BULLS WIN TABLE TOP CLASH
Bulls go 2nd
Hamilton Bulls visited league leaders Dumfries Saints on Saturday and emerged with a hard won bonus point victory by 29 to 20 to move up to second place, one point behind leaders Kirkaldy. This was a really attritional game which saw several high profile Hamilton players added to the club’s injury list.
Both sides played with great intensity in defence and the 20th minute for the deadlock to be broken by Dumfries when a clever crossfield kick was gathered and fed to the centre who crossed in the corner. Hamilton responded immediately making quick inroads into the Dunfries 22. A solid scrum provided the platform for quick ball, and after several controlled phases the ball moved quickly to the wing where David McGrath gathered and forced his way over in the corner. Try converted by McLeish. Hamilton extended their lead some 10 minutes later when a carbon copy move saw flanker Gregor Brodie crash over after slick hands out wide. Again Mcleish added the extras. Dumfries continued to press, and were rewarded with a penalty to reduce the leeway. The half ended though on a sour note as Dumfries lost a man to the bin for stamping.
Hamilton took advantage of the extra man in the 45th minute. This time prop Chris McLauchlin started the move with a good lineout steal, and looping round behind the backs took a great short ball from Mcleish to crash over in the corner like the winger he once was. Hamilton’s front five were dominant throughout this phase of the game, making countless turnovers in defence which put Dumfries under severe pressure. Mcleish added a penalty when Dumfries were pinged for repeated dissent. Clearly annoyed by this, Dumfries immediately hit back with a try in the corner from smart follow up play after the forwards made good ground. Hamilton Lost scrum half bell to the bin during this defensive set but despite this it was Hamilton who scored the bonus point when McLeish burst though after several phases. He converted his own try.
Hamilton held on for a hard won victory despite a late consolation try for Dumfries. Coach David Gemmell was delighted with the performance of his team. He was particularly pleased with his front 5, especially new starts Darren Carr and Jordan McLean. “Our defensive effort was immense, tackling low to keep on top of them. Our handling for the scores was excellent, the result of the players’ hard work on the training ground.”
Elsewhere Hamilton’s 2nd XV had an excellent win over Ayr 2nds recovering from 20 to 3 down to run out victorious by 51 - 26.