Peebles in better shape

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Peebles 14

West of Scotland 7

PREMIER DIVISION C

PEEBLES shook a gorilla off their back on Saturday with a hard-fought victory.

The hosts started the brighter team, stringing together phases of play, and were encouraged by their ability to hold on to the ball for long periods – something that has been lacking this season.

Fielding their strongest starting line up for some time as injuries relented, Peebles lost their main creative spark when Neil Warnock suffered an early hamstring strain.

Greg Raeburn stepped in but missed several early penalty attempts. The pressure eventually told on West as Peebles strung several passes across the pitch for Donald Anderson to slide over the whitewash. The conversion was missed before Anderson took over the kicking duties to slot a penalty.

West came back sprightlier and exerted a lot of pressure on the Peebles line, to the point where Neil Hogarth was sin-binned for ruck infringements. Peebles held firm with 14 men and at half time led 8-0, a rare feeling for the Ps.

West dominated possession throughout the second half, scoring a converted try on the wing and putting the pressure back on Peebles. Two further penalties struck by Anderson took the final score to 14-7 after a massive defensive effort by Peebles restricting West to one converted try for the half.

A much improved display with the forwards dominating scrums, effective lineouts and powerful pick-and-drive play. The backs linked well and defended heroically. The mountain still looms in front of Peebles though.

Peebles: G. Raeburn; D. Clancy, A. Smellie, T. Walsh, N. Hogarth; N. Warnock, D. Anderson; A. Clark, R. McConnell, T. Mapuilesua, J. Serex, A. Brown, D. Hall, E. Jackson, J. Forrester. Subs: M. Carryer, K. Clyde, A. Warnock, C. Blyth.