Bannockburn Rugby Club

'FERRY TEST PROVES TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Bannockburn's pre-season planning stepped up a notch on Saturday with a tough encounter in the heat at Queensferry.

'Burn narrowly won a friendly between the sides at Bluebellwood two years ago but there was to be no repeat on the banks of the Forth as the home side capitalised on a great start to claim victory.

The visitors, who were without several key players, can take heart from a spirited display, particularly in the second forty minutes when injuries reduced them to 14 men for almost all of the half.

'Ferry began well and were two converted scores up in the first few minutes. On both occasions 'Burn lost possession at the breakdown and suffered heavily as the home team finished clinically. A further try came midway through the first half when 'Burn kicked away possession and couldn't prevent a sweeping backs move which resulted in a try on the right wing.

Mark Wetton put 'Burn on the board with a penalty, which came after good driving work in the 'Ferry 22 by the visiting pack but the home team crossed the line again before half-time when they again collected a 'Burn clearance kick and returned it for a score.

Stuart Hugh had played a captain's role in the first half, putting in several big hits, but he was forced off by a nasty-looking back injury just after the break.

With prop Kevin Gibb also injured, 'Burn had to soldier on with 14 players and they conceded a fifth score soon after the restart.

Rather than buckling, however, 'Burn fought back into the game and got the next score. A period of sustained attacking play in the Queensferry 22 saw Gregor Queen cross the line. The referee ruled he had been held up but brought play back for an earlier penalty. Wetton took a quick tap and sprinted over, before converting his own score.

A further Wetton penalty kept the score ticking over and 'Burn came within inches of claiming another try right at the death thanks to a brilliant piece of running by full-back Nick Wales, who was adjudged to have knocked on in the act of scoring after a storming 60 metre run.

Queensferry, who took full advantage of their numerous replacements, were good value for their win but 'Burn fought hard in difficult conditions and can regard the match as another important part of their pre-season preparations.

Young Jake Menday put in some good hits on the wing and at centre, while Ryan Lydon and Bryan Paterson were prominent in a good defensive effort in the second half. Kevin McCormack had a good game at hooker Gregor Queen became increasingly influential in the lineout as the game wore on.

BANNOCKBURN: N Wales; C Bruce, M Wetton, Scott McGown, J Menday; D Sinclair, Stuart McGown; A Greenwood, K McCormack, K Gibb, B Paterson, S Shotliff, G Queen, R Lydon, S Hugh (capt). Rep: AJ Lias

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