IN ATROCIOUS conditions both sides served up an exciting clash with the visitors prevailing 25-18.

Wanderers had a late surprise in selection as former stalwart Brendan McGroarty made himself available after retiring from competitive games at a much higher level than National 4.

Apparently a lot of work had gone on to persuade him back to help his old club, all to the delight of the spectators.

Wanderers started very well and were three points up after five minutes with a penalty converted by McDaid.

The visitors responded with several passages of play and took it into the home 22, where they won a scrum and pushed Wanderers' pack over their line to score a converted try, 7-3.

From the restart kick the Strathmore centre caught the ball and ran and jinked his way through a poor Wanderers defence and scored under the posts, 14-3. A very poor score to lose although it alerted Wanderers to the threat from the scorer of his speed.

McDaid for the home side had a penalty attempt from a difficult position to reduce the deficit which fell agonisingly short.

Shortly thereafter a good move from the home backs gave Gareth Knox the chance to score in the corner, converted by McDaid 14-10.

Strathmore then had several visits to Wanderers' 22 but the home side managed to get a turnover from a ruck to kick to touch. However, it was not long afterwards that the visitors scored and a further two penalties and brought the score to 20-10 to the visitors on half time.

The elements did not relent for the second half and Wanderers' McGroarty was yellow carded for a high tackle shortly after the restart.

Wanderers then had a spell of pressure and were rewarded with a try by winger Charlie Baxter  after a kick through from stand-off Callum Harrison, 20-15.

In the 33rd minute McDaid kicked a penalty for Wanderers to set the scene for a grandstand finish.

However, the home side's hopes of a win were dashed on full-time when Strathmore's forwards drove over the line to make the final score 25-18.

While disappointed with the score Wanderers again showed signs of improvement with yet another different back division as a result of injuries.

But they also gave away far too many penalties.

With no match this weekend, it gives the coaches more time to work with the squad for another difficult home match against Stewartry, the second top side in the league.

The Ladies match with Annan at Fort Matilda was abandoned due to an injury to one of the Annan players.

The Men's 2nd XV lost 36 - 10 to Kilmarnock.

Club sponsors MMSEARCH; Ladies sponsors Straps of Gourock and Brow House Cosmetics.