Hamilton 45

Peebles 40

Allan Beveridge at Bent Road

THIS was a great game for the neutral.

But, ultimately, it was a game that slipped through the fingers of Peebles.

Played on a good ground beneath blue skies, this was as open a running game of rugby as you're likely to see.

The home team were egged on by a large, vocal support as they chase a promotion spot.

But the crowd were pretty quiet come half time as Peebles had raced into a 33-12 lead.

When the chances arose during the first 40 minutes Peebles took them.

The backs were well supplied with good set-piece ball from scrums and lineouts.

And the loose forwards were quick around the breakdown.

Whatever the home coach said at half time certainly worked, for in the crucial second period Hamilton played with style, strength and speed.

The big home forwards rampaged with ball in hand, causing the Peebles defence plenty of problems.

One disappointing aspect from a Peebles perspective was the home team's second try shouldn't have been allowed to stand as there was an obvious knock-on in the build up.

Hamilton had somehow turned around the 33-12 deficit to lead 45-40 with two minutes remaining.

Tries from Greg Raeburn, Roddy Guiney, Ryan Stewart, Conor Blyth and a brace from Donald Anderson, along with Raeburn's five conversions, had give Peebles the 40 points.

But in the last couple of minutes there was a chance to retake the lead after being awarded a penalty on the 10 metre line.

But the kick towards the corner never reached touch and Hamilton cleared before the referee blew for full time.

Despite the defeat, Peebles had played well and, for the neutral, it was probably the game of the season.