With Wanderers’ top team game against Whitecraigs frozen off at a frost-bound West Lodge, the spotlight turned to the reserve side and their BT Reserve League West First Division match with Dalziel at Fort Matilda.

A decent sized home support descended on Octavia Terrace to see if Wanderers could continue their resurgent form and the good news for those of a Wanderers persuasion is that they could indeed, and did so with an excellent display full of hard running and intelligent, attacking rugby.

Caretaker coach Steven Haldane stepped into a coaching breach two weeks ago and along with senior players Donald Stone, Kevin Murray, John Stewart and Captain Alan Murray has turned around the fortunes of the second team with two fine try-scoring bonus point victories in a row.

Saturday’s display owed much again to the experienced players on show. Skipper Alan Murray led the side with his usual aplomb, until injury forced his withdrawal, Stone and Stewart were towering influences in the pack and stand-off Kevin Murray showed off his silky skills while advising and talking his back division through their paces throughout the 80 minutes.

Elsewhere brothers Jack and Jamie Dale posted impressive performances as did Fraser Reid, Jim Ward and Dougie McIntyre.

The match as a spectacle was something of a slow burner, with both sides feeling each other out in the early stages.

When the scoreboard started clicking over though it did so at a swift rate of knots as Wanderers punished some slack defending by the visitors.

On 20 minutes what appeared a harmless attack by Wanderers bore fruit when the Dalziel defence spilled the ball close to their own line and centre Jack Dale was on hand to accept the gift and dive over for the opening score.

Five minutes later the visitors made a hash of a defensive scrum when they let the ball squirm over their own line. Ever alert Wanderers scrum half Gavin Cowan was first to react and he dived on the ball to secure the score.

On the half hour mark a successful Kevin Murray penalty stretched the lead to 13-0 and moments later a simple backs move from solid scrum possession created space for winger Jim Ward to show admirable acceleration as he sped in at the corner.

The 18-point advantage at the interval gave Wanderers the confidence to open up further in the second period.

On 50 minutes centre Fraser Reid showed tenacity and fine balance as he dodged his way through several visiting defenders to dot down in the corner and a few minutes later he made a great break through central midfield before off-loading to winger Cammy Docherty who copied his colleague’s example by touching down wide on the right.

With an hour gone Dalziel rallied with a fine try of their own. Open-side flanker Callum Croughin barged over from short range and kicker Andy Westwood converted to reduce the deficit to 28-7.

The visitors’ joy was short-lived as from the restart second row Jamie Dale seized possession and he bobbed and weaved his way through half a dozen Dalziel defenders to claim a fine solo try with stand-off Murray’s conversion restoring the 28-point advantage.

On 70 minutes the lead was stretched further when another searing break through the centre, this time by Aidan Crossan, created the space and he fed winger Ward who once more breezed in at the corner.

Wanderers’ final counter came two minutes later when centre Jack Dale capped an excellent individual performance by copying his brother by producing another solo effort through, a by now, dispirited Dalziel defence.

Murray’s conversion took the lead to 47-7 but all credit to the men from Carfin who refused to capitulate.

They had the last word with a determined effort from number eight Dougie Clark, who blasted through the centre of the Greenock defence to touchdown under the posts. Westwood’s conversion completed the scoring.

Coach Haldane said: ”It was a satisfying result and display and it is good to see the second string begin to build some team spirit. The players and I have made a commitment to see the season through to the end and we have bought into it with a positive attitude and two good victories in the last fortnight.” “It is no secret that the club has suffered with serious personnel and availability issues this season and the reality is that it impacts greatly on the reserve team. We have to send players up to the first team squad when required and the knock-on effect is that it depletes our selection options” The reserves’ next scheduled match is on 14 February when they are due to host Kilmarnock at Fort Matilda.

Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments