GREENOCK Wanderers recorded yet another defeat on the road in an encounter which they should have brought home some points for the chances, scrum domination and territory they had throughout the game, writes John Dyer.

The visitors got off to a very lively start against the Fife outfit and dominated several passages of play with barging runs by the forwards.

The main danger man was Martin Lavelle, who had a fine game, and the attacks were interspersed by some promising back play which lacked control with the final pass.

Against the run of play Howe's backs gave a glimpse of what they were capable of with slick passing across the park and some missed tackles by Wanderers.

Their stand-off Aitken ran in a very soft try which was converted to make it 7-0 to Howe.

Wanderers regrouped and established some further dominance with backs and forwards, but again they were let down by mistakes allowing a run by Howe's centre Todd to run completely unchallenged into Wanderers' 22 before being brought down.

The Fort Matilda side were awarded a penalty for Howe's forwards, killing the ball at a ruck and Michael Frizzel converted to reduce the deficit to 7-3.

A further penalty by Howe made the half-time score 10 -3.

Wanderers were still very much in the game and if basic errors could be eradicated and territorial advantage converted into points a possible win was still a distinct possibility.

However, it was the hosts who started the half the more positively and it took a try-saving tackle by Wanderers' Gav Bannerman on Howe's stand-off to save the day.

A quick tap penalty by Howe was held up allowing Wanderers to clear their line with a goal-line drop out by Frizzel to half-way which relieved the pressure.

However, Howe pressed into Wanderers' territory and were awarded a penalty which they converted into a further three points to stretch their lead to 13-3.

Wanderers again fought back but gave away possession allowing Howe's backs to bring Wanderers back into their own 22.

Momentum was again built up by Wanderers and yet again a wild final scoring pass kept them from getting back onto the scoreboard.

Play flowed back and forth with Wanderers camping on Howe's 22 latterly with a series of scrums which they won all three by pushing Howe back.

At this point the referee should have been showing a yellow card within the law but did not.

It all ended in farce when Frizzle had an attempt at a drop goal which hit the stand which was behind him and in the opposite side of the park.

This was an amusing interlude which was needed as even I was prone to tears at this stage.

However, Wanderers scored again with a quick ball to the backs resulting in Smith scoring a try in the corner. It was unconverted to make it score 13-8 to Howe.

It did not take the Fifers long to score again as a loose pass by Jack McDaid put Wanderers under pressure and Howe's hooker barged over for a try, which they converted, to give the hosts a commanding 20-8 lead.

Further pressure by the Duffus Park men, who were very much on the ascendancy, saw their left winger Walker score to make it 25-8.

The hosts were throwing the ball about between their forwards and backs and pressurising Wanderers' line as a result of several missed tackles and poor positioning in defence.

The final act saw the hosts' centre receive the ball and ran through four missed tackles to score under the posts before being converted and mercifully the referee blew the final whistle with the score at 32-8.

The performance was extremely disappointing from Wanderers' point of view.

With a total of two tries in six games, one bonus point and a narrow victory, this is nowhere near the standard Wanderers need to attain to get up the table away from relegation.

The players are still confident there are victories in them and are hoping that they can turn their season round. I sincerely hope that is the outcome.

l Greenock Wanderers are sponsored by MM Search.