Shield game @ London Road, 25/8/18 - Match Video
|Dalziel 1st XV:||24|
Dalziel travelled to Stranraer on Saturday to play Wigtownshire in the first round of the West Regional Shield. Wigtownshire were promoted to West 2 last season and had also been runners up in the National Bowl.
Dalziel started strongly with most of the first 10 minutes being played in the home half, but were falling the wrong side of the ref at the breakdown and starving themselves of continuity.
One penalty to Wigtownshire was kicked to touch, but the line out wasnâ€™t straight, giving Dalziel an attacking position just inside their own half. Iain Davidson fed Danny Bartlett, before the ball went through the hands of Andy Scott, Calum Glover then Fraser Skinner. Andrew Glover took the short ball from Skinner on the half way line and stepped inside the outside centre. Glover side stepped his opposite number and ran in to score under the posts. Glover added the extras to put Dalziel 7-0 up after 10 minutes.
Dalziel had another opportunity to score soon after; a line out was secured 10 metres from the Wigtownshire line, and the forwards mauled the ball forward. The maul broke down and the ball was passed to Skinner, who was stopped just short. Further inroads were made by Niall McKenzie and Marcin Majewski before Wigtownshire infringed in front of the posts. Instead of taking the easy 3 points, Dalziel opted to run the penalty, and the ball was knocked on, allowing Wigtownshire to clear their lines.
On the half hour mark, Dalziel were under pressure and Andrew Glover was forced to clear the ball deep into the opposition half. Wigtownshire returned the ball at pace, and took advantage of a fractured Dalziel defence to break the line and score under the posts. Mark Burgess converted to level the scores at 7-7.
Four minutes later, Burgess had a penalty shot at goal after Dalziel strayed offside. He slotted the kick to put his side 10-7 up.
As half time approached, Wigtownshire were on the attack, and tried a chip over the top. The kick was too long and Andrew Glover was able to gather the ball and mark the kick. He took the tap quick and launched the ball down the pitch, deep in the opposition 22. The Wigtownshire winger was put under pressure by Scott McLelland, and was forced to clear his lines. The ball was gathered by Niall McKenzie on the run, and the prop forward took play up to the Wigtownshire 10m line before being tackled. Dalziel cleared the ruck well, but a Wigtownshire player played the ball illegally on the deck, giving Andrew Glover a shot at goal, which the full back duly converted to draw the scores level, 10-10, at half time.
Dalziel continued to dominate the game in the opening exchanges of the second half. The forwards were carrying the ball well and making good gains. One attack, however, was held up by Wigtownshire and the home side were awarded a scrum, about 15 metres from their own line. The Dalziel pack put on a massive push in the scrum and forced a penalty, which Glover converted to put Dalziel back into the lead.
From the restart, Dalziel moved the ball back down field, and as play swung across the pitch, the forwards looked as if they had scored again, but the ball was held up over the line. The Dalziel pack took it upon themselves to push their opposite men back at the scrum, giving Iain Davidson an easy touch down at the base. Glover pushed the conversion attempt wide, but Dalziel were now 18-10 up.
Dalziel failed to deal with the restart, which gave Wigtownshire precious possession. They held on to the ball for 6 phases before the ball was passed wide to the winger who scored in the left hand corner. Burgess converted to take his side to within a point of the visitors.
Andrew Davidson forced a knock on from the restart, giving Dalziel possession. Andy McLaren and Andrew Glover took the ball on from the scrum, and got Dalziel to within 6 metres of the Wigtownshire try line. The ball was recycled and passed out to Ross Hamilton, but he lost the ball in contact. However, Wigtownshire had strayed offside, giving Glover a chance, which he took, to extend Dalzielâ€™s lead to 4 points.
Again, Dalziel failed to deal with the restart, and almost immediately went offside. Burgess was unable to reduce the deficit with his shot at goal.
Wigtownshire were in the ascendency, but Dalziel were closing down the space well, stopping the hosts from making any mainline successes.
With only 4 points in the game, Dalziel used their experience to up the intensity and put Wigtownshire firmly under the cosh. The hosts were being starved of ball and any they did have, they were forced to kick it clear.
With 15 minutes left to play, Wigtownshire conceded another penalty just inside their own half, but straight in front of the posts. Glover stepped up, but hooked the ball to the left of the posts.
Wigtownshire restarted the match with a 22 drop out, which was gathered by Andrew Davidson. The home side tried to turn over the ball, but were penalised for using their hands in the ruck. Glover took another kick at goal, and despite being further out than his last attempt, made no mistake and extended Dalzielâ€™s lead to 7 points.
Wigtownshire were pressing for the score that would tie the game and force extra time. For fully five minutes they pounded the Dalziel line, but could not find a way through. Dalziel held the ball over the line, and then from the resultant scrum, forced a knock on which gave Dalziel key possession. Dalziel pushed up the field through Iain Davidson, and despite his offload not going to hand, it was deflected off a home player and out for a line out. Andrew Davidson secured the line out, and the forwards set up a maul. Scrum half Bartlett was told that time was up and kicked the ball out to end the game and secure a hard fought 24-17 victory for Dalziel.
What Wigtownshire had to say: Report - Photos - Video
Niall McKenzie, Stephen Baird, Les Barclay, Andrew Davidson, Marcin Majewski, Nikky Devine, Fraser McKenzie, Iain Davidson, Daniel Bartlett, Andy Scott, Scott McLelland, Fraser Skinner, Callum Glover, Craig Blair, Andrew Glover
Subs: Danny Davis, Ross Hamilton, Andrew Miller, Andy McLaren
Tries: Iain Davidson, Andrew Glover
Conversions: Andrew Glover
Penalties: Andrew Glover (4)
Yellow Cards: Andy McLaren
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