West of Scotland 26,

Clarkston 12.

MUCH of the credit for Clarkston's promotion from Division 3 last

season was given to the astute play of Kiwi stand-off Erin Cossey, and

the Glasgow club were thus relieved when he and fellow New Zealander,

Scott Keith, arrived in Scotland for the start of the current league


At Burnbrae on Saturday, however, Cossey was put in the shade by

West's Dave Barrett, who had a hand in all of his side's 26 points.

Although West had the edge, Barrett was the difference between the

sides. He belted over three penalties, including one from a couple of

metres inside his own half, two conversions, and a drop goal. But it was

his clever line kicking which took the eye.

The stand-off, too, was instrumental in setting up West's tries. The

first, in 15 minutes, followed a Steve Blair strike against the head,

and Barrett dummied to drop a goal in front of the posts. Instead, he

threw the ball wide to Shane McIntosh, and the distance to the line was

meat and drink for the powerful centre.

Dave McKee's try, shortly before the interval, also owed its origins

to a clever chip over the defence by Barrett, which brought West a

lineout near the Clarkston line.

The visitors will take some consolation from their own two tries,

particularly the first which also followed a strike against the head

from Gordon McIlwham, and which saw the West pack pushed back over their

own line to allow Stuart Aitken, the Clarkston flanker, to pick up and

touch down.

McIlwham added another in the second half, following a quickly taken


Clarkston could, indeed, have reduced the deficit further had they

taken the option of kicking three penalties in the second half when they

were only 13 points behind.

West of Scotland -- A Williamson; B 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, T Carmichael, I Jamison.

Clarkston -- D McGrain; J Price, F Speight, A Richardson, S McKean; E

Cossey, C Orsi; A D McDougall, G McIlwham, M McKee, D. Landsburgh, A

Tunn, S Aitken, I Biggin, S M Keith.

Referee -- E Murray (Greenock Wanderers).