Free-scoring Arbroath record a fine win

Arbroath RFC 48, Bridgehaugh RFC 15

ON A bright but blustery Saturday afternoon Arbroath Rugby Club welcomed Bridgehaugh Rugby Club from Stirling.

This was the second encounter this season between these two clubs and on the first meeting Arbroath had come off second best, so the men in green and gold knew they had to come out and stamp their authority on the game right from the first whistle.

Arbroath were strengthened by the return of senior players getting back from injury. Bridgehaugh elected to play with the wind in their backs, and made use of this straight away by putting in long raking kicks deep into the Arbroath 22-metre area, where Cooper and Keillor kept their nerve and made good ground back up the pitch on more than one occasion.

Bridgehaugh continued to knock at the Arbroath door but the front eight led by captain Smith were not going to let them in. The visitors opted to spin the ball out wide and with the homesters drawn into the ruck went over for the first try of the day. Ten minutes later Arbroath were two tries behind due to a well worked back row move from the Stirling men.

The homesters knew that if they kept in contention, and maintained concentration they always had a great chance to win the game. Cooke, Lewis, Bedwell, McLennon and Haynes drove forward metre by metre to just within striking range of the opposition try line. This was an opportunity Oliver was not going to miss. Scooping the ball up and keeping low he drove at the defensive line and crashed over to the delight of the crowd.

Not to be outdone the back line scored a great training ground move, firstly set up by great phase play then shipped out to the speedsters, and finally to the waiting hands of Lilley to score a great try in the corner.

Half-time: Arbroath RFC 12, Bridgehaugh 12.

With the second half under way Arbroath’s game plan was simple, keep them on the back foot, and maintain pressure, and once in the opposition play to the game plan.

The home scrum-half was working well and constantly won ball against the head, and from this Oliver went over for a further two more tries making it a hat-trick for the day.

With their tails up Arbroath were not going to let this chance slip. Lilley, Grey, Inzes and Collins all went over the try line to put a real gloss on their personal and team performance.

The sizeable crowd was treated by some fast flowing rugby, with all players playing their part in a solid determined performance and a richly deserved win.

Team: Smith (captain), McIntyre (vice-captain), J. Irving, B. Irving, McLennon, Bedwell, Keilor, Haynes, Crow, Grey, Hendry, Lilley, Lewis, Henderson, Robertson, Cooke, Gilmartin, Inzes, Weaver, Collins, Cooper,

Training continues each Thursday night at 6.15 p.m. at RM Condor. All standards welcome.