Braidholm 40 – 7 Lanark
In a match, where the score flatters Braidholm, Lanark played well above their position in the league, causing problems for Braidholm throughout the match.
In the first 20 minute Braidholm hardly won any ball, and were constantly repulsing Lanark forward advances within 10 metre of Braidholms try line. Great defending within this period and Braidholms ability to clear their lines laid the foundation for this win. With very few forays into Lanark territory it was a great relief when from a good backs move down the left, with Danny Clafferty and Euan Greer chasing a long downfield clearance, and winning the resultant lineout, from broken play Massimo Pieri, using his lightening pace carved an opening for himself and ran in under the post, for Greer to convert. 7-0. Followed closely by another piece of good backs interaction, from a scrum close to the Lanark line, Danny Clafferty scored in the corner from a half break by Lewis Brien, Greer failed to convert, 12-0. Half time came all too quickly with Braidholm starting to get on top.
Braidholm broke the Lanark team with two tries just after halftime, with both Euan Greer and George Sweeney scoring adjacent to the posts, giving Greer 2 conversions, 26-0. Much credit goes to Lanark as they came back at Braidholm and eventually scoring a well deserved try and converted, 26-7. In stepped Stuart Keenan, with possibly the try of the match, after some broken play, chipped a ball over the opposition backs, and ran onto it to score, Greer converting, 33-7. Finally to round off a srerling match Massimo popped up again, haring in under the posts to score his second try, converted by Greer, 40-7.
Massimo was awarded the man of the match for his efforts and we look forward to him wearing his lovely hat again!
Bishopton 10 – 41 Braidholm
On what turned out to be a comfortable win for Braidholm, in the wind/rain/gales/sunshine, at the KGV pitch at Renfrew, it was anything but, at midday on the Saturday. With a bare 15 players and a gap in the three quarters, it looked like Braidholm would struggle to get out a team. However, with coach Peoples getting a centre from the Gazelles and the timely appearance of Scott Malone, Braidholm set off with 17 players.
The strong winds were blowing, pretty much, straight down the pitch and Braidholm were fortunate to kick with the wind in the first half. Braidholm put Bishopton under pressure from the start and scored their first try 10 minutes in, after the award of a penalty to Braidholm, Scott Mathieson took a quick tap and scuttled over, adjacent to the post, to give Euan Greer a simple kick which he duly converted, 7-0. After a poor kick-off from Bishopton, Braidholm exerted more pressure and breaking from a maul, Olly Gilmartin sent 3 or 4 Bishopton players the wrong way with an audacious dummy, to canter in under the posts from 20 metres, Greer converting, 14-0. Around about this time the referee took a hand and yellow carded Ian Wheeler, for the team being persistently offside at the Ruck/Maul. This was done without a warning from the referee to the captain, that he was thinking of doing this, but like the Mid-Argyll game the referee, in this spectators opinion, was trying to even up the game. Mathieson, then broke on the blind side, from a Ruck close to the halfway line, and scampered to the corner for the third try, unfortunately too far out in the conditions for Greer to convert, 19-0. Bishopton changed tactics and kept the ball close to the forwards and made good territorial gains, until eventually the referee decided they had scored, whilst it was unclear to all on the touchline, and a complete surprise to the Bishopton coach, that a try had been scored, unconverted, 19-5. Wheeler came back on and again Braidholm exerted good pressure and again from a quick penalty Mathieson skipped over, for his third try and Greer converted, 26-5.
In the second half it was clear that Braidholm were going to have to defend against the strong wind and not play an open game. Bishopton put Braidholm in the corner, close to their line and from a lineout, which wasnt well defended, scored a try in the corner, unconverted, 26-10. This was the catalyst to get Braidholm going again and between forwards and backs never gave Bishopton another opportunity, close to their line. The best try of the match came midway through the half, when from a long clearance kick, by the Bishopton stand-off, Greer picked up the ball, close to his 22 metre line, and going left beat two or three chasers and sent an outside pass to Stuart Keenan, who fed Danny Clafferty on the inside, who scored under the posts, ably converted by Greer, 33-10. Now on the ascendency, Braidholm put Bishopton under increasing pressure in their 22 metre area, and again from a short penalty Mathieson scooted over in the corner; Greer failed to convert, 38-10. This was Mathiesons last act in the match, and he and came off with Ross Keenan going to scrum half. Again with the clock ticking down Braidholm were awarded a penalty adjacent to the posts and to the coachs chagrin, it was decided to take the kick, and Greer kicked the penalty, 41-10. With a couple of minutes remaining the referee yellow carded Russell Bridges, but it was unclear exactly what the decision was for.
Overall this was a very good team performance with both Forwards and Backs working together as a team.
Braidholm Roving Reporter