Torrance House men go down to league leaders
East Kilbride 6 Dalziel 22
EAST Kilbride suffered their fourth successive defeat on Saturday at Torrance House, when top of the table Dalziel took the points with a comfortable win.
Despite the scoreline there were few long faces in the clubrooms afterward, as to remain competitive in light of the most horrendous injury list was quite an achievement.
While the pack was weakened – missing four first choice forwards – the carnage was most pronounced in the backs, with at least 10 of the squad hors de combat.
For the record, those who would have been in the selectors’ minds if available include, Turnbull, both Stevensons, Greenfield, Blackwood, Seymour, Shankie, Durno and Wood.
Such was the upheaval that only wing Nathan Ross remained in situ from last weekend's game, and the line-up was sufficiently fluid that Craig Ferguson Senior was plucked from the nearby reserve pitch five minutes from kick-off to ensure that EK started with a full complement.
To allow the reserves a chance in their league game, player-coach Fraser Stott opted to run with only Gareth Jones on the bench.
Once the game starts though, excuses go out of the window. Dalziel were, undoubtedly, worthy victors but were certainly made to work hard for the points.
The Motherwell side pride themselves on their scrummaging, but achieved little better than parity against a technically sound EK eight. There was nothing between the sides along the touchline either, with Scotland under-18 second row Craig Ferguson the dominant force on either flank.
EK could also be happy with the efforts around the tackle situation where they aggressively targeted the ball in a fashion that they have not done previously this season. Unsurprisingly, the difference between the sides was in continuity and concentration, with Dalziel displaying the benefits of being a settled unit, while EK looked exactly what they were, a scratch side.
It is something of a sporting cliché, but if Stott had been offered a scoreline of 22-6 before the game kicked off then he would assuredly have accepted it.
Knowing how stretched East Kilbride were in terms of resources, the visitors were probably a little disappointed to not have picked up the four-try bonus point, which says much for the resilience of East Kilbride.
This weekend EK head south to take on bottom of the table Annan. The injury situation should have eased a little as this is a game that East Kilbride really need to win, sitting as they are only one point above the relegation zone.
East Kilbride: Mclellan, Anderson, Watt, Dalgleish, Ferguson (Jnr), Aitken, Timmons, Bruce, MacDonald, Stott, Ferguson (Snr), Rosie, Little, Ross, Blackwood.
l Elsewhere, the thinning of the ranks in the senior side had an impact on the reserves. While they were able to field a team against Glasgow Accies, it most certainly had a makeshift look about it.
To make matters worse, the city side were bolstered by a number of players unable to make the journey to Inverness for their first team league fixture.
However, as with the first team, EK reserves played with real fire, losing 17-0 and threatening to spring a surprise in the second half.