Hamilton 2XV secured a memorable 13-10 victory against Watsonians in a hard fought match at Leigh Bent on Saturday.
Hamilton took an early lead scoring in under a minute from kick off. Ross Jamison capitalised on an early handling error in the Watsons back line to kick the loose ball through into the oppositions 22. He continued to chase his kick and managed to nudge the ball forward over the whitewash for Craig McLean to stretch out and apply the final touch to score one of the quickest Hamilton 2XV tries in recent years. Russell Virtue converted the extras to give Hamilton an early 7-0 lead.
Hamilton had the bit between their teeth early doors with Yan Young making a strong break into the Watsons half and playing the ball outside to Stephen Wright in support. Wright made some yards down the touchline before playing a neat inside pass to Frazer Dunnachie who continued the move forward before some strong Watsons tackling bundled him into touch. Hamilton were playing with confidence and drew a couple of penalties out of Watsonians with Virtue added a further 3 points from the boot to take the score onto 10-0
As the 1st half went on both sides played some decent rugby and Watsons may have found themselves on the score board earlier had it not been for some excellent defence from Hamilton. In particular, the work rate and tackle count from Robert Brown was pivotal as was some excellent burglary work from Steven Morley to regain possession for Hamilton in the contact.
Just before half time Watsons kicked a penalty to make the score 10-3 at the break.
Hamilton added to their lead early in the 2nd half as Robert Brown charged down a kick in Watsonians 22. Initially the charge down proved fruitless as the ball continued over the try line where the Watsons defence touched down for a drop out. However, some players failed to get behind the kicker at the drop out which gave Russell Virtue an easy shot for 3 point to make the score 13-3.
In the final quarter of the match Watsonians finally scored a try after Hamilton were marched back into their own half after giving away a silly penalty and a spat with the referee resulted in the penalty being moved twice for dissent. Watsons took full advantage kicking deep into Hamilton territory. From the lineout, Hamilton’s back line was offside and Watsons took a quick tap to bundle over the line to narrow the score to 13-10.
The final ten minutes were very tight and Watsons may have clinched another try as they moved the ball from left to right along their backline. A strong run from the Watsonians winger was matched by substitute Calum Crawford who swept across from full back to make a miraculous tackle right on the corner flag.
In the dying seconds captain Tony Malley made a crucial turnover which Hamilton kicked to touch to bring the match to a close.
Despite some nervy moments towards the end of match, the Hamilton side were able to maintain their lead and completed a fine victory against one of the League’s top sides.