Match Report

Match Report - 09 Oct 2010, Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV lost to Preston Lodge RFC

Match report provided by Preston Lodge RFC


Preston Lodge’s second home local derby of the season was preceded in reflective mood as both teams and a big crowd observed a minute’s silence in memory of PL’s Hon. President Peter Cunningham, who passed away earlier in the week.

Following the tribute to a great Club stalwart, it was business as usual as PL looked to maintain their challenge near the top of the league while Ross High were searching for that elusive first win of the season.

And it was the visitors who came under pressure almost immediately when they were penalised for holding but Greg Leitch was unable to take advantage for PL when his kick at goal drifted wide. Ross High’s Paul Davis also had the chance to put his side ahead in the early stages when PL were caught offside but he too was unable to convert, but apart from those two chances, most of the play in the first 20 minutes took place in midfield. Nick Marsh took a scrum against the head for PL and Chris Guiney and Dougie Thomson both tried to initiate counter attacks following good work in tidying up loose ball but the Ross High defence looked solid and their back line led by Robert Baillie and Michael Patterson always looked dangerous with the ball.

During the second quarter however, it was the PL pack that began to take control and when a rolling maul was brought down following a line-out catch and drive from 20m that looked to be leading to a try, the referee had no hesitation in sending Ross High’s captain, Bruce Stoddart to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Two more penalties followed as the pressure mounted but quick thinking and a quick tap of the second by Graeme Paterson who then fed on to Ali Wood, allowed the big centre enough space to wriggle and barge his way over for the opening try.

Five minutes later, following a speculative kick that the Ross High defence failed to deal with, Paul Voy hacked on the loose ball and he was just unable to catch it before it rolled into touch on 5 metres. The line-out allowed PL to maintain the pressure as Naismith and Blair competed well enough to force an error and win a scrum and from there with the extra man, they had enough control for Voy to pick up at the back and he was unstoppable from that distance. Leitch added the conversion and PL looked comfortable at 12-0.

Davis missed another chance to get 3 points when PL were offside 30m out and a good spell of possession and slick passing from Patterson, Hook and McDonald reminded PL that they had to remain alert but Ross High were unable to breach the defence before the end of the half.

PL were to extend their lead immediately after the restart when a great break and slick pass sent Ali Wood almost free in plenty of space and he remained cool to send out a neat pass to beat the defence and leave Andrew Archer clear to the line. Leitch’s conversion gave PL a decisive lead with plenty of time on the clock to try to get a fourth try that would secure a bonus point but it was to take another 20 minutes before that was to happen. In the meantime, Ross High put together some nice phases of possession, taking advantage of an extra man after Dougie Naismith had been sin-binned but despite their best efforts, they still could not manage to get any points on the board.

As the match progressed, PL became ever more dominant especially in the scrum where the front row in various combinations had their opposite numbers in all sorts of trouble. The McLean brothers were to the fore in the loose and Wardell, Marsh and Duncan kept up the pressure. Paterson’s kicking kept the pack on the offensive and they were soon camped on the Ross High line once again. The first of 3 tries to be scored in the final quarter came from another 5 metre scrum. Again, Voy picked up but when he was held up short of the line, Euan Thayne was on hand to pounce on the ball and dive over to complete a trio of tries for PL’s back row.

Voy and Thayne were in unison again 2 minutes later as a good pass gained 20 metres and once the ball was recycled, Paterson’s excellent, long pass found Jonathan Brash on the wing and he was clear to score in the corner.

The scoring was completed with eight minutes to go after John Armstrong had burst up the left wing and the ball was worked back across the pitch to Graeme Paterson. The stand off sent a perfectly weighted grubber kick through the defence and Greg Leitch was alert with the follow up and he safely gathered the ball before touching down to make the final score 36-0.

Ross High almost had the final say as their backs once again put together some decent passes to create a clear opening in the final minute but the ball was spilled forward as it was being touched down.

Preston Lodge RFC 36 - 0 Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV

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