LENZIE travelled to Helensburgh for the final of the Regional Bowl on Saturday and played with the slight breeze in their favour in the first half.
Regional Bowl Final
The dry day should have encouraged good handling, however, the heavy underfoot conditions made it difficult to make much progress with ball in hand and the first half was dominated with both teams kicking for position.
The Lenzie forwards were working well as a unit, with McNeish and McLean secure in the line-out and Lenzie having the edge in the set scrum. Lenzie had the better of the first half and were 6-3 ahead at the break, courtesy of two Scouller penalties.
The half-time team talk seemed to inspire Lenzie and with 10 minutes played, Lenzie forced the home side back into their 22 following good work from Williams, Scouller and Cameron. From the resultant line-out, Paterson fed Queenan and, taking what seemed like half the Helensburgh pack with him, the prop barged over for a well-deserved try to extend Lenzie’s lead to eight points.
Helensburgh continued with their tactics of kicking for position and scored two penalties – the first when Lenzie failed to roll away from a ruck on their 22 and the second when Lenzie failed to release when trying to play out of their own half.
Helensburgh had rarely threatened the Lenzie line, but with five minutes play remaining Jones was adjudged to have prevented release from a ruck in a rare Helensburgh foray into their 22 and the referee also yellow-carded the Lenzie centre – a decision which bemused the Lenzie support as the Helensburgh player appeared to have been holding on to the ball after the tackle.
With Lenzie down to 14 Helensburgh attacked the Lenzie line and, despite the heroic efforts of Matier, the home full-back managed to stretch out and reach the try line, which was followed by a fine conversion.
With the game moving into time added on for injury, Lenzie managed to work a foothold in the Helensburgh 22. After pressure from Paterson on the Helensburgh scrum half, the ball became loose and McManus picked up . . . but was hauled down agonisingly close to the home try line.
The Helensburgh defence managed to soak up further Lenzie attacks and following a turnover cleared their lines and the final whistle sounded to the relief of the home support. Great credit to Lenzie who so nearly managed to lift the trophy and best wishes to Helensburgh who will now play Grangemouth in the semi-final of the National Bowl. Back to league business this Saturday with a trip to Cumbernauld. Kick-off 10.45am.
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