Lenzie 17 McLaren 12
McLaren went down in a close-fought opening RBS West Division Two at Lenzie RFC.
Lenzie are a well-established and ambitious club aiming to win this league and reclaim their place in higher echelons of Scottish rugby.
The pitch at Viewfield was heavy which, in combination with a stiff wind, demanded accuracy in passing, kicking and wise decision making.
From the kick-off McLaren faced the elements and while Lenzie failed to use the wind to any effect, the visitors found themselves deep in home territory with a kick to the corner after Lenzie had conceded a penalty.
A catch-and-drive saw Adam More dot down to give McLaren the lead. The conversion was missed.
The home side bounced back with a kick-and-chase to regain the ball for Brown to go over in the corner.
Lenzie dominated possession but McLaren, with Dykes and man-of-the-match Robin More playing out of their skins, and the sprightly Scott Drummond tackling anything that moved, the home team had to dig deep.
On the half hour the pressure told when McLaren conceded a penalty in their own 22 and Lenzie opted for the scrum.
While Crichton, Blair and Budge were well up for the nose to nose scrummaging, the Lenzie pack gave No. 8 Scouller secure enough ball to attack and score.
As the half closed a near similar scrum and position proved effective again and No 9 Paterson scrambled in.
Lenzie then drove the ball into the McLaren 22 but some last ditch tackling saw McLaren snatch the ball and Drummond launched a kick deep into Lenzie’s half.
The Lenzie winger’s poor clearance left his team off-side and the resultant penalty saw Fraser Graham score near the posts, easily converted.
With the score at 17-12, the last quarter was a pulsating affair and in the final minute Drummond was almost through but found himself with no support and too many defenders to deal with.
McLaren meet Clydebank tomorrow (Saturday) at Dunblane, kick-off 3pm.