Glasgow Academicals 13,

West of Scotland 21

HOW a side which so dominated set-piece play and which enjoyed huge

territorial advantage for most of the second half could fritter away the

result of this opening Division II encounter, will doubtless be

exercising the close attention of new Academicals coach Nairn McEwan

this week.

Hopes were high that this side with a promising blend of new talent,

including four youngsters making their league debuts, and experience,

such as former Pontypool back John Pawson, could be the vehicle for a

title attack. On this New Anniesland display, however, some

re-evaluation will be necessary.

Accies, who so regularly shunted the West's pack

around the ground and who controlled the aerial lineout war, lacked

cohesion and tactical direction.

Ultimately it was a game, as they say, of two halves: Dave Barrett,

the suave West stand off, one of the game's most elegant punters of the

ball, and his opposite outside half, Calum McGregor, who will want to

forget most of this performance.

Barrett directly contributed a splendid solo try, three penalties, and

a conversion -- 16 points in all. But his influence whether it was

delivering teasing up-and-unders or launching pacey attacks at every

opportunity, touched all phases of the game and was a key factor in

West's win.

The first half saw West, with two injury changes and also blooding

four youngsters to league play, press hard. Steve Blair was tireless,

and ably supported by breakaways John Lonergan, Iain Jamison, and Trevor

Carmichael. Seven points up after 24 minutes, to a Barrett penalty and a

converted Allan Williamson try, Accies briefly rallied to a

13-10 lead.

Accies secured even more possession in the second half and were camped

for long spells on the West twenty-two only to see the ball ferreted

away by Blair, McGarry, and Tommy Little and hoisted clear by Barrett. A

solitary foray into the Accies' territory midway through the half

brought West a try. Lonergan took a long ball over the tail of the

lineout to set up a ruck from which Barrett scored in the corner.

Exasperation set in. Two minutes later, a promising Donnie Roberston

break ended when the West winger was felled by a blatant late tackle by

full back Pawson. Barrett punished the infringement from 18 metres.

Glasgow Academicals -- J Pawson; J Bremner, J Mason, G T MacGregor, K

Thomson; C G MacGregor, S M Simmers; A C Sturgess, W Sinclair, A J M

Perrie, R M D Meek, C Afaukwah, G W Maclean, M Jackson, G T Mackay.

West of Scotland -- A Williamson; W May, S McIntosh, D R McKee, D

Robertson; D N Barrett, K A Burnet; T Little, S Blair, S McGarry, G

Dunford, S McKechnie, J Lonergan, I Jamison, T Carmichael.

Referee -- W W Calder (Selkirk).