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1st XV - Match centre

East Kilbride
Sat 30 Nov 14:00 - RBS West Regional Leagues - Division 1 Full time

Helensburgh pay the penalty….and lose 24-5

A game that could never be called a classic saw EK emerge convincing winners through an excellent kicking performance by MoM Scott Shankie. He kicked 8 faultless penalties. Winning ugly ain’t that bad!

After two consecutive losses to Irvine in November, in cup and league, EK were finally able to get them out of their system with a straightforward if unexciting victory over Helensburgh. Some satisfaction gained after losing (some might say “throwing away”) the first match of the season to Helensburgh.

After a two week break for the Autumn internationals, EK resumed league duty. Their walking wounded continue to walk, and indeed the list of absentees increased slightly with a delayed injury to the knee of lock Alan Creer.

This saw Captain Gareth Jones [sponsored by Espresso Addesso] shunted forward to graft in the second row and EK’s own Inspector Blaikie from “On the Buses”, Gary Thornton, having a go at No 8 in the absence of Craig Ferguson Junior [sponsored by Hi Lite Electrical].

EK v Helensburgh 30.11.13
11 photos

The backs were reshuffled somewhat, with Robbie Greenfield [sponsored by First Choice Finance Scotland]and Calum Blackwood [sponsored by Tinto Bar] swapping positions to standoff and full back respectively with Scott Shankie [sponsored by DIY Garage]at centre.

It was not possible to judge the effectiveness of the changes to the three quarters as the forwards failed to win sufficient ball to allow any real patterns to emerge.

However, Bert Blackwood [sponsored by Tinto Bar] kicked well and deep, Shankie {sponsored by DIY Garage] struck his penalties superbly and everyone else grafted hard to contribute to a well deserved, if rather uninspiring, victory.

The referee was a former EK flanker, John Shaw. We have had many poorer referees this season but one might have wondered had he ever played in the forwards such was his judgement on the basics of side entry at the breakdown and offside.

He also issued two early yellow cards (one to each side) and one later – the first to EK’s Jones [sponsored by Esspresso Addesso], the latter to Fraser Little [sponsored by Scobie Junior]– for not very much.

Shankie [sponsored by DIY Garage] kicked the first of his eight penalties in the 13th minute to give EK a 3-0 lead. Not much happened (apart from a series of missed EK tackles) until he kicked another after 36 minutes.

EK typically went to sleep at the restart, lost possession and promptly lost a soft unconverted try to the visitors in the right corner. Score: 6-5. Shankie [sponsored by DIY Garage] kicked another penalty to make it 9-5 at half time.

The EK support spent the break wondering how their heroes had managed to gain a lead. Helensburgh had most of the possession, some big forwards and a dangerous full back, assisted by poor EK tackling and an EK desire to try to run the ball rather than kick for position.

EK only had one chance for a try, when Ian Brown [sponsored by Gas Services Direct Ltd] found himself in some space in the visitor’s 22 but was pulled back by the referee so that he could interrupt some handbag trading amongst the forwards. Another opportunity to play advantage denied.

EK secured a tad more ball in the second half and this, allied to a succession of penalty infringements by Helensburgh and Shankie’s [sponsored by DIY Garage] reliable boot, gave them the opportunity to extend their lead with another five penalties.

It was not a great match to watch but this in no way diminishes the effort of the players. Bert Blackwood [sponsored by Tinto Bar] kicked and cleared well generally, appreciating the extra time and space at full back; Gareth Jones [sponsored by Esspresso Addesso] toiled hard all day, while old man Johhnie Watson [sponsored by Age Concern] grafted and pushed as hard as he could in the 2nd row – he only weighs four stones soaking wet – and showed soft hands (as he has never done a day’s work in his Lamborghini).

This win leaves EK in fifth position in the league table, but it closed the gap on Helensburgh in fourth to one point (EK have two games in hand) and provides an opportunity to climb higher with three further matches before the festive break.

Man of the Match - there could only be one person, Scott (I could kick for Scotland) Shankie [sponsored by DIY Garage].

Next week: EK have another home match next week, against bottom of the table Lenzie. EK need to be on guard as they found it challenging in the forwards against Lenzie earlier in the season. Let’s hope the EK backs can be as sprightly and effective as they were on 14 September.

Team: 15 Calum Blackwood [sponsored by Tinto Bar]; 14 Chris Mullins [sponsored by Gas Services Direct] 13 Ian Brown [sponsored by Gas Services Direct]; 12 Scott Shankie [sponsored by DIY Garage]; 11 Andy MacDonald [sponsored by Warnock Plant}; 10 Robbie Greenfield [sponsored by First Choice Finance Scotland]; 9 Fraser Little [sponsored by Scobie Junior]; 8 Gary Thornton; 7 Chris O’Neill [sponsored by Lime Delicatessen]; 6 Alex Irvine [sponsored by Glow at 10]; 5 Andy Kampman; 4 Gareth Jones, Captain [sponsored by Espresso Addesso]; 3 Chris Mclellan [sponsored by Herbalife Nutrition Glasgow]; 2 Rian Anderson [sponsored by Rian Anderson Lineout Tuition Ltd]; 1 Scott Aitken [sponsored by DIY Garage]. Replacements: Jason Currie [sponsored by Management Gobbldegook]; John Watson [sponsored by Age Concern]; Robbie Stewart; Grant Seymour [sponsored by [sponsored by Key Professional Partnership].

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: 1x1 rip

Scott Shankie

Player of the Match

Scott Shankie

Videos and photos

EK v Helensburgh 30.11.13
11 photos

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Division 1 results

Glasgow Accies
Newton Stewart


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Irvine 18 68
2. East Kilbride 18 68
3. GHK 17 53
4. Kilmarnock 18 51
5. Glasgow Accies 18 50
6. Helensburgh 18 43
7. Allan Glens 18 34

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