Lenzie fail to get the year off to a winning start

Lenzie rugby

Lenzie rugby

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Lenzie: 11

Newton Stewart: 16

In their first outing in 2014, Lenzie were hoping to build on their pre-Christmas win against Glasgow Accies in their league match with Newton Stewart.

On a very cold but dry day, the visitors opted to play with the breeze in their favour in the first half.

Despite the recent rainfall the pitch at Viewfield was in good condition although the going was certainly on the heavy side.

Lenzie started the game brightly, with McWilliams and Queenan to the fore in taking the direct route to the visitors.

However, the Viewfield men were met by a well organised defence and were unable to capitalise on their good work.

After 15 minutes, Newton Stewart managed to break out of defence with some good support play and Lenzie were penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown.

Russel was successful with the penalty from 20 metres giving the first points to the visitors.

The pattern of play in the first half was resumed and Lenzie continued to dominate possession and press the visitors’ line with some excellent driving play from the pack. Newton Stewart’s defence continued to be tested and their stand off Muir relieved the pressure with some long clearance kicks.

With half time looming, McLean won clean line out ball and the Lenzie pack drove towards the Newton Stewart line and, after good patience and support play, Morrison burrowed over from close range for a well-deserved try.

There was time for Newton Stewart to launch one last attack in the first half but the Lenzie defence was equal to the test and Peters relieving kick was followed by the half time whistle. Lenzie were 5–3 ahead at the interval.

The second half was a mirror image of the first with Newton Stewart having more possession and pressure than Lenzie.

Only five minutes into the half a lacklustre follow up from a clearance kick by Peters enabled Newton Stewart to gain momentum with their counter attack and a well-timed inside pass from Brawls put Wilson into space and the full back scored a try in the corner to edge the visitors back into the lead.

This seemed to galvanise Lenzie into their best spell in the second half. Good work by Williams and Moore was thwarted by a deliberate knock on and Peters goaled the resultant penalty to level the scores.

Mid-way through the half a further penalty goal for Lenzie put the home side clear - much to the delight of the sizeable home support.

The see-saw nature of the match continued and when Lenzie were penalised for offside on their 22. Russel took advantage and the scores were level again.

With time running out and a draw looking likely, Lenzie were pressing deep in the visitors’ half.

Newton Stewart won a turnover and moved the ball wide to the unlikely figure of front rower Haigh who made fully 60m before being hauled down by the covering Paton. Newton Stewart managed to retain possession and then moved the ball across the pitch and found enough space for McMillan to squeeze in at the corner for a fine try and what turned out to be the winning score.

Lenzie are now playing with much more confidence and purpose than the first part of the season and are able to give all teams in this league a real run for their money.

If they can also start to bring a little more variety to their play and pressure the opposition more on their kick chase, they will start to win more of these closely fought matches.

Lenzie are away to Annan this Saturday.