Blacks' valiant effort against title-chasers


Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 9:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 9:48 am


West of Scotland sit proudly in second place in the league with the home side muchnearer the bottom of the table.

The difference in league positions should have meant that West of Scotland won comfortably, but in the end they were glad to leave Scremerston with the win.

With a number of games lost to wet weather recently the pitch was “heavy” but playable.

The visitors started the game with intent and dominated the early possession and played much of the game in the Berwick half.

The Blacks have had to defend a lot this season and the quick line speed and commitment for each other meant they held out the early onslaught.

Eventually though West of Scotland’s patient play brought some reward when flanker McColl from West of Scotland broke clear to touch down mid-way between the touchline and the posts. The conversion was missed and it was obvious that West of Scotland don’t have a reliable kicker as for the rest of the matchthey scorned kickable penalties and missed every conversion.

Berwick at last got into the opposition half with some good play from the backs which was followed up with some aggressive rucking to keep the forward momentum.

A missed pass resulted in West of Scotland winning possession back and for them to clear their lines. An accurate line out allowed them to move back into Berwick territory.

Despite some manful tackling West of Scotland’s converted their pressure into points when fly half McAuley manged to touch down. The conversion was missed but West of Scotland held a comfortable lead at 0-10.

The game then swung in Berwick’s favour as they themselves started to mount some sustained attacks on the opposition.

The sustained pressure eventually brought a kickable penalty chance which Jack Webster calmly slotted over to close the gap to 3-10. West of Scotland though took another chance to extend their lead with a few minutes until half time.

From a solid scrum flanker Thompson was able to break through the Berwick defence and running a good angle he as able to evade the cover tackle to touch down. The half ended with the score at 3-15.

West went on the attack at the start of the second half. Great defence from everyone in a Black shirt was needed but David Gilchrist seemed to be everywhere.

Berwick then turned defence into attack with a clever run downfield. which marked the start of sustained pressure on the West line with some good scrums and line outs.

The Berwick pressure resulted in the penalty count rising against West and finally referee Michael Goodman reached for a yellow card to send a man to the bin.

The helter skelter rugby brought a second yellow card as fly half McAuley was sent to the bin for a “professional” foul on the five yard line.

With the Blacks now playing 13 against 15 gaps opened and after a rolling maul Gareth Clarke was able to pounce on a loose ball to score for Berwick. With Webster adding the conversion the gap was cut to five points at 10-15.

The remaining five minutes saw Berwick pound the West try line as they sought the draw or win but the determined visiting defence held their nerve and the game ended with no further scores.