Jan 26 2012 by Andrew Weston, Hamilton Advertiser
Dumfries too strong for undercooked Dalziel
DALZIEL missed out on a glamour West Regional Cup last-four clash against Premier One giants Ayr after losing to Dumfries in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
After the frustration of having last week’s league match at Perthshire called off at the very last minute, Dalziel went into the game having not played a competitive fixture since November.
In contrast, the visitors to Dalziel Park had faced Kirkcaldy the previous week and looked the sharper side on Saturday.
Dumfries had the wind behind them in the opening exchanges and utilised it effectively to keep Dalziel pinned in their own half.
The hosts put in a sterling defensive effort to keep the Doonhamers out but eventually the pressure told.
After multiple phases of play, Dalziel infringed at a five-metre scrum and a visiting player reacted to take a quick penalty and crash over for the opening score. The try was converted.
Dalziel were unable to kick for territory due to the breeze and they were relying on probing runs from Kyle Matheson and James Baxendale to gain ground.
This tactic was paying off, although they were playing too narrow a game. which allowed Dumfries to soak up the attack and repel their advances.
Soon Dumfries had turned over the ball and mounted a counter-attack.
Their inside centre cut a devastating line through the static Dalziel defence to score 15 metres from the touchline.
The conversion was missed but Dalziel were now 12-0 behind.
From the restart, Dumfries infringed and John Harris pushed Dalziel towards the try line with a kick to touch.
Kris Watters secured his own lineout ball and the Dalziel pack set up the drive before the maul broke down.
The second half was pretty uneventful, with both teams cancelling each other out in attack and neither team looking like threatening the tryline.
Shortly after half-time, Ryan Watters replaced Scott Johnstone to make his 1st XV debut for Dalziel, having progressed through the under-18s and all four senior XVs this season.
Dumfries pushed to kill the game off and were only afforded two penalties which were successfully converted leading to them winning the game 18-0.
This weekend Dalziel have the chance to exact swift revenge when Dumfries make a second trip up the M74, this time on league business.
l Dalziel’s 2nd XV continued their losing run with a 32-7 home defeat at the hands of rivals Hamilton.
The visitors started the stronger team, scoring four unanswered first half tries to lead 24-0 at the break.
A fifth try followed before Fraser McKenzie squeezed over to grab a consolation score for the hosts.
Lewis Matheson converted before a last-minute penalty completed the scoring.
The 2nds entertain Dumfries on Saturday.
The Under-18s travelled to Burnbrae to complete their league campaign with a threadbare squad.
West of Scotland outplayed Dalziel in every facet of the game before a number of injuries reduced Dalziel to 12 players and as a result the game was abandoned shortly after half-time.
The 3rd XV look to continue their championship push this weekend at Cambuslang 2nds while the 4th XV hosts Hamilton’s 3rds.