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Lasswade 37 Dalziel 0

Monday February 2nd 2015

Reporter Richard Payne

Dalziel won the first leg of this match-up but since then the fortunes of the two teams have gone in opposite directions. As occupants of the second relegation spot they need to start cashing in a couple of games in hand soon. This visit was always unlikely to provide that opportunity.

Lasswade had secured the try bonus with time for a fifth in the first half and although they eased off in the second period they added two while achieving a complete shut-out in the process.

The pitch had weathered the recent storms well and only the unusual cross-wind and the finger-chilling temperature stood in the way of open rugby.

Receiving the kick, Dalziel mounted the first attacks even threatening the home line but the defence held.

With five minutes gone, a jinking break by Dave Hall from his own 22 set up Dougie Hearn to brush off the last two defenders and finish the job off from 40 metres out. Just six minutes later it was Hearn again who completed a catch and drive wide out and Lewis Clarke drop-kicked the conversion to make it 12-0.

Play was mostly between the 22’s for the next few minutes but as the clock moved into the second quarter, Dave Hall started another move from half-way and close support from Gladstone, Clark and Hearn was rewarded when Sinclair drove over in the corner.

Lasswade were dominant now, quickly stifling any Dalziel possession and mounting attack after attack but passes went slightly short or long or cold fingers failed to grip.

With three minutes of the half remaining, Neil Clark’s man-of-the-match work at the scrum paid off when he harried his opposite number off their scrum ball, gathered and broke for the line. Hunter was on his shoulder when needed and a wide pass to Lamont let the winger sidestep his way at pace past the fullback to the corner for the bonus try.

The remaining first period time was enough to give Lamont another opportunity to show his speed and evasiveness to make the halftime score a comfortable 27-0.

Either Dalziel dug deeper into their reserves or Lasswade eased off, or a bit of both but either way the hour was nearly up before the scoreboard was troubled again. Now mostly in or near the Dalziel 22, a visitors’ line out was turned over there and Blair Smith, playing at centre this year, drew on his No 8 heritage to power his way to the line.

Increasingly cold fingers and a tendency at time to try the complex rather than the direct route delayed further scoring until the last few minutes. A series of rucks on and near the Dalziel line drew in the defenders and a quick wide ball then gave Andy Hall the chance to squeeze into the corner to bring up the 37-0 final score.

While this result and Preston Lodge’s home hammering of East Kilbride were fairly predictable two other results were less so and were both helpful to Lasswade.

West of Scotland crashed to their fifth loss in a row at RHC Cougars leaving these teams 14 and 12 points off the lead. More significantly, Dumfries stumbled and fell 18-13 at Irvine opening up eight points of clear water behind the Midlothian side although the space may be bridged by PL when they play their catch-up game against Dunfermline this Saturday.

The League is looking more like a three horse race now and with the front runners still to play each other in the remaining five weekends, an exciting close finish is almost guaranteed.

Lasswade get a 6 Nations break this Saturday, returning to the fray with a visit to East Kilbride on St Valentine’s Day. Kick-off 3pm.

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