Dalziel Rugby Club
PREMIER Three leaders Whitecraigs Rugby Club further underlined their title credentials on Saturday with a clinical 33-11 bonus point victory at Dalziel.
The hosts, who have suffered a desperate slump in form leading to mid-table obscurity this season, made Craigs fight all the way for victory and were ahead 14-11 going into the final quarter.
However, three tries in the closing stages allowed the Glasgow outfit to claim a deserved win at Dalziel Park.
It means they are just one point away from a second successive promotion, having come up from National One along with Dalziel last season.
The game kicked off in perfect conditions with a stiff breeze blowing down the pitch.
The visitors were playing into the wind and put pressure on the Dalziel defence, who defended stoutly in the opening 15 minutes.
It was the home side who quickly notched up a 6-0 lead courtesy of two Robert Simpson penalties before Whitecraigs struck back.
A turnover on the halfway line followed by a charging run by Stuart Pollock and goodsupport work by Craig Percival resulted in a try for Ben Blamire.
Ryan Moffat added the conversion and despite Dalziel exerting some pressure on the Craigs defence the match remained finely poised at 7-6 at the break.
Immediately after the re-start Dalziel second rower Eddy Ferguson was yellow carded and Craigs took advantage as Stuart Pollock went over for a try after a scrum on Dalziel’s line.
In an entertaining game the Motherwell boys struck back and after some powerful running from Ross McAulay, Jamie Baxendale scored a well worked try in the left hand corner to narrow the deficit to 14-11.
Dalziel were unable to capitalise on this and gained no field position thereafter as the Whitecraigs forward pack took control.
Ross MacDonald went over the line for their third try, which was converted, and Fraser Campbell scored a fourth following another surge by the visiting pack, which took the score to 26-11.
The best try of the day came late-on when winger Alan Berry outpaced the home defence to score under the posts.
Moffat’s conversion brought an end to the scoring as Whitecraigs ran out comfortable winners in the end despite a valiant effort by their hosts.
Dalziel’s slump in form means they have now lost their last ten matches in all competitions and with no hope of promotion or threat of relegation, coachDavid Wilson has alreadybegun preparations for next season.
However, he will be desperate for Dalziel to return to winning ways this weekend when they travel to bottom of the table Musselburgh.