KIRKCALDY, Hamilton Bulls, GHK, Peebles, Dumfries, Lasswade and Ardrossan Accies booked their places in the first round of the National League Cup – competed for by teams in National Leagues Two and Three – after winning their respective preliminary round ties at the weekend.
Josh Laird, the Kirkcaldy skipper, had expressed excitement at taking his squad into their first competitive game of the season – and from the 80-19 triumph over Newton Stewart it is clear that his optimism was not misplaced. Timmy Kennedy opened the scoring at Beveridge Park for the home side and when Craig Jennings touched down and Kennedy got his second – both converted by Craig Letham – it was 19-0 to in the battle of the two Tennent’s National League Division Two outfits.
Jacob Ramsay, Greg Wallace and Laird added tries four, five and six to make it 40-5 approaching half-time, and then Craig Mann and Gavin Mackenzie efforts made it 54-5 at the break. Kennedy completed his hat-trick of tries in the second half while Alex Brooks, Seb Evans and Stuart Porter also crossed before a couple of late yellow cards took the wind out the Fifers’ sails.
“After a couple of good pre-season games against teams from leagues above us it was good to play a team who will be in our division and work some more on the structures that we are developing,” said man-of-the-match Evans. “We knew what we needed to do in this game and it is always good to get a win this early in the season.”
Hamilton led 14-0 against Gordonians at Laigh Bent as half-time approached and then the home side managed to get a crucial third just before the break through Josh White. In the 45th minute, James Howatson added a fourth Hamilton try and that seemed to break the visitors’ resolve somewhat as further scores came and the Bulls progressed 49-5.
Hamilton are at home again this coming weekend to GHK in their National League Division Two opener and the latter are also through to round one of the Cup after defeating Hillhead/Jordanhill at Hughenden, with skipper Cammy Hughes scoring a hat-trick, Scott Davidson getting a brace and James McKinnon also touching down in an entertaining 14-38 win for Peter Wright‘s men.
James Dow led the way with two tries as Peebles defeated Whitecraigs 32-12 at The Gytes. Stuart Hunter, Ryan Stewart, Rhys Wilson and Cameron Thrall also scored for the Borderers, with Greg Raeburn notching one conversion.
Dumfries went to Glasgow Accies and put in an assured performance to win 59-10. The visitors were 26-5 up at the interval and then kicked on to secure a commanding win, which sets them up nicely for a trip to Kirkcaldy in National League Division Two this coming weekend.
Ross Coombe put the icing on the cake with the last try as Lasswade defeated Tennent’s National League Division Three rivals West of Scotland 61-14 at Burnbrae.
Scott Campbell and Stuart Lamont both bagged try doubles as Ardrossan Accies got the better of Berwick 50-17 in another all-National League Division Three clash. Euan Thomson, Conor McCann, Ruairidh Anderson and a penalty try were also registered by the victors with Stuart Lewis adding four conversions.
The Carrick versus Preston Lodge was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
This weekend’s National League Cup results –
Ardrossan Accies 50 Berwick 17
Hamilton Bulls 49 Gordonians 5
Kirkcaldy 80 Newton Stewart 19
Peebles 32 Whitecraigs 12
Glasgow Accies 10 Dumfries 59
West of Scotland 14 Lasswade 61
Hillhead/Jordanhill 14 GHK 38
Carrick v Preston Lodge (postponed due to a waterlogged pitch)