STRATHENDRICK 30 LENZIE 24
Both sides and supporters anticipated another hard game, they were right about that.
After a break of nine weeks, Endrick at last got a game on Saturday when near-neighbours Lenzie came over the snow-clad Campsies for a league fixture. Their earlier encounter in September had ended in the narrowest of wins for Endrick and both sides anticipated another hard game. They were right about that.
Endrick made a lively start and their pressure paid off after only five minutes when the visitors were penalised just outside their 22. Kyle Campbell might have opted for a kick to the corner to give Endrick a good attacking
line-out but instead decided that points on the board was the safer bet on the day. The three point lead encouraged Endrick and they kept play in the Lenzie half, James Thomson scoring their first try after 15 minutes, Kyle Campbell adding the extras.
There was just time to note that this was the exact position of the previous game at that point when an interception allowed Lenzie to break away for a try wide out. The conversion was missed but Endrick's lead was back to a single score. What had been a well-contested match became even more intense and there were frquent stoppages for treatment.
Endrick still had a territorial advantage but only eight minutes of the half remained when Kyle Campbell kicked a second penalty from the 22 to give his team a cushion. They kept the heat on and in the last play of the half Murray Calderwood picked up from a scrum and casually strolled over for Endrick's second try - his first of the season and a notable one. Kyle Campbell kicked the conversion to give Endrick an apparently winning 20-5 lead at the break.
If Endrick thought the points were safe, Lenzie had a totally different view and inside ten minutes of the resumption the 15 point lead had been reduced to a single point. Two minutes after the restart Lenzie ran the ball from well inside their own half and direct running, aided by some slack tackles, gave them a try at the posts. To prove that it was no fluke they ran a repeat eight minutes later and with both tries converted, Endrick's lead was now a flimsy 20-19.
The Fintry men refused to panic and midway through the half a good handling move gave James Ogilvy an opening and he responded with a typically powerful break that took him over for Endrick's third try. Kyle Campbell's kick put Endrick eight points ahead but Lenzie responded with another good break to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but the visitors were again within a single score of taking the lead.
Lenzie were going for that lead when they dropped the ball and Kyle Campbell kicked downfield to relief the pressure. He raced several opponents for the ball and managed to hack ahead as they all closed on the ball. As the ball neared the dead-ball line, Campbell, a team-mate and three Lenzie defenders all pounced to create a situation that the latest goal-line technology might not have solved and the referee signalled 'no score'. It was the only decision possible but it was a near thing.
The game continued, Endrick defended stubbornly, and seven minutes from the end when one of their less frequent attacks was halted illegally, Kyle Campbell kicked another penalty to make the final score 30-24 for Endrick.
The win keeps Endrick well in touch with the leaders and Lenzie at least took two bonus points from a hard game.
On Saturday Endrick are away to Strathaven in a league match, the kick-off at 2 o'clock. Endrick 2nds are also at Strathaven.