Reds show power in top of the table clash
By BEN GLASGOW
Reds take the laurels from city rivals
Frank the Pug reports from Hay Lodge
The Reds - sponsored by The Crown Hotel - went into the top of the table clash against the Blues on the back of some good performances against higher league opposition, and some real competition at training. The 22 boys selected for the game knew they were representing a much bigger squad and were fired up from the off.
The Peebles men started the game well, controlling both territory and possession throughout the first period and set the tone for the rest of the game. The tackles were flying in with a particular highlight coming from a massive double hit by Cammy Pye and Josh Muir that got the crowd fired up.
Euan Jackson was on a one-man destructive mission often appearing from nowhere to smash an unsuspecting player with his usual disregard for his own body.
The Reds were unable to turn this initial pressure into points and a handling error in midfield led to a break away score for the Accies centre.
Peebles 0 Accies 7
This fired up the Reds and from this point on they were in total control of the match. The coaches made two significant changes, bringing on useful mass in the forms of Ryan McConnell and Neil Clark into the front row. This allowed the Reds to totally dominate the set piece and provide stand-off Adam McDonald with the opportunity to get the Reds on the score board with a well struck penalty.
Peebles 3 Accies 7
Accies attempted to pin the Reds back in their own half and some rushed clean up work was required by the back three as Buster Davidson and Martin Walker were made to work hard. The Reds defence continued the hit the Accies on the gain line, a huge hit by Rhys Wilson stopped an Accies attack and allowed the Reds to win the ball back. The forwards' domination allowed McDonald to move the Reds into good field position. That domination persisted and provided the first try for Peebles as Ryan McConnell flopped over after some sustained pressure, converted by Adam McDonald.
Peebles 10 Accies 7
The Reds kept the pressure on and were quickly back on the attack. Alan Smellie was enjoying the move to his preferred centre position and in difficult underfoot conditions was showing his twinkle toes. Peebles next try came from Cammy Thrall after a clever kick over the top by Adam McDonald.
Peebles 17 Accies 7
The Reds - resplendent in their new kit emblazoned with logo of proud sponsors The Crown Hotel - were in control of the game playing the conditions well. Graham Hogarth and Big Jim Weir were making their presence felt - Jim continues to defy the march of time by physically dominating guys more than half his age. Accies got the final points of the half with a simple penalty.
Peebles 17 Accies 10
The second half saw the Reds pack continue to dominate the set piece allowing a platform for half-bask Robert Harrison and Adam McDonald guide the reds around the pitch. Good simple play in difficult conditions saw the forwards carry hard and the centre pairing of Alan Smellie and Greg McConnell keep the Reds moving forward. The Reds next score came from a driving lineout as Rhys Wilson squeezed over.
Peebles 24 Accies 10
Credit to the Reds as they kept to pressure on and didn’t let their standards drop. Next to score for the Reds was Euan Jackson after more sustained pressure by the forwards.
Peebles 31 Accies 10
The Reds then had a period of real backs-to-the-wall play as two yellow cards in quick succession for Cammy Pye and Captain Graham Hogarth threatened to turn the game to Accies' advantage.
In a really gutsy period the Reds continued to meet Accies on the gain line and Davy Brown took out his frustration of starting the match on the bench. The match was starting to get a bit feisty as several periods of push-and-shove took over, one of which saw the Accies props try to de-breek Reds scrumhalf Robert Harrison, much to the amusement of the home support.
Back to full numbers the Reds made a few changes with Big Jim getting a well-earned rest and hooker Mark Munro returning to the game - Robert Harrison was obviously none too pleased with this decision and decided throw a pass straight into Marks face.
The Reds rounded of their scoring with a final Ryan McConnell try which was followed by a mini fight back from Accies as they scored 2 late tries to end the game.
Peebles 36 Accies 22.
The was a huge win for the Reds as they go clear at the top of the league and put themselves in a strong position for the remainder of the season. The challenge for the Reds is now not only to keep winning games but also how to keep everyone getting game time with such a large squad. It’s a great problem to have.