Hamilton v Marr 26/3/17
Fun in the sun but no cornetto for Hamilton
Hamilton welcomed Marr to Laigh Bent on the first sunny Sunday of 2017 and the game that followed was a spectacle for the parents who gave up Mother's Day to support the teams.
Hamilton got the game underway and were soon pressurising the Marr defence who were awarded a scrum for a forward pass by Hamilton, Marr won their scrum and looked to run the ball from the 5 meter line but a loose forward pass gifted Hamilton possession in the 22 and with some good quick passing they worked the ball to winger Leboni Mzwimbi who got on the outside of his opponent and scored in the corner for the first score of the game. Conversion missed by Callum MacRitchie.
Marr were stung into action and looked as though they were certain to score after a good break from the full back, who was to have a major influence on the outcome, but Gregor Peters got back to tackle and force a knock on allowing Hamilton to clear from the resulting scrum. Marr won their own lineout and passed the ball into the midfield where their full back collected at pace to break through some weak Hamilton tackling and run in under the posts, conversion by Marr stand off.
Hamilton wasted no time from the restart before finding themselves back down in the Marr 22, and the aggressive rucking shown by the young Bulls was securing them quick ball from which scrum half Callum Bruce was able to get the ball away and find winger Callum Wilson who cut inside to go over the line, conversion unsuccessful from Gregor Peters.
Marr were not going to simply allow Hamilton to run in try's and were soon back on the attack causing Hamilton's defence to split and not mark up opposing numbers, the resulting mis match left Marr with a three man overlap and they took full advantage and the centre ran in under the posts, with the stand off securing the conversion to take the lead.
In the final minutes of the first half Hamilton were awarded a penalty near the halfway, Callum Bruce saw a gap and took a quick tap breaking through before feeding the ball to Gregor Peters who continued to just short of the 5 meter line before being tackled, from the ruck Callum Bruce got the ball to Joa Fairweather who broke through the inside shoulder to give Hamilton a 9-8 lead, conversion unsuccessful by Callum MacRitchie.
The game was being played in a good spirit by both teams who were committed to strong legal tackles and some excellent running rugby with Marr being slightly ahead in their ability to punish frailties in the Hamilton defence, that being said Hamilton extended their lead in the second half. Lewis Mooney stole a lineout and surged forward before off loading to Daniel Forrest who must have thought he was in for a try but was stopped 5 meters short and lost the ball in contact. Marr secured their own scrum and ran the ball from deep but indiscipline at the ruck gave Hamilton a penalty from which they kicked to touch. Daniel Forrest secured the ball at the front of the line and ran for the line with defenders hanging onto him, good leg drive by Daniel allowed him to get close enough and he crossed the line. Despite it being his most difficult kick Callum MacRitchie secured the conversion
Marr were next to score with the full back powering down the wing before cutting inside, Hamilton defence missed a couple of opportunities to stop the run which ended under the posts, conversion unsuccessful. With only two points now in the match Marr sensed blood and continued to pressure the Hamilton defence and knowing Hamilton were unable to cope with their full backthey tried to get the ball out to him at every opportunity. With only minutes left the full back found himself one on one with the Hamilton wing, a good hand off was all that was needed for him to be in behind and despite efforts to stop him the retreating defenders couldn't stop him from extending the lead, conversion successful for a 13-15 lead.
In the last play of the game Hamilton were awarded a penalty after Marr were caught coming in from the side at a ruck, Callum Bruce took a quick tap and gave th ball to Lewis Mooney who crashed over the line believing he had won the game only to be told that two passes were required.
Player of Match - Callum Bruce