Match Report: Glasgow Accies 26 - 17 Falkirk RFC

Match Report for Saturday 12th January 2019

Accies RFC v Falkirk RFC at New Anniesland

“Accies play for 8o minutes to take the points”

Accies injury issues continued as Greg Valentine and Ryan Sweeney were injured last week and with Chris Goodfellow, Grant Drummond, Will Brown and Calum Duke all unavailable, they took the field with a young prop playing his first game for the 1’s. 

 Our visitors today won the first encounter, by one point, so the Accies players were keen to make amends for that defeat. However it was Falkirk who came out of the blocks with a real spirit and determination. This was a game they saw as a winnable and possibly ‘must win’ one as victory would put real distance between them and the bottom 5 clubs.

They were running hard with ball in hand and their forwards were supporting the ball carrier and dominating the early exchanges at the breakdown. So it was not a surprise when their exceptionally fast outside centre romped home when the Falkirk back division completed a training ground move superbly to score under the posts, making the conversion simple.   So before some of the supporters had settled to the game it was        0 – 7

It was not long before the same player took full advantage of an overlap to scamper past the last cover defence to score out wide on the right. A tough conversion was missed but this had clearly given the visitors real confidence.                        0 – 12

I think there were a few Accies supporters starting to think the worst and Falkirks’ thinking this was going to be a romp in the park and a bonus point win. 

However, the Accies players started to take a bit more control of the forward encounters and the backs were clearly adjusting to the new line up. Falkirk were thwarting all the efforts of the Accies forwards and backs to get something on the scoreboard, with some aggressive tackling and competitiveness at the breakdown. It did appear that Accies were not going to reduce the deficit before the half time whistle. However with the clock ticking down the backs took control and from ball produced by the pack 5 metres from the Falkirk line the ball was moved wide to Ross Cowan who drew the final two defenders and with another lovely offload he put Kris Mathie clear to romp home in the right hand corner. A superb conversion by Gordon McGuire made it       7 – 12.

That was the forty minutes up but due to a number of injuries there was another 8 tough minutes for Accies to survived as Falkirk came back at them with renewed aggression and camped themselves on Accies try line for most of that time. The Accies defence during this period was exceptional and they managed to keep out the opposition despite their best efforts.

Half – time  7 – 12

The second half started with Accies playing some really good rugby but still not able to break a very tenacious and committed Falkirk defence. 

Falkirk then put together a good period of attacking rugby and were finally inside Accies 22. They were kept out and it looked as if Accies might have weathered the storm, but from some quick ball and good transference they produced a simple two on one overlap out wide on the left and one of their substitutes crossed for a well worked try. Tough conversion was missed but Falkirk were 10 points clear.          7 – 17

The question was clearly in most spectators’ minds that Accies had struggled to break down a stoic Falkirk defence and they now had to score twice and convert one to win the game with the game well into the second half.

Accies were gaining momentum and setting up more penetrative attacks and after some good work by the forwards and running from Josh and Kris Mathie they were ensconced in the Falkirk 22. Accies tried to move the ball wide from a ruck on the Falkirk 22 but the Falkirk centre, who had caused Accies so many problems earlier on, saw his chance and collected a superb interception. Clear with 70 metres to go he set off and had only one man to beat, however that man happened to be Ross Cowan who hunted him down and stopped the move 30 metres from Accies line. Falkirk were still in control and recycled the ball and moved the ball wide into the midfield but Gordon McGuire was alert and quickly raced into the gap and caught the ball 10 metres inside Accies half, the cover defence got to him just inside their half but Gordon offloaded the ball to the supporting Scott Simmons who raced past the Falkirk defenders to run 50 metres for a superb try. Conversion again successful and Accies were now within 3 points.            14 – 17

Was this the turning point for Accies and could they even gain an unexpected victory that seemed very far away 20 minutes earlier? Well up stepped the ever competitive Kris Mathie who took a superb turnover ball inside Accies half and scampered off down the touchline.  As he saw the cover defence homing in he chipped ahead but a late tackle took him out. The referee clearly saw what had happened and had his hand out for the penalty, but like any good referee does, he waited for advantage. Well Josh Waldin, scampering up in support kept going, unlike some of the other players, needing no second invitation as raced from 30 metres out to beat everyone to the touch down for another spectacular try. Conversion by Gordon McGuire was again successful. Accies were now 4 points ahead.        21 – 17

Accies were clearly now in positive mode and the pack was causing havoc at scrum time and in the loose. The ball was being moved well by the backs and they were really starting to gain momentum. It was also clear that the Falkirk players were now less effective in their defensive duties.  These factors meant that Accies were clearly gaining in confidence and playing with the confidence that being in front gives you.

However nobody was relaxing as there was still plenty of time for Falkirk to hit back, and snatch the victory as they only required one score to win. They were clearly determined and put everything into the last 8 minutes but Accies were now dominating the game and the pressure was all on Falkirk. Their go forward players who had been so effective in the first 50 minutes were now far less confident and the ball transference was more ragged. Accies in contrast, were running hard and making the right decisions in the backs. A superb piece of follow up running by Scott Briggs, of a kick into Falkirk’s 22, caught their winger in possession and after a couple attempts to clear their lines the forwards turned over the ball and once again Josh Waldin, who had an outstanding game, saw him scamper down the blind side and created the slightest of gaps for Gordon Mcguire who took full advantage to score the final try, as he had done last week in Fife.  He could not convert his own try but Accies were now 9 points clear and the victory secure.        26 – 17

Falkirk to their credit did everything they could in the dying minutes but it was clear that the game had been lost and with time running out a penalty to Accies was tapped then kicked to touch and Accies had won a famous victory and 5 very valuable points

Full-time  26 – 17

It has to be said that the squad of players that the coaches have developed has paid real dividends if today’s performance is the result. The coaches and players have never complained that we never seem to be able to put the same 15 players onto the pitch for consecutive weeks, as every player who has stepped up to represent their club has given 100 percent. Accies have learned some tough lessons this season and that whilst things can go against you from an injury point of view if you work together and play for 80 minutes results will come. Full marks must be awarded to the players and coaches for a superb performance and one that Accies supporters, who were there, will remember and talk about for some time.

Accies have moved into 8th place in the league after two bonus point wins. 

