Dalziel win out in tight encounter

Effort: Craig Simmonds was effective at number eight
Effort: Craig Simmonds was effective at number eight

Dalziel came out on top in an entertaining game where their blistering start was enough to secure a well deserved win in what was a high scoring encounter.

The Motherwell lads got off to a storming opening against Cartha, scoring a try in the first minute.

This was a signal of what was to come in the first half in what was Dalziel’s best start to a game in months.

From the Dalziel kick off, the Cartha stand off’s clearance kick was wayward and fullback Simpson replied with interest, pushing play onto the home side’s five metre line.

From the resultant line out the ball was spilled and number eight Simmonds pounced on the ball to dive over for the score. Simpson had his kicking boots on and only missed one kick throughout the game.

The Dalziel scrum was completely dominant in the first half and managed to take number against a big Cartha pack.

One of these scrums in the home sides 22m eventually led to Gillon Duguid being held up over the line, but from the scrum which followed Duguid managed to make a break and offload to Kyle Matheson whose strength allowed him to touch the ball down over the line despite being held by two defenders.

The score moved to 23-0 with the conversion and a couple of penalties knocked over by Simpson.

Cartha then enjoyed some territory and possession, keeping the ball deep in the Dalziel half.

However, good pressure in defence kept them out, and eventually a scrum was awarded to the home side in the Dalziel 22m.

Fantastic work from the forwards meant another scrum was taken against the head, allowing Simmonds to pick up from the base and take out two defenders before offloading to stand off Harris.

Harris sped past the loose forwards and took play deep into the Cartha half before drawing the winger and passing to Matheson, who drew the fullback and passed to Westwood to finish in the corner.

This was a great sweeping move from turnover ball which resulted in a great try for the Motherwell boys, taking the score to 31-0.

The Cartha support then eventually had something to cheer about as Cartha managed to score a try in the right corner from a scrum.

The Motherwell boys seemed to switch off at this point.

With a mistake right from the restart and some poor passing, they only made life hard for themselves when they fluffed a try due to poor handling on the outside when presented with a three-versus-two situation.

Once more, Dalziel let Cartha into the game and they took their chances very well. They had possession of the ball in the Dalziel 22m once again, and after a held up try the pack managed to bulldoze their way over the short side for another score.

In the second half the tables were turned, as Cartha got an early score on the board by driving a line out over the Dalziel line.

The Glasgow side then turned up the heat as they kept playing well with the wind now at their backs, keeping Dalziel pinned in their own half.

When Dalziel did venture into the Cartha half, they were seeking the bonus point try and so turned down a couple of shots at goal to kick for touch instead.

Their efforts came to no avail, however, and Cartha took the ball back up the pitch with a few quick penalties and managed to execute an overlap very well to score their own bonus point try in the corner.

This took the score to 31-26 and Dalziel were under huge amounts of pressure.

But credit was due to the Motherwell men who dealt with everything else that Cartha threw at them and did not concede any more points, closing out the game with some fantastic pressure in defence and the game ended at 31-26.

The Seconds had a disappointing performance against Hamilton losing 29-23 to their Lanarkshire rivals, though the losing bonus point keeps them in second place in Reserve National 2. Tries came from Paul White, Darren Moon and Scott Johnstone, the latter adding the rest from the boot.

The Under-18s lost a close game to Greenock 20-18.

Next week, the First, Second, Third and Under-18 XVs are at Dalziel Park. Firsts and Seconds play Perthshire, Thirds are playing Waysiders/Drumpellier and the Under 18s play Dumfries.