LENZIE 0, STRATHENDRICK 3.
The match at Viewfield was another nail-biter and again a single score decided the issue.
When the league leaders met at Fintry in November a single score decided the issue - Lenzie winning by 7-0. Saturday's return match at Viewfield was another nail-biter and again a single score decided the issue. This eagerly-anticipated top of the table clash provided a tense, closely fought encounter – even if the flowing rugby both teams have played at other times in the season was stifled by steadfast, resilient defence.
In cool early spring conditions, ideal for rugby, the teams took to the field: focussed, determined and perhaps a little nervous. Conventional wisdom had it that the Fintry team were stronger up-front whilst the Viewfield boys had the more threatening backs – but his didn’t prove to be the case in the early phases. Appearing to be the more relaxed of the two sides, Lenzie had the better of the opening exchanges: their forwards taking the game to ‘Endrick and quickly snuffing out counter attacks. The game attracted a large number of supporters and it is fair to say that the home support didn’t agree with all the referee’s decisions – and told him so! In a promising move the home side had men over in the ‘Endrick 22m area but knocked the ball on with the line beckoning. The first kickable penalty was awarded to the home side after 10 minutes but the attempt drifted wide.
Strathendrick then mounted their first sustained attack only for Lenzie to break out of defence and threaten a length of the field score – but uncompromising tackling saved the day. After 26 minutes Endrick were awarded their first kickable penalty but Sam Greenock’s kick went wide. Five minutes later the same thing happened and half-time arrived with the deadlock unbroken. Lenzie could reasonably claim that they had the better of the half.
Playing with the slope, Strathendrick began the second period in more assertive fashion and after only three minutes won another penalty but again Greenock’s kick went wide. But consistent pressure resulted in another offence by the home team only two minutes later and this time the young scrum-half made no mistake to give ‘Endrick a deserved lead.
The gladiatorial contest continued with neither side securing the vital break through although the Fintry men enjoyed territorial advantage. After 52 minutes Lenzie were awarded a penalty but this time it was out of the No.8’s range: six kicks attempted between the two teams and only one successful! As the game wore on, the Fintry side appeared to be gaining the upper hand in the pack although the team’s tactics didn’t always capitalise on that. With ‘Endrick looking reasonably comfortable as the clock ticked down, a last gasp Lenzie attack was aided by some uncharacteristic doziness by the visitor’s back-row which gave the Fintry supporters further palpitations but resolute defence saw the league leaders home. Strathendrick players, coaches and supporters were ecstatic: they had ridden their luck but had come out on top by the narrowest of margins.
Endrick now have 58 points from 13 games and are 14 ahead of Oban Lorne who have played the same number of games. Lenzie are in third place with 43 points but have two games in hand. The show is not quite over yet but with four of their last five league matches to be played at Fintry, Endrick are very happily placed.
With the 2nd XV securing a handsome victory against Ardrossan at Fintry on Saturday, the Club’s Annual Dinner Dance – with a James Bond theme, at the Buchanan Arms in Drymen that evening - was a rather enjoyable affair!
On Saturday Endrick have a home match against Uddingston. This fixture will count not only as a league match but also as a Scottish Regional Bowl 3rd round tie