  Today Accies welcomed a group of enthusiastic rugby people from the beautiful Island of Jura where there has been a rugby club since 1988, when it was formed. It was a joy to have them with us today and we hope they felt welcome and enjoyed their visit. The clubs are hoping to cement this new friendship with a visit to Jura soon.

Match Report: How of Fife 26 - 29 Glasgow Accies


Match Report for Saturday 5th January 2019

Accies RFC v Howe of Fife at Duffus Park

“A game of action and incident”

This was the rearranged fixture from December the 15th and I am sure both sets of players and coaches were regretting the lack of recovery time from the festive celebrations. There had only been one training session available since before Christmas. So, with no real preparation and several players unavailable for the Accies coaches they were faced with some difficult selection decisions to make, in particular within the structure of the back division where the two regular centres were unavailable. With Josh Waldin returning for his first game of the season after a serious shoulder injury, Adam Lowry moved to 10 and Cameron Wray took one step out to 12. Gordon McGuire fitted into his more accustomed position of outside centre and we were set to go!

It was clear from the start that Howe saw this as a must win game, with Accies just 5 points ahead and one place in the league above them. They had run Accies close in the first encounter at New Annieslnad when they just missed out on a losing bonus point with a 40 – 31 defeat. Therefore it was not a surprise that their forwards were running into contact with determination and their backs looked lively and quick. Early Accies defence looked good and the line speed was excellent, so the game remained very much in the middle of the pitch. The first score came somewhat unexpectedly when from a loose pass by Howe, Kane Greggain, who was all over Duffus Park today, saw the chance and intercepted the pass to romp home from 45 metres out.  A good conversion by Gordon McGuire saw Accies 7 – 0 up, slightly against the run of play, it has to be said.

Howe were quickly back on the attack and some quick ball transference and hard running saw their centre pick up a chip through to score a well-deserved try and with the conversion from wide out being missed the game was balanced at 7 – 5.

At this point in the game the Accies pack started to dominate the set piece, they were pushing their opponents all over the ground at scrum time. This was clearly causing Howe some trouble and over the next 20 minutes they managed to get two pushover tries. These are credited to the superb number 8, Ryan Sweeney, but were a real credit to the whole pack. One conversion and Accies were looking confident and 17 points clear at 19 – 5.

The Howe supporters were clearly concerned that with the dominance of the Accies pack their forwards would tire and their ability to pick and go with energy would be diminished. However a momentary lack of concentration, with the first half nearly over, by the Accies defence saw the Howe fullback clear with 20 metres to the line and nobody was going to stop him. A good conversion and suddenly Howe were within 7 points. The whistle was blown and the first half had come to an end. The Accies supporters were disappointed but still feeling confident that their pack would continue to dominate the game.

Half-time 19 – 12

A side that scores just at half time is usually given a real confidence boost and so it proved as Howe started the second half with real determination and their forwards were in confident form but after 5 or so minutes Accies pack were reasserting their authority. Howe of Fife had changed their prop at half time and the first scrum saw no changes as the Howe pack were driven back. Accies were now on the front foot again and working their way into the Howe 22. Another scrum 15 metres out saw the pressure being once again applied and the referee decided that a yellow card was required. The new prop left the pitch but Howe appeared to be unable to replace him so the referee had to make the decision to go to uncontested scrums. However from the scrum at the penalty point Accies produced a beautiful backs move which saw Kris Mathie cross in the corner. Difficult conversion missed but Accies now ahead    24 – 12

However the fact that the Howe forwards were now not under pressure at scrum time seemed to give them a lift and cause Accies to have to readdress how they were to replace their major advantage. Howe’s confidence was restored very quickly when after some hard running and carrying by their forwards and then quick transference saw their fullback cross for another try.  Good conversion saw the gap down to 5 points again.    24 – 19

The Howe prop was now returned to the fray and Accies supporters were feeling that the advantage of superior scrummaging was back in place. However at the next scrummage, signals from the Howe coach to their Captain saw him address the referee and whatever was said the referee informed Chris Johnstone, Accies Captain, that scrums would remain uncontested. 

This clearly raised the Howe spirits and after some hard running by the refreshed Howe forwards and it has to be said some weak tackling from Accies a simple ball out to their strong running hooker saw him cross for a simple try. The successful conversion saw Howe take the lead for the first time in the game.    24 – 26

The home crowd were now clearly looking for their team to tie up the game in the final 5 minutes and get the 5 points that could have been such a season changer. Accies supporters were all talking about the issue of uncontested scrums and why Howe were breaking through our defence and taking the lead. Despite all this it was only the Accies players who were still thinking they could win.

Howe’s stand-off was clearly under instruction to keep Accies inside their own half and by kicking and strong follow ups keep Accies under pressure. However from one of these kick and chases, Kris Mathie, who had worked tirelessly all afternoon, broke the first up tackle and went on one of his maize runs, but it looked as if his break was covered by the determined cover defence. Well Kris had other ideas and after getting past the first cover defender he continued his run. The Accies supporters were now on their feet and getting excited. Kris was now clear and heading for the 22 and the Accies supporters were shouting encouragement and the Howe supporters crying for someone to stop him. There were only seconds on the clock left and Howe’s scrum half was bearing down on Kris with a clear determination to save the game for his team. His tackle was made with Kris 2 metres short of the try line, had the number 9 saved the day? Well no, because Kris saw his teammate Gordon McGuire, running up inside him and with a superb offload, Gordon ran in the final metres  to fall over the line and score the winning try, and give the Accies supporters a happy journey home, but a sad Howe team and supporters who clearly thought they had done it… 29 – 26!

Full-time 29 – 26

This game was full of incident, and in many ways full of quality handling rugby. Howe had good hard running forwards and a back division that had pace and superb players in their number 13 and 15, who clearly controlled how their back division worked and caused Accies a great deal of problems. Whilst Accies were dominating the set piece they had a clear advantage over their opponents and were giving the back line some really good quality ball. It was clear that as the game progressed the Howe forwards influence in the loose was being reduced and they were finding it harder to be effective as they had to work so hard in the tight. The move to uncontested scrums, after the yellow card, clearly gave them an advantage and removed Accies main influence on the game. It released their forwards to work harder in open play. The only concern and confusion for Accies supporters was as to why, when they started the second half with contested scrums and when the yellow carded prop returned to the game, at the first scrum, the Howe Captain spoke to the referee and we continued with uncontested scrums? It clearly altered the whole structure of the game in the second half. Accies defence and confidence seemed to suffer and the Howe’s forwards were running with renewed energy. However despite the concerns in the stand, Accies players showed a real determination to play to the final whistle and ended up with 5 points instead of 2, which could be very important come March!

