Narrow win kick-starts Shire

BT West Regional League Division 3

Lanark 3

Wigtownshire 8

Wigtownshire were back in action again on Saturday in what has been a very stop-start season with three weeks since they had last seen any game time because of the Autumn Internationals.

Shire travelled to play Lanark in a match which should have marked the start of the second half of the league season, but with cancellations and the Bowl Competition, things are well behind schedule.

It was a day when defence was king. Eventually something had to give and it was Lanark who broke the stalemate. They worked their way forward breaking into the Wigtownshire twenty two, in trying to halt the advance a “Shire” hand in a ruck produced a kickable penalty. The ball was struck well and split the posts to give the home side a three point lead.

The visitors worked hard to redress this loss. Strong running and good hands took them deep into the Lanark half. This time the home side went off their feet, however the “Shire” kick was not as good, slipping wide of the mark. Before the break both teams had another crack at goal, but despite the dry, still, conditions, neither could add points and the first half ended with the slight home advantage.

The second half started with a bang, the Lanark scrum half found a gap, making forty yards before being pulled to the ground short of the line. Claims were made for a high tackle, for which Mr Connal awarded a penalty, however this decision was reversed.

Not for the first time this year, indiscipline and too much talking to the official has proved costly for a team. For Lanark a great chance to score slipped away and Wigtownshire cleared the lines.

This explosive start seemed to motivate the visitors. Shire wing forward Jason McKie broke through the line and sprinted up the park. The Lanark players scrabbled back and brought him down five metres from the line. In the tackle the ball went forward, Lanark had the feed and cleared their lines.

But the visitors came back again, working their way into the danger zone. Their efforts were rewarded when once more the home side went off their feet. Isaac Porter stepped up to even the score with a fine penalty kick. The Lanark team seemed to be cracking.

At a ruck scrum half Campbell Reid was hit hard before touching the ball, despite this he somehow managed to get the ball out to his forwards. Munro McConnell took charge and rolled round the side, support came in behind him and over he went for a try. The conversion kick went wide.

Lanark came back all guns blazing. They used the kick off to full advantage, and it was their wing forward that went on a charge. Porter brought him down with a high tackle.

In the dying seconds of the match it was Wigtownshire who were on the attack. The forwards secured the ball giving a solid platform for the backs. The ball was worked through the hands and out to replacement winger Dale Kelly, unfortunately the touch line came before the try line as Lanark pushed him wide.

This was a great result for the Shire boys. With only two games in the last eight weeks it was very difficult to get any momentum, never mind match fitness.

Next Saturday the boys are in action at London Road for the first time since early October. They play Birkmyre, who are just above them in the league. This should be a cracking game, so why not get along to see it, kick off 2pm.

If you fancy playing, just call in at the club, senior training is on every Tuesday and Thursday evening 7 pm.

Team: S Cameron, H McGeoch, R Forsyth, J McIntosh, J Dalrymple, D Lawson, C Reid; R McCrindle, D B Graham, M McConnell, G Dunlop, K McNeil (Capt), R Dewar, J McKie, I Porter

Replacements: G Keith, M McKie, D Kelly.