WHITECRAIGS made a dream return to competitive rugby after the winter layoff, with a 28-19 cup win against Hamilton Bulls.
Sloppy Hamilton play gave Craigs three penalties in the first ten minutes but the home side couldn’t convert their possession into points.
The southsiders did however go 5-0 up when Biel Farrell scored an interception try within 15 minutes.
The Bulls fought back and after sustained pressure, Calder made a telling break before releasing Selfridge who scored under the posts. Ross Inglis added the conversion to move Hamilton two points ahead.
Pulling the strings from ten, Moffat began to cause problems for the Hamilton defence and he released Fisher to put Craigs back in front, 10-7.
Soon after, a break from formidable lock Ross Macdonald asked questions of the visitors that they had no answer to. After a barraging run, the 22 stone behemoth offloaded to fullback Gillies.
He then went in under the posts for a try, and Moffat added the conversion to make the score 17-7 at the break.
Hamilton missed an early penalty in the second half, however Gillies and Moffat (2) took full advantage with a trio of penalties to to put the West lodge side 19 points in the clear.
Handbags between the rivals resulted in Craigs’ Pollok and Hamilton’s Hill being sent to the sin-bin, and with 14-men-apiece, Turnbull took a quick tap and eventually set Watt free in the corner for the score, to make it 23-19 to Craigs.
Flanker Hamish Hunter gave Craigs some breathing room with his try putting the men in blue 28-12 ahead.
McLeish added a late five-pointer for the visitors but it was too little too late as Craigs sent last year’s Premier three rivals Hamilton crashing out the cup.
Craigs won’t be joined in the latter stages of the competition by GHA, who fell out the cup in December, when they lost 11-8 to Dumfries.
GHA will return to action at home to Greenock Wanderers on Saturday. Kick Off 2pm. Also in Premier three, Cartha will host Haddington, while Whitecraigs will kick off their Premier C campaign with a visit to Selkirk.