Peebles 32

Whitecraigs 12

Allan Beveridge

at The Gytes

PEEBLES' first competitive game of the season gave the home crowd plenty to cheer.

The Gytes team overcame Whitecraigs to reach the next round of the National Cup.

There was a lot of changes in the Peebles ranks from the team who ended last season with several players making their first team debuts. The loss of some players in keys roles was a concern for the Gytes faithful ahead of kick off.

Last year's captain Ross Brown had left to work abroad, as had his fellow second row partner William Brown.

But the new faces acquitted themselves well beside the remainder of last season's team.

The concerns from the home support ahead of kick off looked justified during the opening 10 minutes.

Visiting centre Murchie went under the posts for the first try, converted by Sam Adair, after pressure on the Peebles line.

Thankfully, Peebles hit back from the restart as Stuart Hunter ran in from 40 metres out.

And just a minute or so later they took the lead with Hunter fielding the restart to transfer the ball to the backs.

Swift handling allowed James Dow to cross the line in the right-hand corner.

Greg Raeburn's conversion made it 12-7.

Play became a bit scrappy with both teams tackling ferociously.

Both Scott Lawson and Ryan Stewart defended well for Peebles while Neil Hogarth made some impressive runs.

But it was Whitecraigs who were next to score with Michael Christine collecting a long miss-pass from his stand off to go over in the corner.

On the half hour mark Stewart took Peebles back in front after good set up play by Roddy Guiney from the lineout.

The wind eased at the interval, preventing Peebles from having a similar advantage to the visitors during the opening 40 minutes.

And the game was fairly even until Guiney took another good catch, this time to feed Rhys Wilson for the score.

A disallowed try for Stewart didn't stop the momentum as Peebles finished well.

Cameron Thrall went over in the left corner after a sweeping move, and James Dow took full advantage of Linton Brink's break to also touch down.

This was a satisfying result which sees Peebles through to the next round of the Cup in late October.

The first league game is tomorrow against newly promoted Gordonians in Aberdeen.

It is a few years since Peebles played Gordonians and they will, despite being defeated in their Cup game last Saturday, be difficult to beat on their home ground.

There will be spare seats on the bus should any supporters want to travel.