Dalziel come so close to first win

CLOSING IN: Dalziel try to stop a West player breaking through.

CLOSING IN: Dalziel try to stop a West player breaking through.

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A late penalty denied Dalziel their first league win of the season in a close encounter with West of Scotland at Burnbrae on Saturday.

In a match between the bottom two sides in the RBS Championship Division A table Dalziel came within five minutes of ending their run of eight straight defeats.

But their hopes were shattered when Blair Smith’s kick earned West a 20-18 victory.

Dalziel started brightly but the territory and pressure they enjoyed came to naught and they fell behind when Andy Park broke a tackle and floated a huge pass out wide to Stuart Morrison who gathered the slippy ball well to score in the corner.

The successful conversion by Smith from out wide proved the first in a number of outstanding kicks.

Dalziel came right back into the game and some excellent blindside passing and offloading shook West who conceded a penalty out wide.

But the effort went adrift of the posts and Dalziel then gave away a penalty in front of their own posts which Smith kicked successfully.

Dalziel’s efforts finally paid off when a superb break saw Craig Simmonds offload to supporting players and two passes later Cammy King was in at the corner.

Unfortunately the try wasn’t converted but the next 15 minutes saw some great attacking rugby from Dalziel and eventually West again conceded a penalty five metres out which Ross Donnachie kicked to cut West’s lead to 10-8 at half-time.

Dalziel continued to press though after the break and went in front when Gavin Armstrong charged down a clearance kick and followed up to ground the ball.

This time, and from a difficult angle, Donnachie slotted the conversion to make it 15-10 for Dalziel.

But just three minutes later, in West’s first venture into the Dalziel 22 for some considerable time, Craig Simpson scored a try in the corner which Smith again superbly converted to put West 17-15 in front.

Play proved scrappy as both sides struggled to further impose themselves, but Dalziel regained the lead when they were awarded a penalty which Donnachie converted to put them 18-17 ahead.

Dalziel were dealt a blow 30 minutes into the second half when prop Davie Irvine was yellow carded for a scrum offence.

Not long after this, and with just over five minutes left to play, West got a scrum and were awarded a penalty which was duly converted in front of the posts by Smith to give the home side a decisive 20-18 advantage.

This week Dalziel’s first XV are away to Ardrossan, while the seconds, thirds and under-18s are all at home to Greenock, GHA, Cartha respectively.