THERE were points aplenty, a number of close games and two draws as Tennent’s National League Division Two got off to an explosive start on Saturday.
At Laigh Bent there were 76 points as Hamilton Bulls defeated GHK 40-36. The hosts picked up five league points from the game and the visitors took away two losing bonus points after this cracker.
Stephen Turnbull and Ross Inglis both scored two tries apiece for the Bulls with Craig Skilling and Gary Adams also crossing. Owen McLeish added four conversions.
Former Scotland cap Jack Cuthbert, Nick Hurn, Gavin McKirdy and Ben Hutton had scored tries for GHK in the first half as they led 29-19 at the interval.
But the Bulls stepped things up a gear after the break and despite Eddie Waller adding a converted try for GHK at the death, teh home team held out for a well-earned victory.
“We are pleased with the win and the team scored some good tries and showed good battling qualities to come back against a good GHK squad,” said Kenny Brown, the Bulls head coach. “Defensively there is still plenty to work on, but we can now build from here.”
The other team to collect a four try bonus point in week one were Dumfries Saints. They headed to Kirkcaldy and came out on top 29-26.
The visitors were 7-0 down early on and then 26-21 down, but battled back both times. With 10 minutes to go, Kirkcaldy suffered a red card and Dumfries, for whom Jack Steele was named man-of-the-match, kicked a penalty through Alan Birdsall and then captain Ewan Miller scored the winning try.
“Kirkcaldy will cause a lot of teams problems this season and I was pleased that the boys stuck in their and never panicked,” said victorious head coach Euan Mack.“Late on we had to show composure and we did, but I have told the boys this is just the start, we have to now build up a consistent level of performance.”
Kirkcaldy picked up two losing bonus points and captain Josh Laird, Jacob Ramsay and Danny Jennings were amongst their try scorers.
Peebles won up in Aberdeen against Gordonians. The star for the men from the Borders at Counteswells was teenager Patrick Harrison on his senior debut. He bagged two tries and Greg Raeburn kicked two penalties and a conversion in their 18-10 triumph, Graeme Crawford and Matt Johnston scoring the Gordonians tries.
“I was pleased to get a win, especially away from home because our form on the road last season was poor,” said Peebles head coach Lewis Bertram. “Our performance, especially in the second half, could have been a lot better, but they were fired up and we dealt well with that.
“We are happy with the win and I think other clubs will find it hard to go to Gordonians and get positive results as the season goes on.”
His opposite number from Gordonians, Ryan Morrice, said: “It’s not as if they were any better than us, but were certainly more streetwise.
“We missed a number of good opportunities, but our biggest problem was in not being able to manage the game. We worked hard, and there were some fine individual performances out there, but there’s a lot to work on in training, we’ll get there.”
Stewart’s Melville went to Horne Park and defeated Falkirk 24-21. Falkirk led 13-11 at the interval – Harry Russell and Duncan Scobbie setting up Calum Rennie for one of their tries.
However, the Edinburgh side played well in the second 40 minutes to just get home with Falkirk earning a losing bonus point.
Stew Mel’s try scorers were Sean Murchie, Euan Morrison and new signing Darren Miller, while Morrison kicked three conversions.
There were draws between Glasgow Accies and Newton Stewart and Whitecraigs and Preston Lodge.
Ross Cowan scored a try for Accies, but they were pegged back from 13-10 up to 13-13.
Whitecraigs were trailing 36-31 to a well-drilled Preston Lodge side late on, but Edmund Abekhe was on hand to score an unconverted try for the home side to finish things at 36-36.
“It was a cracking match from an attacking point of view from both teams and I was pleased with the way the guys kept bouncing back,” said Ian Hamilton, the Whitecraigs head coach.
“The guys here have a great team spirit and myself and the other new coaches are enjoying working with them and feel like we can kick on from this draw.”
National League Division Two results –
Falkirk 21 Stewart’s Melville 24
Glasgow Accies 13 Newton Stewart 13
Gordonians 10 Peebles 18
Whitecraigs 36 Preston Lodge 36
Kirkcaldy 26 Dumfries Saints 29
Hamilton Bulls 40 GHK 36
Tables, Fixtures and Results