Match Report: Glasgow Accies 22 VS 20 Peebles (17/11/18)

Today Accies were facing the team who had taken down the league leaders last Saturday with a 10 – 7 victory away at Biggar and Accies were trying to come to terms with last Friday night’s defeat away to GHK. So the scene was set for Peebles to continue their climb up the league table. As one supporter said to me before the match – “well what do you think will happen today; after all they thumped us when we played them at the start of the season?” my response of “let’s wait and see” was greeted with a serious look of incredulity!

So with the sun dropping in the sky and shinning in Accies eyes, Peebles kicked off. The early encounters were, as usual, were aimed at trying to establish some weakness in their opponents. Probably due to early nerves, both sides were making some minor handling errors. It was however clear that this Accies team, once again showing several enforced changes, were all up for this encounter. Their tackling was aggressive and fast and unlike some previous performances they were working in numbers rather than individually. 

The scrums were relatively even despite the fact that we were missing two hookers and a prop. We were fielding a front row with our open side flanker at hooker and another back row player in the second row where we were also missing two locks, but to be honest every one of the 19 stepped up and made a difference. The coaches and players are working hard to perfect their game plan and it is beginning to show benefits.

Gradually the Accies pack were making inroads into the opposition 22 and then putting real pressure on the Peebles line, and after several pick and goes the ball was moved quickly across the back division and the left winger, Andy Brown, appeared outside the centres on the right and scampered over for a very well worked try. Kicking this season has been a real problem for Accies but today up stepped Chris Goodfellow, our strong prop, who has apparently been demonstrating his kicking skills at training , and converted the difficult kick with great aplomb and in the process putting Acciess     7 – 0 in front. 

Accies were demonstrating some real skill and despite not dominating the scrum and lineout areas they were working hard to keep their opponents on the back foot. Again they worked themselves back inside Peebles half and were eventually awarded a penalty 35 metres out, but in front of the posts, well up stepped Chris, or has his teammates call him ‘Boris’ and again converted to put Accies 10 – 0 ahead and the crowd chanting his name. Accies have at long last found a kicker!

Peebles are sitting fifth in the league because they are a good team and play some very good rugby and from the kick off put Accies under real pressure. Accies defence was coping well but an offence at a breakdown gave Peebles stand off a relatively simple kick to bring the score back to 10 – 3

This clearly gave Peebles a boost and they now put together their best passage of 15 man rugby in the first half. They have a good well drilled pack and a stand-off that can clearly run and deploy their fast and elusive backs. They were pressing and looking very capable of scoring more points but for some determined defence. However from a scrum just 5 metres out as a result of a Peebles knock on, Accies looked as if they had a chance to clear the danger with a clearance kick, however Ross Cowan had a different idea and instead of kicking to touch he ran, straight between two attackers and broke free. Running faster than any other player on the park, he reached the last defender, slowed to look for support, but decided he could beat him and did so. However having slowed slightly he had allowed two more defenders to reach him but he brushed both aside and scampered over the line. A brilliant individual try and Ross back to his best and getting the stand to its feet. Tough conversion missed but Accies were now ahead 15 – 3.

42 minutes gone but the referee decide to continue the game and from the kick off Peebles worked themselves into Accies 22. Surely Accies could keep them out for the final moments? But Peebles are a good team, and by keeping the ball live they manged to create a gap which their number 8 took full advantage of and crossed the line.. The conversion was missed, but Peebles were back to within 7 points at 15 – 8, and Peebles had scored that all important try just before half-time. The whistle goes and the first half is over.

Half – time   15 – 8

It is always felt to be an advantage to score just before half-time and could this be the key to Peebles revival? They were clearly gaining in confidence and worked the ball into Accies danger zone. Up to this point there had been little to choose between the scrums but as can happen, Peebles drove Accies off their own put in and swivelled the scrum clockwise. This created the perfect opportunity and with an easy 3 on 2 their quick footed winger crossed in the corner. Difficult conversion was missed but Peebles were now within 2 points and looking capable of scoring again.   15 - 13

Well to the delight of the Accie supporters, that had joined Mike Belch and his 4th XV team for lunch and gin tasting (very good it proved to be) this Accies side had different ideas and were still driving at the Peebles defence. They worked themselves back into the Peebles danger zone and had several lineout drives and some close calls however Peebles managed to survive and eventually clear their line. However the clearance kick was collected by Kris Mathie who moved it inside to Ross Cowan who drew the first defender and passed it back to Kris who then carried the ball well into Peebles half. There was an infringement at the tackle and who else but Ross was on hand to take a quick penalty, he then ran into the middle of the pitch, 35 metres out he was tackled, but managed to offload the ball to, the supporting debutant second row, Greg Connelly who, working his feet like a winger, beat two defenders and raced home for the try under the posts. Up steps Gordon McGuire, to convert and put Accies 9 points clear at 22 – 13.

Accies were defending with commitment and aggression and this was making life difficult for their opponents. Then from turnover ball inside their own half, Scott Simmons broke clear and he released our flying winger, Kris Mathie, who raced clear only to be stopped 10 metres short by a desperate last minute tackle. There followed a period of serious pressure by Accies but they could not convert it into points. Would they regret this as Peebles are an 80 minute side? Well as expected Peebles broke free of this defensive effort and their forwards started running hard at Accies close defence and with some good drives and a couple of good back moves Accies found themselves defending in their 22. With a matter of minutes to go their nippy winger scampered over again. This time, probably driven with adrenalin their stand-off kicked the conversion from wide out. Score was now 22 – 20.

Accies were still confident and worked hard and the crowd were all hoping that they could control the ball for the remainder of the match and keep Peebles out of the danger zone, whilst not giving away any penalties.

So it was with a great sigh of relief that the crowd heard the final whistle.

