Crieff & Strathearn....14
Waid FPs continued their quest for second place and took one step closer to that following their triumph over Crieff and Strathearn on Saturday.
Blustery conditions combined with a blinding sun made life difficult for both teams during play, and it was 20 minutes before Waid chalked up the first points of the day.
Slightly under pressure, the Crieff fly-half opted for a kick into the wind which backfired for the Perthshire club.
A strong gust caught the ball mid-air and landed behind the gain line. The ball took a kind bounce into the arms of winger Lucas Miskiewicz who powered through for an unconverted try.
Waid moved up a gear and continued to steam ahead as the powerful running from Allan Drysdale proved too much for the Crieff defensive line as centre Drysdale broke with ease and thundered over the try line for Waid’s second of the day. The try was converted by Paul Hanlon.
Waid continued to make the remainder of the half a misery for the visitors with the Anstruther pack pushing closer to the opponents try line but were unable to notch up a score from this drive with the guests showing their tough defensive presence, letting the home side know they had far from given up.
Waid’s persistence eventually paid off when shipped out to outside centre Kieran Doak, whose speed could not be matched by the defence.Doak slipped through the line and dived over in dramatic fashion to add another five points to the scorecard for the home side.
With little time left in the first half, Waid were determined to rack up even more tries and winger Kato Blockley did just that, after coming off the blind wing and into the line. Blockley obtained possession of the ball and danced through Crieff’s defensive line for the final try of the half. With winds proving a nuisance, the conversion was one again unconverted leaving the half time score at 22 - 0.
The second half would prove to be a much tougher test for Waid as they had the wind against them and the sun in their eyes. Crieff tried to put Waid under pressure with long kicks and threatening runs, but the Waid defence held strong, much to the frustration of the visitors.
However, when Waid were in attack, the ball was spilled forward, and the Perthshire men made full use of the advantage called by the ref’ by immediately chipping over the home defence and regaining possession to score their first points of the day.
The try was converted and it looked as though a comeback might be on the cards. However, Waid forwards Gary McLaggan, Euan Moncrieff and Adam Shaw had other ideas and their immense and powerful running was too much for the away team, and resulted in a try for flanker McLaggan.
Not long after, following a chip through from full back John Murray, Waid found themselves back in the opponent’s 22m line.
The line-out was won by Waid and shipped to stand-off Hanlon, who twinkle-toed through the defensive cover to score beneath the posts before converting his own try.
As the game was coming to a close, Crieff pushed for a final score. The Crieff stand off was able to find a gap in the line and came one on one with Waid full back Murray, who was just able to ground the opponent.
Waid recovered the ball and looked to put it out of play for the final whistle when some questionable play allowed the visitors to get possession again and power over the line for the last try of the game. The final score was 34-14 to the home side.
Man of the Match was awarded to Waid’s Graham Gourlay who’s influential and commanding running was immense.
After the final whistle, captain Kevin Anderson said: “Given the difficult conditions we were faced with, the boys can come off the field knowing that their job was done, and it was done well. With the top spot in the league out of reach, our goal is now second place and one more win will ensure that.”
Waid are away to Arbroath this week, with kick off back to 3pm.