Tense vistory for Dunfermline in league opener
Published 25 Sep 2012 12:30 0 Comments
Picture: Ted Milton
Dunfermline 19 West of Scotland 18
DUNFERMLINE opened their league account with a tense victory over West.
Dunfermline kicked off and opened brightly, however, first blood went to the visitors with a well-struck penalty by Mark Davies from the Dunfermline 10-metre line.
A West thrust from the restart was stopped by good Dunfermline tackling and the ball cleared to halfway. Both sides played good open rugby with West edging the possession stakes only to cede advantage by conceding a series of penalties.
Dunfermline mounted a period of sustained pressure but the West defence stood firm.
Dunfermline looked to convert their possession after a break with Josh Harris, Iain Spence and Scott Swankie to the fore. Swankie was held up over the line.
Dunfermline continued to press and were again held up after good lead-up work.
Returning to the attack, the visitors forced a penalty converted by Davies. From the restart Dunfermline were pinned back by the West attack and as play broke down at halfway West worked the ball to Angus Thomson to score wide on the left. The conversion was missed.
Dunfermline mounted an early attack from the second-half kick off and Graeme Lowe looked to have the line at his mercy as he kicked through only to knock on over the try line.
At the resultant scrum West were penalised, Rhys Davies took a quick tap and moved the ball to Swankie, who danced through to score near the posts. Gregor McNeish converted.
Dunfermline forced their way back into West territory with good handling and driving winning a lineout on five metres. John Hamblin was driven over to give the home side the narrowest of leads. McNeish's conversion attempt sailed just wide.
Dunfermline seemed to be gaining the upper hand with good positional play and a further five-metres lineout went unrewarded as the ball was lost and cleared.
Taking heart from this, West laid siege to the Dunfermline line and only determined tackling in defence kept them at bay. However, the sustained pressure eventually told, allowing Thomson his second try of the afternoon. Davies converted.
The last 10 minutes had the crowd on edge as Dunfermline spiritedly chased the game.
A series of good rucks and safe hands saw the home side rewarded as Harris crossed in the corner wide on the right. McNeish converted the pressure kick as the referee brought the game to a close.
Dunfermline travel to Ardrossan Academicals on Saturday (kick off 3pm).