Full – time 22 – 20

A great result for a totally committed effort from Accies and if they can reproduce this performance they will collect some more scalps. Today was great reward for all the players and coaches, who have worked very hard to turn this season around, but also for the enthusiastic and loyal supporters who came out today at New Anniesland. This was a game where every one of the 19 players gave 100% and demonstrated what they can do. Bigger challenges ahead but this squad is showing great signs of development

Match Report: Preston Lodge 45 - 19 Glasgow Accies

On an extremely windy day at The Pennypit, the home of Preston Lodge RFC,  Accies started off with the strong wind at their backs, however it was clear from the kick off that they would struggle to take any advantage of the conditions and the opposition were a well drilled hard driving, experienced side. PL, as they like to be called, took full advantage of Accies failure to clear their lines from the kick off and with some hard running forwards they put Accies inexperienced side under early pressure. Their forwards were in the ascendancy from the start and having achieved possession early on they drove hard at the Accies defence and after a couple of missed tackles down the blind side they crossed for their first try after 3 minutes. It was not long until this well drilled side scored their second try to put them 12 – 0 ahead. Accies were looking shell shocked and like a team struggling to cope with the pressure being applied by this PL side.

The main problem seemed to be the ability of the PL first up forwards to break the first tackle then offload to the supporting players and thus get behind the Accies gain line. They were also getting very quick ball at the breakdown and thus managing to keep up the momentum of their game and keeping Accies on the back foot. 

However Accies did find a way to keep themselves in the game and eventually pushed themselves, with good use of a penalty, which was kicked well into PL’s 22. From a drive off the ensuing lineout the forwards took the ball to within 5 metres of the PL line. The first attempt to cross the line, by Chris Goodfellow, just fell short but from the recycled ball Calum Duke drove over for the first Accies try. These were tough conditions for kickers and from out wide the conversion was just missed.  Accies were, we thought back in the match    5 – 12.

However from the restart the ball was lost and the PL forwards recycled the ball and it was moved to their outstanding front row forward, their most effective forward on the pitch, who when he received the ball on halfway drove hard at the Accies defence, it appeared that two Accies tacklers had stopped him and were in fact attempting to hold him up and gain the turnover, he however managed to wriggle free and then run 50 metres to score under the posts, brushing aside several attempts to tackle him by the backs on his journey.    5 – 17.

At this point it seemed that PL could score at will, breaking the first line of defence and offloading to the support runners thus putting the Accies cover defence under tremendous pressure. It was however surprising that they only scored twice before half time and their lead was only   5 – 31. It was a very disappointing first half for the travelling support and I think there was a fear in their hearts that this could be a serious defeat. 

Half – time   5 – 31

Accies kicked off the second half with the strong wind in their faces and the injury blight that has followed the team this season continuing. They had lost Jason Currie in the first minute and that was followed by the departure of Cammy Wray. By halfway through the second half Accies had used up all their subs. This did not dent the commitment and attitude of Accies players and the substitutes showed total commitment to the cause. They were keeping Preston Lodge at bay and denying them the opportunity to score.Then from a great break by Scott Simmons, supported by the back row and other backs, the ball was taken from deep inside their own half to within 5 metres of the opposition line and it was appropriate that Scott himself drove over for the opening try of the second half. Conversion by Gordon McGuire took the score to 12 – 31.  

Preston Lodge are a well drilled, strong and experienced side and were clearly hurt by Accies try. PL have not been beaten at home and have scored some notable wins and they were clearly not happy at having let Accies back into the game. They went straight on the attack and were quickly back into Accies 22. Again strong forward driving brought its reward and they had nullified Accies comeback.  12 - 38

Accies seem to lose focus for a minute and PL were quick to take advantage and the ball was moved to  their quality centre, who saw the opportunity and a simple break produced, as it proved to be their last score of the match, and their 5th try.        12 – 45.

Well to their credit Accies were sticking to their task and it was from the best move of the game, again from well inside their own 22 that a flowing passing move, with strong runs from Ryan Sweeney and Scott Simmons saw the new fullback, Gregor Macewen, who made an outstanding contribution for his first game, draw the last defender and put Andy Brown clear to romp home under the posts, and with a quick conversion by Gordon McGuire brought Accies to 19 points.   19 – 45

However at this point Accies had lost 3 front row players and the scrums had to go to uncontested which always disrupts a game. The second half had been drawn 14 all and some pride had been gained by this young Accies side. 

Full – time   19 – 45

We are hopeful that some of the long list of unavailable players will be fit for next Friday nights massive clash with GHK, who are sitting 2 points ahead of us on 16. The absentees from today’s fixture include Hugh Lindsay, Ross Cowan, Kris Mathie, Chris Woods, Josh Waldin, Jack McCready, Scott Rodgers, Will Brown, Ker Malcolm, Tom McFarland, Scott Briggs, McKavanagh and  Greg Valentine.  Quite a list for any club to have and with Goodfellow, Mcgonigle, Wray and Currie all injures from Saturday the situation has not improved. 

Saturday was a tough day at the office for Accies but it is to their credit that at 5 – 31 down and facing a fierce wind they could well have capitulated but they did not and came out of the second half with a 14 all draw. Hope springs eternal and this reporter is excited at the prospect of next Friday night under the floodlights at Old Anniesland. 

An amazing opportunity for a girl or boy aged 5 -12 years!

Mascot for the day at Scotland V Italy, Saturday 2nd February at BT Murrayfield.

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The package includes, 3 complimentary match tickets for 2 adults and the mascot , Scotland kit, match programme, framed professional photograph and other photos of the day, food and drink voucher.

This is a silent auction prize which normally goes for £500- £1,500 or more.

Fund are being donated to Scottish Rugby Charity Partner, Hearts & Balls. 

The first bid in excess of £1,000 will secure this or you can submit alternative bids to All Kellock, Hearts & Balls Board Member at:

Closing for this amazing opportunity will be midnight on Saturday 5th January. The winning bidder will be contacted and necessary arrangements made.

Match Report: Glasgow Accies 8 - 13 Stewarts Melville (08/12/18)

Accies run Stew Mel close with a superb 2nd half performance

On a cold, wet and windy afternoon Accies welcomed Stewarts Melville Rugby Club back, after far too long an absence, to a beautifully prepared pitch at New Anniesland.

