National Two: Whitecraigs pick up maiden win of the season

Dumfries Saints continues to set the pace after four rounds, but Peebles are hot on the heels with GHK in third place

Peebles v Falkirk
Peebles kept the pressure on Dumfries Sainst at the top of the table with a hard-fought win over Falkirk. Image: Stephen Mathison

WHITECRAIGS secured their first league win of the season while Dumfries Saints and Peebles both remained unbeaten in week four of Tennent’s National League Division Two action.

Before Gordonians visited on Saturday, Whitecraigs had drawn against Preston Lodge and then suffered heavy defeats on the road to Dumfries and Kirkcaldy. As a result they had targeted the home match with the winless Aberdeen side to try and get their season up and running, and n the end they came out on top 34-20 with young players on both sides showing real promise for the future.

The Whitecraigs tries were scored by Graham Murchie, Gary Means, Edmund Abekhe, James Baxendale and Jack Ramage. Gordonians’ tries came through Colin Hart, Emmett Strachan and Ewan Dunnett, one of which was converted by full-back Graeme Crawford who also kicked a penalty.

“We had a tough couple of weeks on the road to Dumfries and Kirkcaldy, but the boys heads never went down and with an average age of around 21 in the squad on Saturday the young boys wanted to show what hey can do,” said Whitecraigs head coach Ian Hamilton afterwards.

“Fair play to Gordonians, they came down with a young side too and both sets of players looked to play rugby. To secure the bonus point win will give the guys confidence in what we are trying to achieve and hopefully we can build from here now.”

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Gordonians remain winless and rooted to the floor of the table, but head coach Ryan Morrice remains optimistic that better days lie ahead.

“It could have been so different had we taken our chances in the last quarter of the game, and at only 27-20 we looked to have every chance of winning, only to be turned over late in a match that last season [in National Three] we would have won,” he said. “It is most frustrating. It’s not as if there were individual mistakes, it has now been a collective thing, and we’ll sort it out in training next week. It’s not as yet a crisis. I have great faith in my team.”

Dumfries have 19 points from a possible 20 and lead the way in National Two after a comprehensive 63-0 win over Glasgow Accies at home. The star man for the home side was man of the match Robert Neill who led the way with a hat-trick of tries. Calum Smit also helped himself to three while Andrew Whiteford, Sam Hiddleston, Jordan Kerr and Jack Johnstone also crossed while the Saints were awarded a penalty try too.

Dumfries had taken advantage of an early yellow card for Accies to claim a bonus point for four tries in the first half and they never looked back.

Peebles are on 19 points in second place after a much tighter win at home to Falkirk. The men from The Gytes came out on top 38-29 with tries from Neil Hogarth, Kieran Brown, Rohan McIver, Donald Anderson and a double from James Dow.

GHK are third after they won 32-10 at home to Kirkcaldy. Hugh Parker’s converted try put the Anniesland men 7-0 up and then Ed Waller scored a second. Kirkcaldy clawed things back to 12-10 with a try by skipper Josh Lard and a penalty and a conversion from Fin Smith.

GHK lost their props to injury, but scored further tries through Jack Cuthbert and captain Cammy Hughes to get the bonus point before half-time. Two Cuthbert penalties in the second half finished things at 32-10.

Hamilton Bulls are now fifth after they edged out fourth placed Preston Lodge 34-29 after a cracking match in East Lothian. Ben Plant scored two tries for Hamilton with Scott Whitelaw, Ross Inglis and Andrew Wilson also going over. Wilson also kicked nine points for the victors.

Stewart’s Melville dogged out a 12-0 win away at Newton Stewart. Scott Alldritt scored two tries for the Edinburgh side with Michael Miller converting one.

National League Division Two results –

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Table as it stands –

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National 2 League Table, upcoming fixtures and results

About Gary Heatly 457 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.