Bulls clinch promotion in style
Pepsi gets fitting send off
Hamilton Bulls won promotion to BT National 1 with an imperious display of fast moving handling rugby to defeat Whitecraigs by 75 to 12. The game marked the end of the long and illustrious career of Richard “Pepsi” Maxton, who was given an honour guard of player for his entry to the field of play. Richard, who began at the club age 11 played for Stewart Melvilles and Glasgow Hawks for brief spells before returning to the club having won international honours. His contribution both on and off the field for the second half of his career has been immeasurable, and it was an emotional afternoon at Laigh Bent.
Played in the tricky conditions of a swirling crosswind, Bulls showed their intentions to ensure a fitting send off for Maxton, and opened the scoring in 4 minutes through scrum half Hugo Crush
who made one of his trademark sniping breaks from the base of ruck in his own half, kicked ahead, gathered and held off 2 tacklers to cross the line. Wilson kicked the first of 10 conversions. Whitecraigs, desperate to escape the relegation battle, responded quickly with a try from number 10 Callum Innes who danced through the Hamilton defence who bought the dummies and sidesteps. Stephen Gillies converted to level matters. However James Howatson
scored the first of 3 tries in quick succession, all brought about by brilliant interplay between himself and winger Ross Inglis
. Hamilton’s handling was quick and assured and the bonus point was in the bag by the 35th minute.
Forwards and backs combined well for Hamilton’s 5th scored by lock Jordan McLean
, after the ball was moved from left to right through numerous pairs of hands and back for Mclean to dot down under the posts. The half time lead of 35 to 7 was quickly extended by the most popular try of the day when Pepsi Maxton was fed a lovely inside ball by Robert Brown for the touchdown. Maxton repaid the compliment to allow Brown in for the next score after great handling by forwards and backs. Ross Inglis
having had several assists then bagged a double to put the game out of sight. The loss of Greg Richardson
to the sin bin allowed Whitecraigs to score a consolation try through substitute Luis Barron, but the final say went to Hamilton when man of the match Howatson scored his 4th and Josh White
the final try in what was a great display of attacking rugby.
Richard leaves the club, and indeed rugby with Hamilton in a great place to tackle the rigoursof National division 1. The standing ovation, and the emotional farewell in the clubhouse, demonstrated the high regard in which Richard is held by players, coaches and fans. You can take the man out of Hamilton, But you can’t take Hamilton out of the man. Haste ye back Richard.