A SEVERELY depleted Wanderers Reserve side were thrashed at Burnbrae in Milngavie on Saturday as West of Scotland secured the spoils in their BT Reserve League West First Division encounter.

The scoreline basically sums up the story of the game — but the locals deserve great credit for taking the fixture despite a horrendous catalogue of injuries and non-availability that almost resulted in caretaker coach and former captain Steven Haldane, pictured, making a comeback to competitive action some 20 years after his last match for the club.

The locals scraped together 15 players at the last minute and did their best to stem the tide as the hosts took full advantage of the weakened Wanderers selection.

There were positives for Greenock in defeat, most notably the combative attitude and performance of skipper Chris Randall, the outstanding kicking display of Stephen Crossan and the aggressive play of James Ward both in attack and defence. Indeed the best try of the contest was scored by Wanderers when Jack Dale turned over ball deep inside his own half and when possession was fed to Ross McCarron the youngster sped in from fully 50 metres out.

The remainder of the game could accurately be summarised as a rearguard action by the Greenock men.

Coach Haldane said: “I was proud of the boys that turned up and did their best.

“They never at any time threw in the towel and worked tirelessly for each other throughout the 80 minutes.” The next match for Wanderers Reserves is against touring English side Weston from Hertfordshire on Saturday at Fort Matilda with a 12.30pm kick-off.

The early start is to accommodate the players watching live coverage of the Scotland versus Italy Six Nations championship match which will be shown on the big screens in the Octavia Terrace clubhouse immediately after this game.

All members and guests are invited along to enjoy the afternoon’s entertainment.

Elsewhere at Fort Matilda over the weekend, the Ladies’ sides intended trip to Inverness on Sunday was cancelled due to inclement weather and a training session was held at Fort Matilda instead.

Guest coach for the afternoon was current Scottish international centre Mark Bennett and the session was voted a great success by all the players in attendance.

The ladies are hard at work preparing for their three team round-robin tournament at Fort Matilda scheduled for Sunday 8 March when Annan and Caithness will provide the opposition.

Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.