Craigs ‘nock em down

Ryan Moffat
Ryan Moffat

A DETERMINED performance from Whitecraigs on Saturday ensured their safe passage through to the next round of the West regional Cup.

Having been out of action for over a month, and with the recent departure of head coach John Shaw, the away tie against old foes Greenock Wanderers was always going to be tough.

But the players rallied round and at times produced some fantastic rugby in difficult conditions to overcome the hosts at Fort Matilda.

In the opening exchanges Ryan Moffat nudged Craigs in front with a penalty, but Wanderers hit back with two successful kicks to put them into the lead.

It took until midway through the half for the first meaningful attack, when William Corbett burst from deep inside his own half.

Excellent interplay between Corbett, Ally Stevenson and Phil Nicol eventually gave captain Graeme Fisher the chance to round off the move. Moffat added the extras to put Craigs 10-6 in front.

Both teams were showing fantastic appetite for the game, which was epitomised by the Blamire twins who were a constant threat to the opposition.

With the match evenly poised, it was Wanderers who struck next when they moved quick turnover ball wide to allow the pacy winger a clear run to the corner.

With half time approaching Moffat added another three points before Fisher carved through the home defence to put Biel Farrell over for a crucial touchdown.

Leading 20-11, Craigs were looking fairly comfortable but a fumble in midfield allowed Wanderers to gather the ball and race the length of the pitch for their second try of the day, reducing the gap to just two points at the break.

After the interval both teams were guilty of giving away too many penalties, with the referee also failing to stamp his authority on the indiscretions at the break down.

Moffat knocked over another two penalties to stretch Craigs’ advantage to eight points, but with five minutes left to play Greenock increased the intensity and were pushing hard for a try.

Craigs appeared to have weathered the storm when they won a penalty, but when a melee broke out between the teams the referee decided to reverse the decision.

The Wanderers kicker duly added another three points, but in the dying minutes Moffat knocked over his fifth penalty of the day to seal the match 29-21.

Craigs take on another familiar opponent Hamilton in the next round of the cup on Saturday.