends internal match is the last opportunity for players to show their skills (and get some much need 15-a-side match practice). This coming Saturday there will be a trial match at Pickaquoy Saturday, kick-off 12.30pm. Scotland take on South Africa with a kick off at 2.30pm so hopefully a few players will stick around and take in the match in the Clubhouse whilst plotting the inter-county win!
Anyone looking for a game should contact Erik Knight on 07881 505765, or just turn up on the day.
Match Report: Knighter
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