BT West One



IRVINE survived a first-half scare before running out comfortable winners over Oban at Marress to ease their relegation worries.

Lock Jack Baxter ran unimpeded from his own half to score, and fly-half Craig Wright darted in under the sticks to give himself an easy conversion, as the visitors overturned John Carson’s early try to go 12-7 ahead just before the quarter hour.

Oban had chances to go further ahead in an open first half, but a Ruchin Filander brace just before the break took the wind out of their sails, and a Calum MacLachlan try converted by Wright was the only further addition to their score as Irvine ran riot, Sam Buswell notching up a brace of his own to add to singles from Kevin Lang and Ross Campbell.

Per Jacobson finished with a personal haul of 12 points, landing three conversions and two penalties.

The victory moves Irvine back above Cambuslang – who lost 76-0 at Garnock and have not won since February – into ninth place. And victory at bottom club Helensburgh this Saturday should give Kenny Glen’s side all the extra assurance they need.

Carson raced clear for the game’s opening try after four minutes, but any hopes the hosts may have been entertaining that the match would be a walk in the park were dashed not long afterwards, when Baxter was given the freedom of the burgh to run in his try and Wright likewise given too much space for his.

It continued to look like it was not to be Irvine’s day as the first half wore on, but Filander’s quickfire brace turned the match on its head. The second was a particular peach, scrum-half Jordan Kerr showing good speed of thought to feint to one side and pop the ball to Filander on the other. The Oban defence took the bait and the number 8 had an easy run to the line.

The sides turned around with Irvine leading 19-12, and within ten minutes the hosts had the bonus point, Buswell eluding the visiting defence to dot down and add to Jacobson’s earlier penalty.

MacLachlan’s try followed in quick succession, but any worries that the pressure was back on the home side were eased on the hour when Jacobson’s penalty brought up the 30 for Irvine, and from then on it was a question of how many more they would add.

And after Kevin Lang managed to get the ball down through a ruck of visiting bodies with 10 minutes to go, Buswell showed great skill to keep a touch-bound ball in before claiming his second and Ross Campbell’s try rounded off the scoring.