WAID FPRFC 34 - 14 CRIEFF & STRATHEARN RFC
Waid Fps continued their quest for second place and took one step closer to obtaining that position following their triumph over Crieff & Strathearn on Saturday.
Blustery conditions combined with a blinding sun made life difficult for both teams during play, and it was twenty minutes before Waid chalked up the first points of the day. Slightly under pressure, the Crieff fly-half opted for a kick into the wind which unfortunately backfired for the Perthshire club. The strong gust caught the ball mid-air and landed behind the gain line. The ball took a kind bounce into the arms of winger Lucas Miskiewicz who powered through for the try which was unfortunately unconverted.
Waid moved up a gear and continued to steam ahead as the powerful running from Allan Drysdale proved too much for the Crieff defensive line as centre Drysdale broke the line with ease and thundered over the try line for Waid’s second of the day. The try was converted by Paul Hanlon.
Waid continued to make the remainder of the half a misery for the visitors with the Anstruther pack pushing closer to the opponents try line, but regrettably, were unable to notch up a score from this drive with the guests showing their tough defensive presence, letting the home side know they had far from given up. Waid’s persistence eventually paid off when shipped out to outside centre Kieran Doak, who’s speed could not be matched by the defence in this instance. Doak slipped through the line and dived over the line in dramatic fashion to add another five points on the scorecard for the home side.
With little time left in the first half, Waid were determined to rack up even more tries and winger Kato Blockley did just that, after coming of the blind wing and into the line. Blockley obtained possession of the ball and danced through Creiff’s defensive line for the final try of the half. With winds proving a nuisance, the conversion was one again unconverted leaving the half time score at 22 - 0.
The second half would prove to be a much tougher test for Waid, as they had the wind against them and the sun in their eyes. Crieff tried to put Waid under pressure with long kicks and threatening runs, but the Waid defence held strong, much to the frustration of the visitors. However, when Waid were in attack, the ball was spilled forward, and the Perthshire men made full use of the advantage called by the ref by immediately chipping over the home defence and regaining possession to score their first points of the day. The try was converted and it looked as though a comeback may be on the cards. However, Waid forwards Gary McLaggan, Euan Moncrieff and Adam Shaw had other ideas and their immense and powerful running too much for the away team, and resulted in a try for flanker McLaggan.
Not long after, following a chip through from full back John Murray, Waid found themselves back in the opponent’s 22 meter line. The line out was won by Waid and shipped to stand-off Hanlon, who twinkle-toed through the defensive cover to score beneath the posts before converting his own try.
As the game was coming to a close, Crieff pushed for a final score. The Crieff stand off was able to find a gap in the line and came one on one with Waid full back Murray, who was just able to ground the opponent. Waid recovered the ball and looked to put it out of play for the final whistle when some questionable play allowed the visitors to get possession again and power over the line for the last try of the game. The final score was 34 - 14 to the home side.
Man of the Match was awarded to Waid’s Graham Gourlay who’s influential and commanding running was immense to witness by all.
After the final whistle, Captain Kevin Anderson said, “Given the difficult conditions we were faced with, the boys can come off the field knowing that their job was done, and it was done well. With the top spot in the league out of reach, our goal is now second place and one more win will ensure that exact position. With such a large turnout of boys today, I now have a difficult task with the selection process next week, but having such a large squad is very healthy for the club, and we will march on.”
Waid are away to Arbroath next week, with kick off at 1pm.