National Two round-up: It’s getting tight at the top

Seven points seperate Dumfries Saints, GHK, Peebles, Hamilton Bulls and Kirkcaldy as the campaign heads into a mini-break for National League Cup action

Hamilton Bulls came out on top against Gordonians. Image: Neil Mitchell
Hamilton Bulls came out on top against Gordonians. Image: Neil Mitchell

THERE is now just seven points separating the top five in National League Division Two ahead of a break in the league schedule to play National League Cup games, after GHK, Hamilton Bulls and Kirkcaldy secured bonus point wins on Saturday, while leaders Dumfries Saints’ match away at Stewart’s Melville was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

GHK are on 27 points after they battled past Preston Lodge 33-26 at Old Anniesland. Ben Hutton’s try had GHK 5-0 up before an intercept score by James MacKinnon made it 10-0. The opposition pulled back a try before a penalty from Jack Cuthbert and a converted try from captain Cammy Hughes made it 20-5 at half-time to the hosts.

Two tries by the visitors brought things back to 20-19 before the bonus point try came for GHK from Hughes after good work from Cuthbert. The away team picked up a bonus point try of their own, but two more Cuthbert penalties saw GHK home.

Talking points from round seven of the Tennent’s Premiership

Dave Rennie favourite to replace Michael Cheika as Australia head coach

Window of opportunity opens for Jamie Bhatti

“It was pleasing to get the win and bounce back after last week’s loss at Peebles,” said GHK head coach Peter Wright. “There are a lot of close games in the league and a lot of points being scored and we just need to keep building week on week and stay in the mix.”

Hamilton are in fourth place on 23 points after they turned on the style to defeat bottom side Gordonians 57-5 at Laigh Bent. Tries from Nathan Brown and Ross Jamieson put Hamilton 12-0 up with Owen McLeish converting the latter.

Graeme Crawford’s unconverted try then got Gordonians on the scoreboard, but after that the Bulls took control.

Back three players Brown and Jamieson both added their second tries in the remaining hour while Adam Ryan, Ben Plant, Ross Inglis, Euan Ferrie and Gary Adams also crossed, and skipper McLeish kicked 10 more points.

“We scored a few points, but it was the defence that please me most and a few young guys took their chance,” Hamilton head coach Kenny Brown said. “There are some big games coming up and we have to keep building.”

Kirkcaldy were 13-7 down against Glasgow Accies, but found another gear to win 45-23 at Beveridge Park. Marcus Salt, Alex Brooks, Rhys Bonner, captain Josh Laird, Chris Mann, Danny Jennings and Owen Bonner all scored tries for the Fifers with Fin Smith on kicking duties.

“I thought we were a bit slow to get into the game, but in the second half we carried the ball hard and showed what we can do,” said Kirkcaldy player Chris Mann.

Accies’  points came through tries from Tommy Spinks, Jacob Siems and Campbell McCready, with Gregor MacEwan kicking two penalties and a conversion. The defeat leaves them 10th in the table.

Peebles are third , but they could only pick up a losing bonus point at Newton Stewart who themselves secured a four try bonus point in their 28-22 success at Bladnoch Park. Calum Gaw scored a try double with David Gaw and Fraser Morton also crossing, while Jack Gaw kicked the remaining eight points.

Peebles’ tries came from Callum Anderson, Ross Thomson and a penalty try, while Greg Raeburn kicked the remaining points.

Falkirk secured their second league win of the campaign by defeating second bottom Whitecraigs at Horne Park. The visitors were 7-0 up before converted tries by Stuart Pollock and John McKenna put the home side ahead. A third try from the forwards came before a Connor Faulds score secured a four try bonus and a 28-12 lead.

Whitecraigs were next on the scoresheet, but it was Falkirk who finished the stronger, with Faulds crossing twice more to make it 42-12 at the conclusion.

“I was very pleased with the performance,” said Falkirk head coach Stevie Leckie. “The players set the tempo of the match and were rewarded with some nice tries. This is a young group of players who are learning all of the time and in this game they did the simple things well.”

National League Division Two results –


Table as it stands –

Dumfries Saints16124055924931010260
Stewart's Mel1512303872201677257
Peebles RFC1511404123021108254
Kirkcaldy RFC161060433334999251
Newton Stewart16961296275217247
Preston Lodge15951396317799246
Hamilton Bulls15690457424338436
Glasgow Acc175111249494-2454127
Falkirk RFC142120301439-1286418
Gordonians RFC173140253527-2742216

Fixtures and results:   Premiership  |  National 1National 2  |  Super 6Six Nations 2020

Talking points from round seven of the Tennent’s Premiership

You can't use multiple times the same shortcode.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article

Support our new, improved coverage this season 2019-20, with Super 6, National 1 and 2 leagues, fixtures and tables, and the small matter of our comprehensive coverage of Scotland at the RWC from Japan.

Invest in our gameyou can make a difference by keeping Scottish rugby at all levels in the news.

Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 152 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia