GREENOCK Wanderers made the long journey to Berwick in the hope of securing a good performance and some league points, writes John Dyer.

Previous meetings between both clubs have been tough and hard-fought.

Saturday was no different as Berwick started the game the brighter and showed early intent.

They dominated the scrums by them shoving Wanderers off the ball in the early exchanges.

In the third minute Wanderers were penalised for being offside at the ruck and Berwick stand-off Webster kicked the first points of the match for the home team.

Wanderers were constantly under pressure from enterprising play by Berwick's speedy backline.

They didn't help their cause by giving away too many penalties with the referee issuing a warning.

A passage of good play ended with a Wanderers winger being forced into touch short of the Berwick line.

A further penalty by home stand-off Webster ended the first half with the home side 6-0 in the lead and Wanderers having a lot of work to do in the second half to come away with any points.

The second half did not get off to a good start for the visitors, with Gav Bannerman having to leave the field with a hamstring problem after five minutes.

He was replaced by Ty Marshall and Symon Bleasedale was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for a high tackle after eight minutes.

Wanderers resisted early scrummage pressure with a relieving penalty kick by stand-off AJ Guthrie.

Eleven minutes after the interval Wanderers were awarded a penalty just into Berwick's half and they decided to have a kick for goal.

Guthrie struck the ball between the uprights to finally put Wanderers on the scoreboard.

Berwick's reply was swift as a couple of minutes later they were awarded a penalty in front of Wanderers' posts and was converted by Webster after 18 minutes.

A couple of minutes later Bleasedale was substituted by Oliver Nelis.

Wanderers had managed to work themselves into the game and were looking for an elusive score but it was Berwick who mounted a counter attack and after good inter passing by their backs winger Hill scored a try in the corner which was unconverted to make the score 14-3.

Wanderers were now showing some more urgency and after good work by their backs, full-back Martyn Knapton scored a try in the corner, which was not converted, to put Wanderers in a good position of getting a point from the game.

Berwick were pressing Wanderers' line and they gave away a penalty which was converted by Webster when the final whistle sounded.

Wanderers had shown improvements from last week's defeat by Lasswade and there were good individual performances in the backs by Knapton, who was confident under the high ball and solid in the tackle, and up front Connor Gibson was man of the match for Wanderers.

On Saturday it is Ardrossan at home after the club hosts another pre-match lunch.

The Ayrshire side have still to get their campaign underway as both their matches have been postponed due to Covid, so Wanderers will hope to capitalise on their inactivity and reverse the early friendly defeat at Ardrossan last month.

Elsewhere the 2nds lost to West 40-11 and during the week the ladies had a trial game against Hillhead.

l Greenock Wanderers are sponsored by MM Search.