U18s dig deep in defence for a win
Best defensive performance of the season sees the U18s win through.
Probably one of the longest journeys in the West Region saw the U18s travel to Castle Douglas to play Stewartry in the West cup. Stewartry, who finished second in the Tier Four U18 league, were a bit of an unknown, as there is no way of comparing the teams in this league with the Tier three conference structure.
On a very wet and windy pitch, both teams fought the conditions as well as each other. Hamilton tried to implement their game plan but struggled with the conditions when trying to ship the ball through the hands and inject pace into the game. It all came together 12 minutes into the game where Hamilton took advantage of a tap penalty to get close to the Stewartry line and a latched pickup by Olly Dalby crossed the whitewash to score. With Robbie MacDonald using the wind to convert the score was 7-0.
With the conditions worsening it was difficult for both teams to get any sort of continuity and as a result, the half came and went with the single score still separating the teams.
With a downhill advantage Stewartry sensed that they were in with a chance and for the last twenty minutes of the game Hamilton could not get out their half and spent most of that time defending. The Hamilton team luckily, chose the perfect time to produce their best defensive performance of the season. The boys fought tooth and nail as a team and were determined that Stewartry were not crossing their line. Wave after wave of attack was repelled and every player had to step up to make tackles. It was as much a team performance in defence as some of their best attacking performances of the season and when the final whistle blew the boys celebrated just as much as they ever have, having just the one score to their name.
Character comes in various forms but the fight in the team on Saturday against a strong physical Stewartry side will hopefully be remembered and stored away for the next time we are battling side by side to close a game out. Well done boys, a proud performance.
Thank you to Stewartry for their hospitality and well done to their boys for a great performance. Thank you to our faithful supporters who all went home a lot wetter than they arrived but cheered the boys on once again.
We move on to play Greenock at home next week in our final game of the pool, when we will be fighting for a place in the semi -final of the West Cup.