Injuries take their toll - ‘Shire 3, Lenzie 36

‘SHIRE were defeated convincingly by a slick and well-drilled Lenzie team who scored five tries to none.

’Shire had chances to score tries and on several occasions were camped on the Lenzie line, but were never able to penetrate a well-organised defence.

The difference between the teams was evident in the back divisions. Lenzie’s moved the ball speedily and accurately while ’Shire’s passing was always vulnerable to the rush defence. The first and fourth Lenzie tries were the result of ’Shire errors but the other three were achieved by good backs play involving passing at pace. ’Shire also had problems clearing their lines. The ground was wet and this made handling tricky. ’Shire’s problems were added to by the fact that 14 players were unavailable.

Lenzie opened the scoring after 11 minutes when the ’Shire defence failed to deal with a high kick ahead and a following up back scored a simple try which was converted. Six minutes later, after a spell of ’Shire pressure which involved the forwards driving some 20 yards to just short of the Lenzie line, Duncan Maccaig kicked a well-struck penalty to make the score 7-3. Play was mostly in the ’Shire half in the early stages but they seemed to cope well with attacks by the visitors. Lenzie increased their lead when they converted a simple penalty to make it 10-3. Lenzie then had the last word with a well taken try, which was converted, just before the interval for a half-time lead of 17-3.

The second half was 11 minutes old when Lenzie added to their tally. It was a simple try on the left after pressure on the ’Shire line. The ball was spun out and the backs scored. The conversion followed. At 24-3, the game was slipping away from ’Shire. Their defence was still having problems dealing with high balls and clearing their lines. ’Shire then went on the attack and were camped in the Lenzie 22 for at least five minutes and were almost over the line on several occasions. On a Lenzie breakout, a kick through led to an unconverted try for the visitors. But they were not finished and scored a final try which was converted to make the final score 36-3.

Although ’Shire were well beaten they did have their moments but failed to convert pressure into points. They were worth a couple of tries and the forwards played well in the first half, especially in the lineout and loose. The scrummage did not hold up in the second half and play became ragged. There is much work to be done but hopefully the injured players will soon be ready again for selection, and coach Alan McKie will have a full squad to choose from. Division 2 West is going to be a hard slog for ’Shire and winning home games will be vital to survival.

Team: J Dalrymple, H McGeoch, N Warwick, J McIntosh, J McKie, D Maccaig, J Patterson: A Love, G Keith, S Campbell, A McFadzean, C McGregor, D Drummond, R Pauley and E Stevenson. Subs: R McCreadie, S Blain, C Stephens, A Graham