BULLS BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT WEST
By JIm Browning
Bulls up their game
After the disappointment of their opening defeat to Biggar in NL2, Hamilton’s young squad rose to coach David Gemmell’s demand for an improved performance by beating West of Scotland 67 points to 19. The writing was on the wall from the kick off when Hamilton recycled quick ball to the backs whose slick handling and pace outflanked the visitors for Andy Wilson
to go over in the corner. The medicine was repeated from the kick off when the forwards showed the same handling skills to break and feed winger Ross Inglis
to go over in the same corner. This time McLeish was on target with the conversion.
West showed that they were not there to be run over when in 8 minutes, after some sustained pressure, centre Robbie Greenhalgh broke clear to score under the post. Peter Burns converted. Despite this setback Hamilton were soon on the attack again and further scoring was postponed by desperate last ditch defending by West. It was man of the match, Robert Brown who scored the first of his hat trick in the 14th minute after some great handling by forwards and backs. Hamilton scored again through Craig soon after with a move off the scrum, straight from the training ground, and again Craig Inglis
added further pain for west when he finished off a move which was started in Hamiton’s own 22. This desire to attack from anywhere on the pitch was typical of the way Hamilton approach the game this season. Brother Ross Inglis
was next on the score sheet with another score initiated deep in their own half to bring up the half time score at 38 to 7.
The second half saw Hamilton field their subs off the bench which shifted the momentum temporarily as they took time to get up to the pace of the match. West took advantage and scored two tries, the first by hooker Ross Carnegie from a driving lineout maul, and the second from Greenhalgh, with a repeat performance of his first try. Hamilton though showed patience and resilience and slowly regained the upper hand. Good line speed in defence forced a turnover, and A Ferguson’s quick thinking released Ross Inglis
again. This converted score settled Hamilton, and Charlie Craig
was next to score finishing off a driving maul. Two minutes later Wilson broke at first receiver and although tackled short of the line recovered quickly to receive the ball and go in at the corner. The pattern of the first half was re-established when fast hand saw Robert Brown go in at the corner for his second and in the dying seconds, he crossed the whitewash again, following up Craig Inglis
’ break through the centre form a short penalty. Final tally – Hamilton 67, West 19.
Coach Gemmell could not hide his pleasure at the result. “It’s not just the result that pleases; it’s the manner of it. The boys stuck to the game plan. This is the brand of fast exciting rugby we aim for at Laigh Bent.”
It was a good day all round for Hamilton whose second XV beat Heriots 42- 37. The third XV beat West seconds 77 – 31, while the under 18s also defeated West by a similar margin.