Greenock Wanderers 32 Ross High 21

A POIGNANT minute's silence was observed in memory of the visitors' captain who passed away recently at the age of 27 - and also for a past President of Wanderers Tom Dunn.

Ross High started at a ferocious pace and Wanderers were having to defend for the first five minutes and the visitors' forward Elms barged over for a try.

In atrocious conditions with the heavy rain showing no sign of abating play raged on with Ross High on top but Wanderers' defence held up with some heavy tackling.

But this proved to be the undoing of the home side's Robb who was red carded for a head high tackle. There was some doubt from the home support about the decision as the RH player made no complaint and played on.

Finally, after a few passages of play Wanderers' Knapton crossed the line for a score to tie the match at 5-5.

Shortly afterwards it was Knapton at the double as he was on hand to finish off a move and edge the home side ahead at 10-5. 

But just on half time RH converted a penalty to put them just two points behind.

The weather conditions did not abate in the second half with Wanderers having a lot to do as a victory was still in doubt. Greenock's Graham finished off a good team effort with a try to make the score 15-8.

Playing with 14 men Wanderers were putting on a great performance with positive tackles from Darroch and Tyley in the backs.

The home side's Strachan had to leave the field with a leg injury and was replaced by Love.

Wanderers' task was thereafter made even more difficult with a yellow card for forward Murray, leaving them with 13 players on the pitch.

RH converted a penalty to reduce the deficit to 15-11 and at this stage the match could have gone either way.

Determined Wanderers' scrum half McDougal sent up a box kick and Darroch flew highest through the air to gather. A gap appeared and suddenly he was through zigzagging his way around some slack tackling to score near the posts for a converted try to make the score 22-11.

Shortly afterwards the visitors scored from a quick penalty and the game was still in the balance. 

Home stand-off Harrison was heading for the try line when he realised he was not going to go the distance and managed to get a pass out of the back of his hand to Hopkins to score and make it 29-16.

With five minutes of the match left, it was the visitors who scored again to jangle the home nerves with a further try, but it proved to be too little too late.

Wanderers had enough energy to play their way into RH 22 and were awarded a penalty which Tyley converted with the last kick of the match.

A very entertaining game for the large crowd to enjoy. Full marks to both sides in the conditions.

The win gives Wanderers the probability that they will stay in the Division, while RH have a daunting task at the bottom, although they have six games to improve their position.

The 2nd XV travelled to Annan and won 29-5; the Ladies 1st XV lost 41-0 away to Biggar; the Ladies 2nd XV lost 36-5 at Glasgow University; U13s won 52-10 v Lenzie; U16s won 41-5 v Hamilton.

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