Wednesday, 2 May 2018

West League Update - West 1 - 1st May 2018

First up, congratulations to Carrick for winning the BT National Shield with their 39-19 victory over Hawick Harlequins. This is the third year running Carrick have lifted the trophy - quite an impressive feat.

With Carrick on duty at Murrayfield, both Glens and Ganock took their chance to close the gap on the leaders.  Keeping up to date via Twitter, the Glens game at East Kilbride looks to have been a bit of an end-to-end ding dong battle, with EK obviously fixing their issue from the previous week by taking their chances.  EK led 17-14 at half time, building a larger gap during the 2nd half before Glens got back into things and snatching a last minute try for a 39-34 victory.

Garnock were heading for a comfortable win against Annan with a lead in the 2nd half of 29-5, but they look to have taken their foot off the gas a bit, as Annan got the score back to 29-19 with about 10 minutes to go, so things probably got a bit tense at the end there.

Glens are two points behind Carrick, but have played a game more, whilst Garnock are 8 points adrift having played the same number of games.

Glens and Carrick have still to play each other, which is a must win for Glens if they wish to take the title. A win for Glens this weekend against Helensburgh and then against Carrick would give them a maximum of 98 points, whilst a win for Carrick this weekend against Greenock and against Annan at home in their final game of the season will be enough for Carrick to take the league title even if they lose to Glens.

Both Glens and Garnock need Carrick to lose a couple of games, and that’s looking increasingly unlikely.

At the foot of the table, Cambuslang had a massive win.  The scoreline was big at 76-26, but more importantly for Cambuslangs point of view, it was a five pointer against a team who took points from Irvine last weekend.  This result moves Cambuslang ahead of Irvine, and puts them 12 points in front of Oban, who lost out narrowly to Stewartry.  A lose bonus point for Oban moves them to within 9 points of Irvine.

Cambuslang and Irvine have three games to play, Oban four (but only three Saturdays in which to play them).

Irvine have three difficult games, Stewartry (away), Garnock (home) and East Kilbride (away).  Wins in any of these will be difficult to come by, but any bonus points gained may mean the difference between playing West 1 and 2 next season.

Cambuslang have Annan home and away (including a mid week game at Coats Park) as well as a yet to be scheduled trip to Oban.  A win in any of these and they’re probably safe, maybe.

If they can get them all played, Oban have some interesting fixtures.  Kilmarnock at home this weekend, who don’t look a though they’ve had a competitive game for a month, Greenock on the 19th as well as their currently unscheduled games against Annan (away) and Cambuslang (home).  A couple of wins and a few bonus points and they could find themselves ahead of Irvine.  Interesting times.

Come 5pm Saturday we will know if the second drop spot becomes active, as the National 3 relegation decider between Haddington and Dalziel takes place this weekend.  A win for Dalziel, and they stay in National 3, a loss and they drop to West 1, which will have the knock-on effect of two Clubs being relegated from West 1 to West 2.

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