Cartha QP.....13 Hamilton.....24
HAMILTON took a massive step towards safety in Scottish Hydro-Electric Premier 2 with a vital win over Glasgow side Cartha Queen’s Park.
With results elsewhere going Hamilton’s way, they only need a point from their remaining two games to stave off relegation.
Cartha attacked Hamilton from the start but the visitors soon settled into their game and took the lead in 20 minutes, ironically after Ron Strydom had missed a penalty.
From the restart, Stuart Bartwicki and Alistair Smith combined before Allan Dodds put a kick deep into the corner, which the Cartha defence managed to clear for a lineout.
Strydom, Dodds and Robbie Hooper again applied pressure and, with tempers beginning to fray, Hamilton were awarded a penalty which was again kicked to the corner.
This time Ally Marshall took clean ball and found Sangster, who drew his opposite number before releasing Hooper to slice through and score under the posts. Strydom’s conversion put Hamilton 7-0 up.
Cartha dissent was starting to count against them, with a Hamilton penalty moved 10 metres further forward.
But good defending kept them at bay, and when Craig Inglis’ kick was charged down Andy Scott collected and took the ball to just short of Hamilton’s line, where a scrum enabled John McCrossan to crash over.
Andrew White’s conversion failed to find its way over but the try reduced the deficit to 7-5.
McCrossan and Simon Denny were making life difficult for Hamilton and only desperate defending by Gerry Hawkes and John Selfridge denied them further first-half scores.
Hamilton got the second half off to a flier when Andy MacFie kicked ahead, forcing Cartha to carry over and touch down for a Hamilton scrum.
Bart Karalus picked up and fed Strydom, who nipped over for a try, with Strydom tagging the extra points for 14-5.
Dodds went all the way to the corner before being forced out and when Richie Maxton stole good lineout ball Cartha went over again, with Strydom slotting the penalty for 17-5.
White then responded in kind, reducing the gap to 17-8.
Further Cartha pressure resulted in McCrossan scoring an unconverted try for 17-13.
With just a score in it now, both teams saw the opportunity to grab an important victory and stepped things up.
Marshall and Maxton were securing good lineout ball and setting up the centres but Cartha turned things back repeatedly.
Tempers started to fray and following a melee, Hamilton’s Strydom was sin-binned.
Cartha took advantage and Scott looked to have taken the ball over but Stuart Bartwicki managed to get a hand to it, giving Hamilton a chance to clear.
Hamilton were defending desperately against a Cartha onslaught but the hosts’ disappointment boiled over as Harvey was sin-binned, and the game swung in the opposite direction.
With Strydom back on, Hamilton secured good scrum ball and Sangster kicked deep.
A poor return by Cartha allowed Dodds and Karalus to surge towards the line and Hooper took the ball on before a simple pop-up to Strydom allowed the scrum-half to crash over.
Strydom kicked the extra points to complete the scoring.
Hamilton will face Premier 1 side Currie in a friendly at Laigh Bent on Saturday.
The match kicks off at 3pm.