West of Scotland 22
PREMIER DIVISION TWO
STUART PATON reports
Peebles came to a windswept, freezing Burnbrae, and were within a whisker of coming home with four points.
Unfortunately, when the whistle blew for full-time, Peebles had just missed a penalty, which would have given them a much-needed away victory.
Things could have been so different, had the Pees been switched on for the first half.
West were forced to play with their shirts inside out because of a colour clash, but right from the kick-off, Peebles looked and appeared a bit nervy and hesitant.
West took the lead when Andrew Park went on a mazy run before the ball was released to Neil Heron to score.
West then added a second score with a smashing try.
With the visitors defence being sucked in, the ball was sent wide right for Heron to bolt in,
Neil Warnock, having earlier suffered a dislocated finger, replied with a penalty on 30 minutes before Simon Kay’s touchdown meant West extended their lead.
But Peebles managed a great reply, when David Paton made a fantastic burst from the back of a line-out to set up Neil Hogarth, who steamed over in the corner for a half-time score of 19-8.
Coach Gerry McGuinness must have had some stern words during the break as Peebles returned pumped up and looked a different team.
After a shocking West tackle, Neil Warnock’s boot reduced the lead to eight points before lock Andrew Brown scored his team’s try of the season to date with a sprint down the left wing.
Then came the killer blow as the visitors were adjudged to have entered the side of a ruck and Ross McAuley kicked three points.
But Hogarth added another try, only for the conversion to be missed, to leave the score at 22-21 to the hosts.
Peebles piled on the pressure in the closing stages and with seconds to go they got a penalty.
From a tight angle near the right touchline, Neil Warnock gave it his all, but the ball just fell short and condemned Peebles to a bonus point defeat.
Peebles: G. Raeburn; C. Blyth, D. Clancy, T. Walsh, N. Hogarth; N. Warnock, D. Anderson; A. Clark, M. Carryer, R. Milne, A. Brown, K. Clyde, A. Warnock, E. Jackson, D. Paton. Subs: R. McConnell, J. Forrester, D. Moore, I. Rodger.