PRESTON Lodge ran out victors by 10-3 in this oh so dreary encounter.

Once again, however, the home players could not be faulted for a lack of effort, it was simply basic mistakes which ultimately led to their downfall. At a wet and windy Fort Matilda the hosts, having won the toss, elected to face the elements in the first half and were fortunate to escape an early onslaught by the visitors.

The weather conditions led to a plethora of basic handling errors, and scoring opportunities were few and far between. It took until 26 minutes before the first score was recorded. A mix-up in Wanderers" attack enabled Preston Lodge to come downfield and threaten the Wanderers line.

A lineout on the the home 22-metre line led to the visitors securing possession and, from the ensuing ruck, prop forward Stewart McLean drove over for the opening try. Stand-off Clark was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt and the score remained at 5-0.

Continued handling errors were being made by the hosts and this contributed to them being placed under further pressure.

It was no surprise, therefore, when the visitors increased their lead in 31 minutes. Greenock stand-off Ant Devlin failed to make touch and the ball was gathered by full-back Dixon who fed his centre Andrew Wood.

From 35 metres out, Wood skipped through a couple of despairing tackles and touched down for the try wide out on the Octavia Terrace side. Again Clark was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt and the score stood at 10-0.

It took 37 minutes for Wanderers to create their first scoring opportunity and, after a brief foray upfield, the locals were awarded a penalty 35 metres out. Kevin Murray"s goal attempt sailed wide and it wasn"t long before the half-time whistle sounded with Wanderers trailing by 10-0.

The second half commenced with an immediate opportunity for the locals to haul themselves back into contention.

The visitors were adjudged to be offside and, from the ensuing penalty, Kevin Murray stepped up and slotted the penalty with a nicely taken kick. With the deficit now reduced to one score, the locals tried desperately to bring the match back to equality. Some nice positional kicking by Devlin presented Wanderers with attacking opportunities, which they had been starved of in the opening 40 minutes.

Time and again, basic handling errors enabled the visitors to escape unscathed.

The match at this stage was desperate for some sort of spontaneity and creativity but this was not to be and it continued to be a dour battle, full of errors from both sides.

In 55 minutes, however, after a fine crossfield kick from Kevin Murray, Wanderers progressed to within five metres of the visitors" line.

The locals then stole lineout possession and threatened the PL defence again. Once again the hosts were guilty of mishandling and the Preston Lodge line could not be breached.

For the next 15 minutes the match was littered with penalties, but Wanderers were unable to take advantage.

In 67 minutes, however, after quick thinking by tousle-haired scrum half Andrew McDougall, the ball was quickly fed to Callum Robb who romped through a couple of despairing tackles before he was stopped 10 metres short of the line. This was to be Wanderers" last real effort.

Greenock Wanderers: K Murray, D Watson, S Giovannaci, C Clark (C), A Knox, A Devlin, A McDougall, M Coyle, A McMichael, M Rodger, D McIntyre, N Patterson, A Abernethy, C Robb, J McKenna.

Replacements - G Paterson, D Murray, J Stewart.