Shawlands – 39
Bishopton – 27
Tries; Scott Baird, Alistair Doak, Ruari Taylor
Conversion; Max Catto (3)
Penalty; Max Catto (2)
Yellow Card; Alex Neil
Bishopton made the short trip out to Cartha in order to play Shawlands in the Bowl in their first foray into the competition this season. Bishopton looked confident before the game after the strong victory over Lanark the previous week, and getting to the ground in good time before the kick-off.
Bish got the match under way as they sent the ball into the Shawlands half. The home side started to take the ball to the Bish and began to build the phases Bish were however able to put a drive on at a ruck early on and push over to secure the scrum in their favour. Continuing to keep the pressure on Shawlands with some well-placed kicks into the back field. Bishopton soon secured a line out in the opposition half and were able to ship the ball to the opposite wing where they were able to build some phases before the referee called for the penalty to be given. Being in a good position the decision to go for the points was taken and Catto was able to nudge the visitors ahead 0-3.
Straight from the restart Shawlands came out on the attack gathering the high ball from their kick-off and moving to play some slick rugby off the back of the resulting ruck. Before being able to run the try in from out wide. 7-3 to the home side. Again, from the restart Shawlands looked dangerous once again and were able to secure the penalty in their own half and send it deep into the Bish territory for the line out. The resulting line out went wild and Bish opted for the scrum. But Shawlands were able to put their much larger pack to work and push the scrum back, allowing the Number 8 to pick from the back of the scrum and run the ball in under the posts. 14-3 to the home side.
Bishopton looked from the restart that they were starting to find their feet and began to take the game to the Shawlands defence but were unable to find that gap in the defence. After several phase Bish were once again able to win a penalty in front of the posts, Catto once again was able to cut the deficit 14-6.
Shawlands were clearly not going to sit down and take points being scored against them, as from the restart they were once again dominant in the air being able to chase the restart down and take it back, only to knock on in the offload. Bishopton looked to try to establish their scrum that has been a strong point for them in recent weeks, but once again the Shawlands pack were able to drive Bishopton back and secure the ball for themselves. From this position the Shawlands Number 8 was once again able to pick the ball up and work his way through the Bish midfield in order to score once again. 21-6 to Shawlands.
It was from this point that Bishopton started to make the changes in the pack in order to bring some stability to the scrum. But before another scrum was able to come about there was some more bad news for the Bishopton team, as Lock Alex Neil received his first yellow card of his career. When the referee deemed that he was deliberately killing the ball. But in the ten-minute period that he was off the pitch bishopton were able to stay resolute in defence and keep Shawlands in their own half.
On his return Bishopton looked as though they had started to settle themselves after the changes that had been made were settling into the match, and it was one of the early replacements that made the breakthrough for Bish in the form of Scott Baird – who started on the bench due to having been out for the past few weeks with injury. As he was able to receive the ball on a 4th phase off of a line out and bully his way through the Shawlands defensive line. The conversion brought an end to the half 21-13.
It was Shawlands who came out strongest in the second half as they were able to push the Back in their own half before managing to steal the ball once more and with two very slick passes were able to exploit an overlap on the wing and cross once more, taking the score to 28-13. It was almost a quick fire double as well from the restart as the Shawlands winger was able to break away and find himself placing the ball down for the try only for the touch judge to raise his flag to say that the player had indeed been put of play and the referee brought the play back for a line out. This put some wind back into the Bish sails as they were able to go on the march up the pitch from here and after receiving a number of penalties. It was Prop Alistair Dock who was able to take advantage of this and from a close-range ruck was able to plough his way over the line for the try. 28-20.
From here Shawlands were able to gain two penalties in front of the post to take the score to 34-20 and soon after they were able to work their way back into the Bish 22 and gain a scrum which had been a strong point for them all afternoon and once again they were able to push the Bish pack back several meters before picking from the back and getting over the whitewash to take the score to 39-20.
With minutes left to go Bish were able to work back into the Shawlands half gaining the territory the hard way. And were able to secure two penalties, the first was for the tackler not releasing at the ruck and the second for not being 10 meters. It was the second one that Scrum Half Ruari Taylor was able to take advantage from as he was able to glide past the Shawlands defence who were not quick enough to react to the quick tap. Once past the first two players he had a clear run to the posts to touch the ball down. 39-27.
As bishopton started to chase in the final minutes and into the clock turning red but once again the referee awarded the penalty to Shawlands who opted to take the tap and kick to touch to end the game. As a tough game for the team there were some bright spots where they were playing the better rugby on the pitch but were unfortunate when it came to small handling errors and decisions going against them in the loose. But from these the Bishopton Man of the Match was returning Number 8 Scott Baird who on return from injury was able to come on mid game and carry the hard meters when required.
A tough lost for Bishopton as they were knocked out of the Bowl competition, but they now look forward to a return to league action next week, where the Glasgow University Medics await them in what will be a top of the league clash and a match that could prove very important come the end of the season!