Falkirk’s survival hopes fading fast

Falkirk lost out to an injury-time try
Falkirk lost out to an injury-time try

Falkirk’s chances of maintaining their National League status next season took a dip for the worse, as a very late try sealed victory for West Of Scotland side at Burnbrae.

The visitors had led 16-3 at the break after a very positive first half.

Taking advantage of the favourable wind in the first half full-back Jonny Hope put in some telling and ground gaining positional kicks, and slotted over a penalty conversion in the fourth minute.

Nearly 10 minutes later Hope doubled Falkirk’s lead with another long range penalty conversion when the referee marched West back ten metres for mouthing, and the home side then suffered oneof their props being yellow-carded for stamping.

Falkirk immediately seized control and following a sweeping move from Jonny Hope and Matt Morrell, the ball was switched to meet hooker Bruce Simpson’s charge under the uprights for a splendid team try, converted by Hope on 17 minutes.

However, the team numbers were temporarily evened out just at the start of the second quarter of the match when Bob Wyllie was yellow carded and West’s Stand-Off Ross McAulay banged over the resultant penalty conversion.

Nevertheless Falkirk stuck to their task and Hope converted another penalty in the 31st minute to stretch the lead to 13 points, but just as it was beginning to look good prop-forward Guy Ramsay was yellow carded in the 42nd minute.

With the elements now in their favour West wasted no time in using them, and before the Sunnysiders knew it West’s Ross McAulay had converted three penalty conversions in the opening nine minutes of the half to bring his side very much back into the mix by now only trailing by four points. However, the remainder of the encounter turned out to be a dour hard fought struggle, with neither team getting any notable advantage over one another, Hope narrowly missed two penalty attempts for Falkirk but then again so did McAulay for West. In a hugely tense ending it looked like Falkirk were just going to hang on to their tenuous lead and, to their credit, they turned over the ball twice in their own 22 metre area, but alas instead of tucking the ball up their jersey, so to speak, they unfortunately lost control and West broke away with Max Sim getting the touchdown near the corner flag in the gathering gloom, which no doubt whatsoever matched Falkirk’s mood perfectly.