Dominant victory for Lasswade in National Cup

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Lasswade’s 2019-2020 season kicked off with the customary preliminary round of the National League Cup having drawn West of Scotland.

The Bonnyrigg side will face West two more times later on this season when the National League 3 gets underway.

On a damp but well-prepared pitch and in bright sunshine, West kicked off and this was to prove their main way of briefly visiting the Lasswade end through most of the first half.

The visitors needed only a few cycles to get the ball into West territory where it remained until the first score 12 minutes into the game when Gladstone darted in from 15 metres out after a period of controlled possession. Smith converted from wide out with what was to be a man-of-the-match place kicking performance.

The visitors were dominant in most areas of play and particularly so in the set scrum.

Early in the second quarter they pushed the home side off their own ball and from the unexpected advantage Cook crashed over beside the posts. Smith made it 0-14.

Similar turnover ball ten minutes later allowed Robertson to pick up at Number 8 to feed Gladstone who in turn offloaded to Wichary who evaded two tacklers to find the line for Smith to add the two points.

With six minutes of the half remaining there was still enough time to add a fourth try when swift handling from a penalty on the right wing created an overlap on the left for Smith to add a try to his six points so far but alas it was to be the one missed conversion out of nine opportunities.

The second period started in similar vein with Lasswade pressure forcing a five metre scrum which was then pushed over with Robertson completing the touchdown while Smith got back into the groove to make it seven points.

In spite of good height and length on the restart kick, the visitors contrived to run the ball straight back with Gladstone taking a good line to take the last pass and outpace the defence over the last 20 metres to touch down beside the posts giving Smith an easy conversion for once.

Rubbing salt in the wounds, a well weighted chip through allowed Andy Hall to be the less likely winner of the foot race to touch down and Smith again converted from wide out to bring up 47 unanswered points.

Both sides called on a number of replacements and the tide turned briefly in West’s favour. A try either side of the hour by Robertson and Smith , both converted by Cardin, brought some consolation to the home side and support but also reminded Lasswade that there was still a game to finish off.

The visitors quickly took back control and added another try through Lewis Burns with ten minutes to go and just two minutes later Ross Combe crossed over for the ninth touchdown and Smith’s almost inevitable conversions brought up 14-61 which carried through the middle.

The score line almost says enough but this combined effort of both backs and forwards augurs well for the league campaign which starts this Saturday when Strathmore travel to Hawthornden Kick Off 3pm.