Dalziel Rugby Club
Hamilton 37 Dalziel 24
DALZIEL faced their local rivals Hamilton on the new Laigh Bent pitch at the weekend – but it was the Motherwell men who were left grounded by their powerful hosts.
Before a large crowd, it took just two minutes for the strong and experienced Bulls side to take the lead.
An early scrum saw John Selfridge pick up and gain a penalty. From the resulting line-out, the influential Richie Maxton rose to take clean ball and, as the Hamilton Bulls’ pack gathered around their skipper, Chris McGeogh popped up with the ball to claim the opening try.
However the Motherwell side responded brilliantly with a similar move.
Ross McAuley put a penalty into the corner and Crawford Reid raced over the line for the score.
Robert Simpson added the extras and inched Dalziel 7-5 ahead.
However, the lead didn’t last too long, as Dalziel gave away a penalty for Ross Inglis to kick over from distance to regain the advantage for Hamilton.
The game was being played at a fantastic pace and Bulls cranked up the pressure on their local rivals by grabbing their second try of the game.
Selfridge picked up from a scrum and took advantage of some weak defence to cross the line.
Worse was to follow for Dalziel five minutes later when Selfridge picked up possession before off-loading to Turnbull.
The young scrum-half linked well with his half-back partner David Sutherland, who quickly released Inglis and the winger went in at the corner.
Inglis himself claimed the extras, which made the score 20-7.
Dalziel responded well and after a period of pressure the referee took it upon himself to dish out two yellow cards for Hamilton’s Robert Cowie and then Maxton that reduced the hosts to 13 men before the official eventually gave Dalziel a penalty try which reduced the arrears to just six points (20-14).
Dalziel failed to make their numerical superiority count but did score the next try early in the second half when Hamilton had returned to full strength.
Against the run of play they took advantage of a penalty to clear their lines, eventually winning a line-out five metres from the Hamilton line. Kris Watters secured the ball before scrum-half Donnachie nipped in for a try to make it 20-19. Unfazed by this, Hamilton came straight back and Maxton supplied South African Strydom with good ball which he took deep into Dalziel territory.
Stopped short of the line, the ball was soon recycled and Selfridge nipped in for a try which Inglis converted that opened up an eight point lead.
Dalziel were already without a number of key players due to injury and during the game more injuries meant players finished the contest out of position.
Hamilton looked to take advantage which they did as Craig Inglis set up his brother Ross for another try which he converted, giving the home side a 34-19 advantage.
But the Motherwell boys refused to lie down and punched away at the Hamilton defence, gaining a penalty which they kicked to the corner.
From the line-out they created the opportunity for Simpson to go over that secured a deserved bonus point try.
A last minute penalty by Hamilton made the final score 37-24.
The result leaves Hamilton clear in second place in Premier Three as Dalziel drop to sixth on 15 points behind Ardrossan and Cartha who have a better points difference.
This Saturday third placed Howe of Fife visit Dalziel Park.
DALZIEL: Steven Findlay, Stephen Baird, George Sloan, Kris Watters, Craig Simmonds, Jamie McAulay, Fraser McKenzie, Blake Whitehead, Ross Donnachie, Ross McAulay, James Baxendale, Fraser Stango, Crawford Reid, Antony Mitchell, Robert Simpson.
Substitutes: Craig Lewis, Euan Stewart, Lee McWhinnie, Callum Maxwell.
Dalziel man of the match: Steven Findlay.