Stew Mel are an exciting team and have a tradition of playing open and attractive rugby and are currently sitting 3rd in National League 2. So it was no surprise that they started the game with some hard running from their very big pack and good ball transference through their backs. Accies defence was solid and although they were dominating possession, after 20 minutes, Stu Mel had nothing to show for their dominance except a simple penalty on the 10 minute mark.

Both sides were trying to play open rugby in what were atrocious weather conditions so it was not surprising that there were a great many scrums as a result of knock-ons.  Neither side were getting dominance at this part of the game, although it has to be said that the heavier Ste Mel pack did look somewhat more comfortable on their own put in. 

However after 22 minutes of fairly constant pressure the Stew Mel Full-back took a ball 10 metres from the line and went between the two defenders to score wide out. Conversion missed but Accies now behind by    0 – 8.

Accies now had their best spell in the first half and spent some time inside their opponents 22. Unfortunately a couple of knock-ons allowed Stu Mel to escape losing any points. However Accies were demonstrating an ability to put their opponents under pressure.

A second penalty allowed Stu Mel to get themselves back into Accies territory and from what must be said was the best move, by either side, in the game they moved the ball from one side of the pitch to the other and then back again with a very fluid movement, that any club side would be pleased with, which gave their left winger and easy touch down out wide again. Conversion missed and Stew Mel were now 13 points ahead with 8 minutes of the half remaining.    0 – 13

Accies were very clearly still in this contest and ended the first half much stronger. A clever catch and chip ahead from the energetic Kris Mathie was chased down by himself and Gregor Macewen. Macewen appeared to collect the ball and was stopped just short of the line, but referee Sam O’Neil adjudged that there had been a knock-on, foiled again. 

Half – time   0 – 13

The chatter in the busy stand was all about what would come next. Would Accies take heart from the last 5 minutes of the first half or would Stu Mel keep up their dominance of possession?

Well the wondering was soon over because Accies forwards took a real grip of proceedings from the kick off and did not let up for the next 40 minutes. They started to drive at their opponents and pin them back into their half and totally dominated most areas of play. It should be said that the Stu Mel defence was outstanding but they were having to use illegal tactics to stop the flow of Accies rugby. This was demonstrated by the penalty count in the second half which was Stu Mel 13 to Accies 0. Despite this, Accies did cross the whitewash; when Ross Cowan took an inside pass to cross in the corner; however the touch judge noticed the foot of Kris Mathie had crossed the touchline – no try!  It was only after the 10th penalty that the referee decided to take action and yellow card the offender, a bit late to alter the result. Accies duly went back onto the attack and the hard work of the forwards was rewarded with a try by hooker Tadgh Power. Unfortunately the conversion slipped past the upright but Accies were on the board.    5 – 13.

There were only 5 minutes left and despite another spell of pressure on the Sew Mel line Accies could not get another try. However with the light fading Stew Mel’s 12th penalty was duly converted by Gordon McGuire to bring Accies to within 5 points of their opponents.

Accies dominated the second half and were certainly worth more than the 8 points and a losing bonus they got. Some superb defence and disruption of the flow of the game allowed Stewarts Melville to go back through to Edinburgh with the 4 points. 

Full – time 8 – 13

Accies are improving every game and I am sure that they are capable of toppling some big guns this season. But just to let you know how hard they worked here are another bunch of superb photos courtesy of Bob Johnstone.

Match Report: Glasgow Accies 26 VS 26 Whitecraigs (03/11/18)

This was a very impressive performance from Accies, playing the biggest side we have faced for some seasons. It was clear from watching the opposition arriving that this was going to be a tough day. Could it be that the quality of diet is better in the South side of the city? However the sun was warm in the sky and there was a good atmosphere around New Anniesland, which was in its usual glorious condition.. 

As I have said Whitecraigs pack looked enormous as they arrived at New Anniesland and they had a few backs that looked as if they could play in the back row. So this reporter was, shall we say, concerned that this was going to be a big task for Accies and in particular for the forwards. Well within no time at all it was clear that the Accies pack was clearly the better unit and were dominating the set piece and disrupting their line-out.

Their big forwards were difficult to stop in the loose but Accies were not looking vulnerable. The backs were tackling well and the team looked well drilled and organised, which is a great compliment to the coaching team. It was after a solid period when Accies had been camped inside Whitecraigs half and after some great carrying from the forwards that quick ball was pounced on by scrum half, Adam Lowry, who released the players on the blind side and some superb handling and soft quick hands from 3 players, forwards and backs, released Kris Mathie to cross for the first try. A difficult conversion missed but Accies were certainly on top and looking in control at 5 – 0.

Whitecraigs are a good side that has been in National 2 for several years and are well drilled and coached. Their exceptionally large forwards were carrying well and proving difficult to put down. They demonstrated their abilities when with good carrying from their large forwards they worked themselves deep into Accies half and quick ball released the backs and Kris Mathie was faced with a 2 on 1 situation which he coped with superbly and managed to stop the move and then turn the ball over and Accies managed to clear the danger, finally with a superb kick from Cammy Wray. This was one of the few times that Whitecraigs had been in Accies 22 during the first 40 minutes and it was very much against the run of play that in the final minutes of the half that Whitecraigs got themselves into Accies 22 and from some work from their forwards score. This was converted from the touch line and so they went into half-time 5 - 7 ahead.

Half-time 5 – 7

Whitecraigs kicked off and Accies collected the ball and with a couple of strong carries they got the ball to the halfway line and Scott Briggs then burst onto the scene and with an incredible piece of hard running broke several tackles and beat two of the last defenders to score under the posts, a superb individual try. Gordon McGuire converted to take Accies into a 5 point lead at 12 – 7.

But this Whitecraigs side are experienced and always putting their opponents under pressure with hard running and heavy forwards. It was almost inevitable that a couple of missed tackles saw them take full advantage and they found their chance out wide on the right to level the score and with a superb conversion from wide out they took the lead again at 12 – 14. It now looked as if this was not going to be Accies day, but no one had told the Accies pack and with great work they faught themselves inside the opponents 22 and from a well-controlled line out the ensuing maul saw the ball moved to Ryan Sweeney who was not going to be denied. Another successful conversion from Gordon McGuire saw Accies ahead once again at 19 – 14. Surely this would now be consolidated and Accies could run out justified winners. Well from a scrum that Accies were dominating, it was wheeled through 90 degrees and as the ball popped out it landed in the hands of their back row forward and he took full advantage of this good luck and suddenly Whitecraigs were over under the posts and yes the conversion put them ahead 21 – 19.

