Haddington 19

Ardrossan Academicals 30

HADDINGTON slumped to a fifth successive league defeat after a late collapse at home to Ardrossan Accies on Saturday.

The Reds’ injury list grew ahead of the match, with Ben Laing and Connor Munro joining a raft of 1st XV regulars on the sidelines, but Paddy Brown made his first start since re-joining from Musselburgh.

Rhodri Thomas’ side started brightly, with Brown and lock Harry Hamilton to the fore in the tight exchanges against Accies, coached by ex-Haddington boss Rory Couper.

The hosts were dominant at the set-piece and made their advantage count as former captain Colin Stuart (pictured above) burrowed over from an advancing scrum close to the Ardrossan line. Sam Morley missed the conversion but made amends as he laid on the second try – his kick through was swooped upon by Dewar, who touched down for his first try for the club’s 1st XV.

Ardrossan scored two tries of their own in the opening 40 minutes, through Andrew Duncan and Ruairidh Anderson, and the sides turned round at the break locked at 12-12.

The home side again started the second half strongly and grabbed a third try through their steadily advancing scrum, the referee awarding the hosts a penalty try for a seven-point lead.

The Ayrshire outfit hit back and scored their third try through Stuart McMaster to set up a nervous finale at Neilson Park.

When Jack Anderson kicked a late penalty to put Accies in front, the writing seemed on the wall for the hosts and so it proved as Euan Thomson’s score with the final play condemned the Reds to another defeat and denied them a bonus point.

Thomas, though, hailed an improved performance and was hopeful his side would build on that as they travel to St Boswells on Saturday.

Haddington: E Cunningham, K Hamilton, J Ferguson, L Clutton, J Dewar; S Morley, C Simpson; M Dunlop, A Cunningham, G Cockburn, C Hamilton, H Hamilton, P Brown, M Renton, C Stuart.