Tries; Ruari Taylor (3), Scott Baird, Ross McGowan, Kyle Haldane, Ruaridh Catto, Max Catto
Conversion; Max Catto (5)
After kicking off 2018 with a commanding win away to a strong Moffat team, this week saw a return to action at Holmpark where the Bish were hosting Lanark in the return fixture from September where Bishopton were looking to repeat the feat of a 0-45 victory.
This week some Changes to the team either forced by injury, the bench filling out again with the return of players from the physio room and those being available for their first run out of the year.
With the rain making its presence known before the game it was clear that the conditions facing the players were going to be tough and that the wide spread running game might have been difficult to procced with. And the first half was a reflection of this, where in there was a lot of ball lost in possession by both teams and scrapping on the ground to gain it back in the opening minutes. The game then settled into a rhythm as the players acclimatised to the conditions.
Bishopton soon started the march towards the Lanark try line gaining meters through close contact carrying. They soon gained the penalty 10 meters out in front of the post. Scrum Half Ruari
Taylor was quick to the referee’s mark before the Lanark defence were able to regroup and was able to sprint under the post for his 15th try of the season. Catto fired the conversion over the posts taking him to 125 points for the season. 7-0 Bishopton.
Bishopton were soon back up in the danger zone after working their way up the pitch with several strong scrums and being able to dominate the lineout. With both Alex Neil and Kyle Haldane becoming pests for the opposition through out the match with the number of steals that they were able to make come time for Lanark to put the ball back into play. Bishopton’s 2nd try of the day came from just such a scenario.
When Haldane was able to clear up the Lanark overthrow and ship the ball out to be taken into contact. And once again Taylor was at the back of the ruck shouting commands to his backline and made the move to go out wide only for the Lanark defence to come up quickly allowing him to dart in on their mistake, and once again getting between the sticks. Catto once again fired the 2 points in. 14-0 Bishopton.
Lanark came back into the game at this point and seemed to have a wake-up call. As they went on to put the pressure right back in on Bishopton for the remainder of the first half going close to gaining a try back. But the Bishopton defence stood strong and made the half time whistle but they were given some work to think about. At half time there were changes made to bring back into the fold some of the returning players were brought back into the fold.
The seconds half started off with Lanark loosing two players to injury, and reducing their playing numbers on the pitch allowing Bishopton the space to become a bit more creative with their loose play. This first score of the half came in the form of a scrum on the halfway line and a chance for the returning Scott Baird to get his first taste of rugby in 2018.
He opted to pick and go. The No.8 went straight into rampage mode that he had been in on his last outing at the start of December against Hyndland. He was able to shake off three men on his way to the try line but he looked to be caught, as the Lanark man was able to wrap his legs but his momentum carried him over. Catto crisply sent the ball over the posts to secure the 3rd conversion of the day. 21-0 Bishopton.
With in moments of the restart. Centre Stephen Hogan had got his hands on the ball in the 22 and sent the ball into the open Lanark back field with the ball taking a favourable bounce and leaving the defender wrong footed. But Ross McGowan the other returning player on at half time had judged coming off Hogan’s shoulder to perfection and was able to take advantage. Even had the ball not fooled the defender McGowan was the favourite to get his foot on it as he had made the ground up in an impressive sprint and was able to kick the ball towards the try line and outstrip his opposite man before launching himself onto the loose ball for the try. The wide conversion didn’t quite make it this time. 26-0 and the bonus point secured.
At this point the flood gates started to open as Lanark started to feel the effect of loosing two men and Bishopton were able to return the restart and took to camping in the opposition 22. Here
Bish were able to gain a scrum on the 5m line. Baird took from the back but slipped a quick reversal back into Haldane who was able to take a man over the line with him. This brought him back into the try scorers having started the season prolifically. Catto added the extras to take the game to 33-0.
Again, from the restart Bish looked into the creative part of their game and started to throw the ball about in the backs and give the forward some well earned time off. As the ball was worked around the midfield that was now Catto
, Seymour, Catto. With the ball moving between the three and Seymour adding some flair with a ball caught behind his back before popping it back into the older of the two Catto brothers, as Ruaridh was able to slide into the corner for the try. Max’s conversion fell short of the posts. 38-0.
Bish soon after won the penalty inside their own half and Taylor took the tap and shipped it to Max Catto, who not looking to be out done by his older brother threw the dummy pass and pinned his ears back at the halfway line and made the break. Though it looked tight for Catto the younger as the Lanark players started to close in on him and he was forced wide of the posts before sliding into record the score. The conversion short, score now 43-0.
Lanark though seemed to find a second wind after seeing Catto taken close to the bone and they were able to recover the restart and force Bishopton back towards their try line and looked to be on the verge of pulling a consolation try out, the fight back was on. Though it was not to be as the ball was knocked forward in a tackle and spilled into the dead ball zone and quick thinking as ever, Taylor tapped for the 22 drop out and was off. With only the referee seeming to know exactly what had happened as he reached the 22 and took to the grubber and collecting it before being able to go the length of the pitch to round out his hat-trick for the day. Catto added the 2 to close out Bishopton’s account for the day. 50-0.
Though Lanark were adamant not to go home empty handed. As they once again retook procession of the ball and marched back up the field and were able to force Bishopton into putting the ball out for a line out. From here they were able to secure and send to very strong phases after the ball the later resulting in them crashing though the Bishopton defensive barrier. A strong desire from the visitors not to leave Holmpark paid off and they were able to add the extras seconds from the final whistle. Bringing the final score in at 50-7. Another strong Bishopton result.
Allma Constructions Man of the Match could have gone to a number of men on the field, but ultimately it went to Taylor who once again drove the team around the pitch and lead the charge.
With some fortune, the results elsewhere and a deduction of points for the Medics showing on the SRU Website had The Bish leap back to the top of the table by two points. Meaning that the team have to keep destiny firmly in their own grasp with the Medics due to visit the fortress that is Holmpark in two weeks’ time. However, before that there is the challenging matter of a trip to the Isle of Mull to come next Saturday 20th January and we are looking to take a full squad up to the Isle and as many supports as possible for the 2pm kick-off.