It did seem that the rugby gods were working to deny Accies their deserved win but then Kris Mathie following up a kick ahead collected the bouncing ball to race past the final defenders to once again score under the posts, conversion put Accies 26 – 21 ahead. With only minutes left was this going to be the try that brought justice to the score line? Accies had dominated most of this game and really were due a victory but yes, Whitecraigs made the most of a messy situation and after Accies looked tired they  missed a couple tackles allowing Whitecraigs to scored far out on the right. This conversion was missed and the teams were tied at 26 – 26.

The final whistle was blown and despite a herculean effort from Accies, which was worthy of a victory the players had proved that they are capable of moving forward from here.

Full-time 26 – 26

Accies performances over the past few weeks have demonstrated that this is a team capable of winning a lot of games and despite the injury list, still being too long, this squad of players that were playing at New Anniesland today, demonstrated that they are developing into a very good side. There is a very tough game next week against top of the table Biggar, away, and then two home games against Highland and Lasswade, I am sure the coaches will be greatly encouraged by today’s performance and their prospects for the upcoming games.

Each game sees an improvement in this side and once they get into an injury free run then it is this reporter’s view that wins will come and an improvement in our league position will ensue. 

Match Report: Falkirk 20 VS 19 Glasgow Accies (29/09/19)

On a cold and windy day Accies kicked off playing into a stiff wind blowing straight down the pitch. On top early on Accies were suffering in the conditions with a creasy ball and this was allowing Falkirk to stay with them giving them an opportunity to kick with the wind. From early on it was clear that Accies pack were on top, they were putting real pressure at the scrums and were stealing line out ball regularly. Their defence was also greatly improved and it was only after an easy made mistake that Falkirk took full advantage of the scrum in the middle of the pitch, on halfway, and from a quick heal the ball was released to probably the most dangerous player on the field, Falkirk’s strong and fast fullback and he, along with the right winger, beat the cover defence to add to the successful penalty, they had converted two minutes earlier, to score. Their scrum half proved to be a very good kicker who converted from out to the right to make the score 0 – 10.

Accies were clearly not unsettled by this and reasserted their dominance up front and it was only some handling errors that were stalling Accies effort and allowing this very experienced Falkirk side to keep Accies inside their own half for much of the 1st half. This is the 5th game of the season and we are still waiting to see the same 15 taking the pitch. This does create problems for the flow that a side needs and on Saturday the new back division that only had one training session together, that was struggling in these tough conditions. Individually they were giving it everything they could and showing what good players they are but, unsurprisingly, they were finding it difficult to combine as a unit. 

However it was after a good simple flowing movement with backs and forwards, that took the game into the Falkirk 22 and when the ball was shifted again, after the initial movement was stopped, that a high tackle stopped Accies scoring and the referee immediately awarded a penalty try and yellow carded the guilty Falkirk player. The score was now 7 – 10 and it was anyone’s game to win. This gave a boost to Accies and they were clearly well in this game despite the strong wind in their faces. However another kick into Accies 22 from Falkirk resulted in a ruck where the referee deemed that Accies fullback Kris Mathie had held onto the ball, which it has to be said was a very tough call. Falkirk’s reliable kicker made no mistake with the simple kick.

Half – time 7 – 13

The second half kick-off and Falkirk were clearly looking for a quick start. However today the Accies defence was superb and the pack were well on top. I would say this was an unusual game in that it was the very hard running, well drilled Falkirk back division who were keeping their team in the match despite their pack getting a lesson in the tight. Their half-backs had used the wind well in the first half and were using what little ball their pack were supplying to good use against the wind. Accies forwards were driving their opponents off the ball at the scrums and disrupting their opponents line out and it was from superb maul ball it was moved to the blind side and a superb sprint home from Jack McCready saw him crossed the line, out wide on the right. Tough conversion missed so Accies were now only 1 point behind their opponents, and looking very capable of scoring again.   12 - 13 

The travelling support were now thinking that this could be our day, but a couple of simple mistakes allowed Falkirk into Accies 22 and some good back play saw the ball in the hands of their hard running centre who scampered over to the right of the posts and the inevitably successful conversion saw the difference go back to an 8 point lead    12 – 20.

With only 15 minutes of the game remaining it was Accies who were still working very hard for the result. From a period of great work by the ball carrying forwards it was the superb Erland Oag who ran a clever line in the centre and showing real determination and strength broke the first line of defence and scampered clear. Despite several desperate attempts to stop him he was not going to be deprived of his try, which was just to the right of the posts and this time Cammy Wray’s conversion was successful and it brought Accies once again to within 1 point at 19 – 20.

Could Accies do it and score something in the final 5 minutes? Despite some great effort and pressure on the Falkirk line they came away with nothing. It was not to be and to add insult to injury young Harry Briggs was knocked out as he attempted to carry the ball over the line but was tackled just short and in the ensuing ruck received a kick to the head. Having been out cold for a few minutes there was no question but he had to go to hospital, a sad end for a player who gave everything, as usual, to the cause.

Full-time 19 - 20

So the final whistle was blown and a game that Accies could well have won was lost and they only had 1 point for all their terrific efforts. There are some seriously good areas of the game for Accies to look at, with their pack showing signs of developing into a very good unit and a half back partnership that could really get the side into winning mode. Individually the backs look strong and determined but just need a little longer working together. So this side has had a truly difficult start to the season, with an unfair number of injuries and players unavailable, but there are positive signs and they have a great deal to build on. Next week sees Whitecraigs visit New Anniesland and I am sure the coaches and players will be up to turn things around. 

Match report: Glasgow Accies 40 VS 31 Howe of Fife (22/09/18)

Accies players arrived at NA knowing that they really needed a win to get their season back on track and that Howe of Fife were in exactly the same position. Two teams that were desperate for points and clearly able to play attacking rugby, if results and points for were any guide.

