BT West One
BOTTOM club Helensburgh registered only their second league win of the season as Irvine came unstuck at Ardencaple.

Ardencaple holds happy memories for Irvine as the site of their BT West 1 championship win in 2014, but they will be keen to forget Saturday’s visit, which saw them soundly beaten by a team who had conceded 183 points in their last two games, as soon as possible.

Irvine, who have now failed to win in 10 away games since defeating Strathaven in the preliminary round of the Shield in August, remain 10 points clear of second-bottom Oban – who lost 63-0 at Garnock – and have a free weekend before travelling to Stewartry.

It all looked like being so different in the early stages when Alan Nugent forced his way over for the opening try four minutes in, and not long afterwards Sam Buswell was narrowly beaten to the ball as he chased his own kick-through to the line.

Irvine produced a fine backs-to-the-wall defensive performance to limit the hosts to a single try on their previous visit to Helensburgh, but as in last week’s match against Oban at Marress they gave their opponents too much time and space on the ball, and this time they were unable to recover.

The home right winger deservedly squared the match just shy of the first quarter, before the full back put the home side in front with a try in the corner after eluding the visiting defence.

Per Jacobson reduced the arrears to two points with a penalty from a central position just after the half hour before the two sides exchanged tries again, John Milner crashing over for an instant reply for Irvine after the home forwards mauled over in the corner at the other end.

Connor Slader’s conversion of that try left the hosts with a slender 17-13 lead at hal- time, but it was not to remain slender for long as they stepped up their efforts and by the hour were a further three tries to the good, all converted by Slader.

Craig Williams replied for Irvine with a long range try to set them up for the consolation of a try bonus point with quarter of an hour to go, but they were unable to score again and the visitors returned to Irvine empty-handed.

IRVINE: Craig Williams; Sam Buswell, John Carson, Neil McMillan, Scott Rowley; Per Jacobson, Jordan Kerr; Logan Ferguson, Craig Maxwell, Baris Nesvat, Alan Nugent, John Milner, Blair McLaws, Jonathan Goodlet, Ruchin Filander.  Subs: Iain Picken, James Cooney, Chris Mills, Ian Kerr.