BT West One



IRVINE once again failed to get over the line in a narrow defeat to Greenock Wanderers at Fort Matilda.

The defeat was Irvine’s third in a row since October’s win over East Kilbride at Marress, and they have lost these matches by a combined margin of only eight points.

Irvine now have home games for the remainder of December – BT West 1 leaders Allan Glen’s the next to visit – and all of January, before spending February back on the road, by which time they will hope to have got themselves up the table a bit.

The game was tight from the start, and 17 minutes had been played by the time Chris Hobson edged the visitors in front with a penalty, after his Greenock counterpart Anthony Devlin had missed with an effort of his own.

The home side stepped up a gear after this and were rewarded for their pressure when centre Chris McCarron crossed next to the posts to give Devlin a straightforward conversion to make it 7-3.

There was no further addition to the score prior to the interval, although not for lack of effort by either side.

Irvine began the second half the stronger, and the pendulum looked to have swung back in their favour when Hobson reduced the arrears to a single point 3 minutes in and shortly afterwards Sam Buswell darted over to get the tourists back in front.

Hobson’s conversion hit the post but Irvine had a useful four-point lead.

Both sides exchanged penalties either side of the hour mark – Per Jacobson taking over for Irvine after Hobson was forced off injured – before McCarron bagged his second try of the afternoon for the home side. Devlin’s conversion put them three points ahead.

Jacobson could have squared it up for Irvine with a penalty with five minutes to go but steered it wide from a central position, and that was the last time the visitors threatened a score despite sustained pressure in the dying stages.

The 2nd XV’s game at GHA Lions, meanwhile, was called off. They are next due to entertain their counterparts from Glasgow Academicals on Saturday.

IRVINE – Cr Hobson; J Murdoch, S Buswell, Ch Hobson, N McMillan; P Jacobson, R McVey; K McCrae, C Stevenson, E Callaghan, J Doolan, A Nugent, A Lang, J Carson, R Elliston (capt). Reps: B Auld, L Ferguson, C Williams.

REFEREE: Stuart Wright