GREENOCK Wanderers completed their away programme in the BT National League Second Division campaign on Saturday when they were comprehensively beaten by an efficient and talented Falkirk side at Cala Park.

Wanderers, as feared, were at the wrong end of another heavy defeat but the locals can at least take some crumbs of comfort from the game as they had several players that gave a good account of themselves in what was in reality another rearguard action.

Several late withdrawals meant coach Graham Knox had to blood some youngsters and Declan Bolster and Luthias Arthur stepped up from the reserve side for their debuts and did themselves proud with two fine displays.

Club stalwarts Kevin Murray and Stuart McTavish were also pressed into service and they delivered when called upon and up front Dougie Smith and Andy Love carried the hopes of the locals with a spirited performance despite being outgunned by a bigger and heavier Falkirk pack.

Former skipper Ally Abernethy had another superb game at the base of the scrum where he took the responsibility and drove effectively from behind a retreating set piece and Andy McDougall, pictured, and Callum Harrison worked tirelessly in the back division.

This fixture, as predicted, always had the potential to be another difficult afternoon for the men in gold, red and black and so it proved as the hosts put on a fine display and signed off for the season with a try-fest that was lapped up by a decent sized home support.

The hosts were good value for their nine-try romp but not for the first time this season Wanderers have cause to bemoan their own inept tackling performance that significantly impacted on the margin of defeat.

Falkirk opened in fine style and on five minutes turnover possession was put to good use when they spun the ball wide and full-back Jacob Adamson outstripped the Greenock defence to touch down under the posts. Kicker Logan Bonar converted to give Falkirk a 7-0 lead.

A few minutes later and a crisp handling move across the back line created space for second row Lawrence Miller to breeze through and dot down close to the posts. Bonar’s conversion was a formality and stretched the advantage to 14-0.

Wanderers responded with some positive play of their own and were rewarded with three penalty awards over a 20-minute spell. Goal-kicker Michael Frizzel was successful with two attempts to reduce the deficit to 14-6.

Thereafter the roof caved in on Wanderers’ challenge.

With five minutes to go until the interval the hosts crossed the Greenock line three more times, posting 21 points to effectively clinch victory.

Firstly, on 35 minutes a powerful forward drive took play deep into Wanderers’ territory and when width was put on the attack winger Gary Dempsey easily shrugged off two ineffective tackles to score in the corner.

Three minutes later more turnover ball resulted in centre Benjie Cottie breaking up field and scoring and on the stroke of half-time a quick tap and go from skipper Harry Russell caught the Greenock defence napping and his quick thinking created the room for wing forward Stuart McCulloch to touch down close to the posts.

Boner converted on each occasion to give the Cala Park men an unassailable 35-6 lead at the interval.

The second period was more of the same as the locals did their utmost to prevent more damage but a strong wind at the back of the hosts was put to good use and sound tactical kicking kept Wanderers pinned back in their own half.

As it transpired four more tries followed as Falkirk looked to turn the screw.

On 49 minutes another missed tackle allowed full-back Adamson to saunter in at the corner then a moment of controversy, on the hour mark, resulted in veteran Kevin Murray being sin binned for his reaction to a dangerous tackle that had been missed by the referee.

Falkirk took full advantage and kicked the resultant penalty to the corner, then executed the textbook catch and drive move off securely-won lineout ball. The shunt when it came on forced the Greenock pack over their goal line and prop-forward Kris Burney was accredited with the try. Bonar’s conversion extended the lead to 47-6.

On 65 minutes some sustained pressure on the visitors’ line brought further reward when Russell spun the ball wide and lock-forward Cole Ronald had the simplest of tasks to cross the whitewash for try number eight of the contest.

The final counter of the game came on 70 minutes when Russell again quickly tapped and got the ball moving with the Wanderers defence dithering.

The play swept the length of the field and ended with centre Cottie scoring wide on the right.

Wanderers’ final match of the season is in a fortnight when they host Ardrossan Academicals at Fort Matilda.

Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.