It was however Accies who appeared to be suffering from early nerves with some hesitant tackling and poor kicking, however they settled themselves and after some really good work by the forwards and control from the half backs, Ryan Sweeney found a gap and opened the scoring. After an unsuccessful conversion Accies were 5 - 0 ahead. 

From the kick off Accies recycled the ball and it was moved wide and Wray, the young stand-off who was demonstrated some great vision,  made half a break and sent an inside pass, reminiscent of Carter in the World Cup against France, to the supporting forwards. This launched a superb series of runs and off loads between forwards and backs with full-back Mathie finishing off the move for the try. A real reminder of last season rugby and with the successful conversion by Wray,  Accies were 12 – 0 ahead.

Accies were clearly now gaining confidence and moving around the park with real purpose and direction. Forwards pressurising their opponents and the backs creating space, and it was from a superb long pass by Wray where he missed out two players to put Mathie clear to cross for his second try on his return from injury. Another successful conversion saw Accies increase their lead to 19 – 0.

Howe are a skilful team with some strong carrying forwards and hard running backs. They also have a young scrum-half who exploited some lazy play from Accies when he took a quick penalty which sucked in the home defence and then moved the ball wide for their wing forward to score wide out on the right which was brilliantly converted to make the score 19 – 7.

Accies were stung by this and Howe took full advantage of some poor defence and once again from a sharply taken penalty they broke through and scored their second try, again converted to make the score 19 – 14.

So suddenly from cruising at 19 – 0 and looking very strong Accies had allowed their opponents back into the game and were now only 4 points ahead and looking very unsure. Could they just hold out to half time and regroup as there was only a few minutes remaining? Howe had very different ideas and yes, would you believe it, from another quickly taken penalty their number 8 romped home to level the scores but another successful conversion put them 2 points clear at 19 – 21. The crowd were expecting the whistle for half time and how disappointing it would be to go into the second half down after their great start. But Accies showed great attitude and with only seconds on the clock they were awarded a penalty, from the restart and put the kick inside the Howe 22 and from the ensuing lineout and good work from the forwards, they recycled ball, scrum half Lowry saw our prop Goodfellow clear on the right and a superb pass released the prop to cross for the last move of the first half and with the conversion saw Accies 26 – 21 ahead.

Half – time 26 – 21

It is always felt that to score just before the end of the first half is a real confidence boost and with Howe having seemingly achieved this for it to be snatched away by Accies last second try it was unclear who would feel better.

Howe certainly came out of the traps with real determination and their big carrying forwards were giving Accies defence a real test. It was also clear that Accies defence had been tightened up and their commitment was equal to the task. Accies had been inside their own half for some considerable time but a superb break by Chris Woods took him inside Howe’s half  from just outside his 22, he then noticed the supporting Scot Simmons who raced the final 35 metres through two desperate tacklers to score under the posts, just reward for a hard working centre and the successful conversion made the score 31 – 21.

Accies were committing to many infringements and the penalty count was getting Accies close to a yellow card. Part of the problem was that Accies were trying to tackle man and ball and a slight misjudgement meant the awarding of a penalty for a high tackle. This was keeping Accies inside their half as the Howe stand-off was a very good kicker. Equally Accies forwards were stealing lineout ball and the backs were running back at Howe with determination. The game was still either side’s to win but Accies had control of the scrums throughout this game, credit to forwards coach Ryan Grant, and after Accies had knocked on 15 metres from the opposition line the resultant scrum was driven back by the Accies pack and the ball popped out from the side of their pack and it was pounced on by blind side wing forward Greg Valentine who sent Sweeney clear to score his second try. Jack McCready was successful with his conversion, having taken over from the substituted Cammy Wray.  So Accies supporters were feeling a little more relaxed as the score had moved out to 40 -21.

However, Accies second row player, Kane Greggain saw a teammate in a a stramash and entered the fray, unfortunately landing a blow on one of the opposition and the referee had no option but issue a red card. This motivated Howe and demoralise Accies and with the final 10 minutes of the match still to be played, Howe managed to break Accies defence and scored a long range try and although the conversion was missed they had narrowed the gap to 40 – 26.

Still no cause for concerned but Howe’s coach clearly saw the chance for Howe to get to within 7 points and get 2 points out of the game. With only seconds left on the clock Howe’s left winger race clear of the defence from inside his half and managed to squeeze over in the corner to make the score  40 – 31.

Full – time 40 – 31

This was a really entertaining game for all the supporters who had turned out on this beautiful autumn day. Accies showed that they have the playing depth to play some terrific and exciting rugby; despite their current injury issues and Howe of Fife have a team that deserves to be successful as they play flowing and attractive rugby. 

For all the loyal Accies support Saturday was a reward for their patience and, despite testing their nerves, I think the team demonstrated that they are a good side with the skills to play some superb rugby. There is some hard work still to do, as once again they gave away tries in two short periods in both halves. I am sure the coaches will be working hard to avoid this against Falkirk next week through at Falkirk. 

A Great Win At Murrayfield Secures Promotion


This game meant an immense amount to both teams, Accies were sitting on 83 points and Murrayfield Wanderers were sitting on 80, so a win for MW would have put them in contention for promotion and a win would put Accies in the driving seat. A 5 point bonus win was a guarantee of promotion but the record shows that MW had only lost one game this season and that was to Highland by two points. So, with the backdrop of Murrayfield Stadium and the sun shining, the spectators took up their positions. There was a palpable sense of anticipating of a tight and exciting game.

So the scene was set and both sides looked well up for the contest as they took to the field. It was Accies who came out of the blocks fastest with a crunching tackle by Hugh Lindsay from the kick off the attitude was set. The backs flowed from the first series of passing moves and the whole pack looked lively. Within the first 5 minutes Accies forced a scrum in the middle of the pitch on the MW 22. A strong scrum moved slightly clockwise and Hugh Lindsay picked and made the opposition defence hesitate which allowed Josh Waldin enough room to steady the last two defenders and scamper between them for the first try, out on the left.

