Lasswade kicked off the season with a morale-boosting 19-7 victory over Howe of Fife in the first round of the National League Cup.
The home side have retained most of last season’s successful squad but needed to use their strength in depth when eight of them were unavailable, including vice-captain Stephen Hunter. Howe are in the process of rebuilding and several of their team were young first timers.
On a pristine if still slightly hard pitch and in bright sunshine, Howe kicked off with a slight breeze at their backs and penned Lasswade in their own half for fully eight minutes.
A home score seemed likely but a fumbled ball gave Steven, the Howe winger, the chance to counter down the right wing and scrum half Harley was on hand to take the offload and sprint under the posts for Rowlands to make it seven.
With five minutes left in the half Billingham made use of his forward’s supremacy by calling a scrum 10 metres from the Howe line and was duly rewarded when Quigley touched down the pushover try, setting up the 5-7 half time score.
Six minutes into the second period the hosts took the lead from a quick tap penalty in their own half. Quigley broke the line and raced to the post brushing off two would be tacklers on the way. Clark’s conversion made it 12-7.
Handling errors and turnovers by both sides tended to interrupt the flow of play and a further 10 minutes passed before what proved to be the deciding and final score. Prop, Liam Greig, got the ball on the charge and burst through the Howe defence to win the 30 metre race to the line for a touchdown beside the posts and another Clarke conversion.
The final 25 minutes continued to be hotly contested but neither side could crack the other’s defence again and 19-7 took the hosts into the second round of the Cup.
This Saturday Lasswade travel to GHK for the opening National League Division 2 game. Kick-off 3pm.