Tennent's West One



By Derek Murdoch

COATS Park hosted what became a highly controversial match which Irvine lost through the last score.

The lead changed hands six times and nine tries were scored, some of which were disputed by Irvine.

Cambuslang began with a bang and once again, Irvine were guilty of not having their game heads on at the beginning as the hosts drove down the right wing, breaking several tackles to score under the posts inside two minutes through Gavin Bannerman. The conversion by Ross Mulligan gave them an early 7-0 lead.

Within minutes, Irvine had struck back with a penalty by Paul Johnston and yet another forward try by Ross Campbell, driven over in twelve minutes. However Cambuslang struck back almost immediately with a Mulligan penalty to tie the game at 10-10.

The game swung from end to end for the rest of the half until, from a five-metre scrum, Cambuslang swung the ball wide for a score in the corner. Unfortunately the touch judge was unsighted and did not spot that full back Louis Senter was in touch before he dotted down the ball. Cambuslang went into half-time 15-10 to the good.

Irvine came out in the second half like lions and, from a short penalty, the ball was sent out to the wing where back row Jonathan Goodlet was waiting to dive over in the corner. This tied the scores, and within five minutes yet another Irvine forward drive allowed Campbell to get his second try under the posts, this time converted by Johnston to put Irvine in the lead once more by 22-15.

Cambuslang then struck back in 63 minutes with a second try in the corner by Senter, followed by another through Chad McGlame to take the lead once again by 25-22.

Then came the most controversial moment when in 77 minutes, Ruchin Filander created an overlap for himself and was just about to touch down under the posts when referee Bill Malone chalked the try off for celebrating as he went over.

That, however, did not stop Filander. Irvine continued to batter the home line and, in 82 minutes, he drove over for an uncelebrated try, converted by Johnston to put Irvine back in front once more. The game continued, however, and with the last move, Euan Jones scored a try, converted by Mulligan to seal victory.

*Irvine 2nd XV had an equally heartbreaking defeat at Ardrossan where the home team ran out 24-23 winners. Irvine scored tries by Jamie Doolan, Craig Williams and Scott Kerr, while Williams also knocked over two penalties and a conversion.

This week, Irvine welcome near neighbours Garnock to Marress, while Whitecraigs 2nd XV also visit.