With the tricky wind making kicking difficult Jamie Loomes missed the difficult conversion                                   5 – 0

For the next 15 minutes the two sides were fairly evenly matched, however it has to be said that whilst Accies were regularly breaking MW first up tackles it was the opposite for MW. So the majority of this period was being played in the MW half of the pitch. Accies came close to scoring a couple of time but an impressive breakout by MW took play just inside Accies territory. A penalty was pushed into the danger zone and after a couple of charges they were awarded a scrum. It was well controlled and a quick pass from their talented no9 saw their equally talented 10 in a small amount of pace, but he produced one of the best side-steps I have witnessed this season, reminiscent of Australian Nick Beale, and romped past the defence for their first try.

He converted his own try from just to the right of the posts       5 – 7

So Accies did exactly what all good teams do after losing a try and virtually from the kick-off they forced their way in the MW 22. A couple of superb drives from the forwards which produced good quality, quick, ball which was transferred along the line and Ross Cowan, now firing on all cylinders, beat several covering defenders to score out wide on the left.

A magnificent touchline conversion by Jamie Loomes made it       12 – 7

From the restart Accies were, once again, pressing and giving their opponents no time either on the ball or in defence, however a loose pass just inside the MW 22 saw the ball land beautifully for their exceptionally fast winger who romped the 75 metres to the posts. MW are clearly a side that can score tries from close and long range.

Easy conversion and Accies are behind again                12 – 14

This was the last time that Accies looked like losing this game and with 35 minutes on the clock the forwards decided to take a bit of a grip on the game. After a couple of penalties and solid forward drives a third penalty saw the line-out on the five metre line and no team were going to stop the drive and try, great forwards work.

This time it was out wide on the right and with the wind in his face Jamie Loomes hit a perfect conversion                                        19 – 14

There were only 5 minutes of the first half left but Accies weren’t finished. They again attacked from a very good restart. Ryan drove the ball back at MW and some great work from the backs saw the play move back into opposition territory. Accies were in control of line-outs and scrums and were working the ball across the artificial pitch with style. Eventually they were awarded a penalty just under the posts and with no time on the clock – ‘take the 3 points’ was the cry from some sections of the crowd. Captain CJ decided on a scrum and to the delight of the travelling support proceeded to drive their opponents over the line for Hugh Lindsay to drop on the ball and score.

Easy conversion for Jamie Loomes, this time           26 – 14

With the conversion today’s excellent referee Calum Lazenby, who had a very good day with the whistle, blew for half-time.

Half-time   26 – 14

The game clearly still had to be won as MW got the second half with a kick off deep into Accies 22. This was secured, recycled and the ball cleared into touch. I think the general feeling was that whilst Accies were on top any slip-up would cost them and their slender lead would be in danger. But Accies, again using the game plan of flowing 15 man rugby, were soon inside MW 22 and great worked produced a very well deserved try for the indomitable PJ Rankin.

Again from the touchline, Mr Metronome, Jamie Loomes slotted the very difficult conversion                                    33 – 14

This was proving to be the performance of the season and after another 5 minutes of real pressure, quality rugby, Accies were awarded a penalty in front of the post, and this time Captain CJ decided 3 points would put added pressure on the opposition – Jamie duly converted         36 – 14

Accies were now rampant and running at their opponents with confidence and accuracy. From some hard won possession MW kicked for territory but it was collected by one of this seasons outstanding players, Kris Mathie, he had Ross Cowan scampering up on his flank, he sold a dummy of such superb quality, that most of the opposition and crowd were now looking at Ross, and wondering what he had done with the ball. This opened up the gap Kris required and he broke clear and was running clear. The cover defence got to him and he offloaded to Ross, who was now again on his shoulder, to romp in from 10 metres. Great try and a real feature of this seasons style of rugby.

Once again, Jamie converted from relatively wide out           43 – 14

Perhaps a little bit of over confidence or more likely a determination from MW not to lie down, saw them work the ball into Accies 22 and from some hard driving forward moves they finally broke the Accies defence.

Another good conversion from their No10                 43 – 21

Would MW make a comeback, there was still 20 minutes to go but it would require a monumental effort on their part as Accies were clearly not prepared to take a step back. Hugh Lindsay was substituted after a second head knock and Kane Greggain joined the fray. This did not disrupt the teams flow in any way. Neither did the introduction of Adam Lowrie, Chris Nilserius and Harry Walker. It is clear that training involves every player and they all know how the coaches want them to play. So Accies were back on the attack but a couple of penalties saw them pegged back inside their 22.

This time, when the forwards secured good possession inside their 22, Jamie Loomes clearly saw the potential and the ball was moved wide to Ross Cowan, he ghosted outside the first defender which saw him clear and the cover defence was never going to be quick enough to stop him and off he scampered, running the full length of the park, leaving desperate defenders in his wake to score a typical Ross Cowan try.

Yes, Mr Consistent converted from wide out, as I think RC had run out of steam and had touched down early                     50 – 21

Clearly the game was won but Accies were not going to take their foot off ‘the peddle’ today. They were keeping their intensity up and focus clear. They worked themselves well into MW 22 but a knock on allowed them time to re-group. Some good ball handling and running took them up to half–way. Accies were still putting every ball carrier under pressure and from a rather lose and tired kick, Kane Greggain picked the ball up off his toes on Accies 10 metre line, like any good player should, and carried it into enemy territory. As he was about to be tackled he off-loaded to one of the support players who gave a superb pass to, man of the match, Greg Valentine, who broke two tackles as he scampered into MW 22 and when he was stopped 10 metres short a beautiful off load saw Scott Simmonds in support to score the final try of the match

And yes, this was Jamie Loomes kicking performance of the season  57 – 21

After another two or three skirmish the referee blew for full-time and Accies were promoted, a brilliant effort from every player in the club and all the coaches. It takes far more than 15 players to achieve what has been done this season.

FULL-TIME 57 – 21

Despite a couple of below par games this season, this team have been a credit to themselves and their coaches. I know I am always going on about it but I believe the terrific number of supporters both last week at New Anniesland and even more today at Murrayfield, must have seen what it means to all the players to hear the volume coming from their supporters. I also believe they are a team that play a brand of rugby that is both entertaining and a credit to the ethos of Glasgow Accies rugby. We will be playing in the third tier of Scottish amateur rugby next season and the players are proud that this has been achieved without looking outside Scotland for recruits, buying in or paying any player.