Whitecraigs had to come back to earth after the giant killing efforts in the cup last week, with a tough away game versus Forrester in Edinburgh.
Craigs got off to the perfect start when straight from the kick off Garry Johnston scored in the corner with Ally Stevenson converting and taking the score to 7-0. Instead of settling Craigs down, this early score energised Forrester who took the game to the away team, who struggled in all areas when put under pressure. Forrester then scored a very good try to take the score to 7-5.
Craigs then responded with a try from Ian Laidlaw after good work from the forwards and again Stevenson converted to take the score to 14-5. Forrester did not take this lying down and responded with a converted try to bring the half time score to 14-12. It should be mentioned that referee, ex Internationalist Cammy Mather, handled the game very well and let it flow. In fact the first penalty was awarded after 25 minutes of play. It is great to see someone of Cammy’s playing CV, putting something back into Club rugby.
The second half started with Craigs playing into the elements and the travelling support were feeling anxious about the eventual outcome. They had no need to worry, as coach Jim Henderson’s instructions at half time were obviously taken on board. Craigs started to play possession rugby, slowed the game down and denied the opposition any time on the ball.
Stevenson increased the lead with a penalty 17-12 and Jamie Christine scored a close range try which Stevenson converted 24-12. Stevenson added another penalty to take the score to 27-12 and with Craigs in control and further tries were added by Stevenson and Fraser Campbell to take the final score to 37-12 to the away side. A good bonus point victory and coach Jim Henderson said “A shaky first half was followed by a controlled one in the second half against a side whose position in the league belies their ability. It was always going to be difficult to bring the boys back to reality after the cup fever of last week and this showed. But I was pleased with the end result. We have a difficult run of games over the next three weeks and we have to eliminate our errors, if we wish to maintain our position at the top of the league.”
Whitecraigs are at home to Stewartry next Saturday 24th January, second placed Linlithgow away on the 31st January and Glasgow Accies at home on 7th February.
Team: Fisher, Johnston, Percival, Nicol, Savage, Stevenson, Turnbull, Laidlaw, Christine, Campbell, Stewart, Howarth, B Blamire, S Pollock, K Hunter. Subs: F Hunter, Henderson, Nisbet