Tries; Scot Baird (2)
Conversion; Peter Duncan
Penalty; Peter Duncan
The Renfrewshire Derby returned for the first time in over a decade on Saturday and with out regular reported away for the weekend Scrum Half and last seasons leading try scorer Ruari Taylor stepped in while recovering from an injury to fill the void. After several poor results, Bishopton were looking to hit back at a Paisley team who historically have had the better of the boys in green.
The starting XV was much changed after the sub-par performance last week, and due to lots of players coming back from various ailments. Scott Baird, Gary Clark, Chris Lee, Ally Doak and Ali Peterson all returned to the side. Rob Wallace returned from the wilderness to play scrum half, and Sandy Glassford delayed travelling back to London to play with the boys. Ross McGowan, Fraser Williamson Ruari Taylor and Patrick McReynolds were all ruled out due to injuries picked up in Stranraer last week.
Saturday arrived with blue skies, a beautiful green pitch and a Bish XV fired up and ready to get stuck into the Paisley. Bishopton won the toss and opted to kick, with Peter Duncan kicking off the afternoon. Paisley took the ball and cleared their lines putting the ball into touch. From the resulting lineout, Gary Clark battered through the Paisley defence and ran 40m before being brought down. Bish recycled the ball with efficiency Paisley couldn’t cope with and 2 phases later Scott Baird crashed over to score the first try of the day. Peter Duncan nailed the conversion and Bishopton were 7-0 up within 2 minutes. A dream start.
The next period of play was all Bish. Any Paisley attacks were smashed apart by a ferocious Bishopton defence, with Gary Clark and Ryan Moore winning several turnovers. Paisley had clearly not expected nor were prepared for the physicality that the boys in green gave for their club. The forwards dominated and the backs put in some nice passing to utilize space out wide. Some lovely counter-attacking running from Ali Peterson then Gary Clark put Rob Wallace over the try-line, only for the referee to adjudge he knocked the ball on and disallow the try. Bish remained camped inside Paisley territory for the next 20 minutes, and ought to score several tries. However, too many handling errors and mistakes cost Bishopton. Peter Duncan did land a penalty in this period making it 10-0.
Straight off the restart, Gary Clark made another 50m run leaving Paisley bodies scattered behind him, taking Bishopton right back to the try line but again the home side could not cross. This proved frustrating as tries were there for the taking but Bish just made far too many mistakes.
On half time, Paisley managed to break the length of the field and looked destined to score until Kyle Haldane made an incredible tap tackle on the Paisley player 5m from the line. Paisley then knocked on and the referee blew for half time – 10-0 Bishopton.
The 2nd half started as the first half finished with some end to end rugby but no cutting-edge play. Paisley came out trying to make an impact, but Bish comfortably stood up to their challenge. Then, from a scrum 20m out, Scott Baird picked from number 8 and charged, leaving a trail of destruction behind him before running over the last Paisley defender on the try line and scoring his 2nd of the day. The conversion was missed. Bish leading 15-0.
However, the 1st half effort was beginning to catch up with Bishopton. Paisley managed to drag the game from a spectacle of running, physical rugby into a war of attrition. Keeping the ball narrow Paisley worked their way up the Bishopton line, where they managed to kick a penalty. 15-3.
Bishopton switched off from the kick-off and allowed Paisley to bring the ball right onto the try line again. After a series of set pieces, multiple phases and telegraphed attacking play, Paisley got over the line and the referee managed to spot a grounding of the ball. Paisley missed the conversion leaving the score 15-8 with 15 minutes to go.
The momentum was all in Paisley’s favour, but the resolve and mental determination of this current Bishopton squad proved massive. The defence stayed firm with Bish surviving another Paisley attack before running the ball 80m, and were unlucky not to score again. From here, Bishopton saw the game out comfortably.
The referee blew his final whistle and with it brought the end of Paisley domination in Renfrewshire. Bishopton proved too much for Paisley all over the park and should have won by many more points. The physicality of the forwards was immense and the backs allowed Paisley’s ‘attacking prowess’ to go nowhere. The Pride of the Clyde Man of the Match was Rob Wallace for an outstanding defensive performance and the Reid’s Florists Glue Player was Kyle Haldane for that tap tackle. Everybody at Bishopton is now looking forward to the rematch at the Anchor in January where we will look to consolidate our position as the best rugby team in Renfrewshire.
14 months ago Bishopton lost to Paisley in a pre-season game by 69-8. How times change. Thank you to Paisley for the well-fought game and we hope your injured players recover quickly. Next week Bishopton travel to Strathaven, looking to build on the derby win in what will be another tough game.
MON THE BISH