Tries; Scott Baird, Kyle Haldane, Alex Neil
Conversion; Max Catto
Penalty; Max Catto (2)
This match saw the two teams that sat atop of the table on 20 points each meet for the first ever time, so far both teams had been able to secure 4 bonus point tries victories so it was one to keep an eye on across the division. And it wasn’t set to disappoint either.
The team sent out to was one that had been the mainstay so far with one change with debutant Kyle Pearson starting in the centre, with McGowan moving out to the wing where he has started on many an occasion before.
The Medics got the game under way, and were able to force and early penalty for offside. The medics opted to get the scoreboard ticking over early on and went for the posts. The kick sailed safely between the posts giving first blood to the medics. They were back in the same position minutes later once again nodding to the posts again the kick was straight between the sticks taking them two penalties clear at 6-0. But Bishopton were not slow to start the attack from here gaining the territory into the Medics half and gaining a penalty of their own out wide, with Max Catto striking the sweet spot of the ball to half the deficit to 6-3.
From here the penalty count started to go against the Bish. After already seeing off several quick tap penalties the defence soon began to tire and the Medics were able to find an opening to sprint through. 13-3. Minutes later the Medics were able to catch the midfield unaware allowing them to break the line and canter towards the try line. 20-3 to the Medics. From the restart he Medics dominated on gaining the ball back and it was after several phases on building towards the line that they were able to pop the ball off the back of a ruck towards the large Second Row who had built up some pace before reaching the defensive line and crashing through. 27-3.
From here the frustration was starting to kick in with the Bishopton team but they were able to bring the composure back to themselves and they were able to gain some possession and work towards the Medics try line. Getting to the line this time you could see that they were not going to waste any chance. So, when the penalty came, the kick for the corner was on. Securing the lineout was the first key component of the move that came off the top of the line out and was shipped to the forwards pod and taken to within 5m of the line. Scott Baird was the first man to the back of the ruck and had no other though in his head than to pick, go and reach for the try line and the Bish were over in the corner for their first score of the day! 27-8.
Bishopton started the second half with the wind at their back and it was a clear confidence boost at the beginning of the half. As they spent the first 10 minutes or so camped within 10 meters of the Medics try line receiving several free kicks and penalties taking the quick taps. At one point they thought that they had driven the maul over the line and got the ball down for the try, however the Referee was unable to confirm the grounding and brought it back for a Bish scrum on the 5. Unfortunately, the ball was then lost forward in the next phase and Medics were soon able to run the ball out however they then gave away a penalty when one of their players kicked the ball in the resulting ruck. Bishopton still having issues trying to break the Medics defence choose to take the 3 points as Catto stepped up once more to slot them. 27-11.
Bishopton then went about again playing the better rugby and but were unable to find that clinical edge that the Medics were. The Medics showed this once more when they were able to pick out an interception and run from their own half to touch down. 34-11. However, bishopton were not going to take this lightly as they once again were able to get back into the danger zone and were forcing the Medics into giving away penalties on the try line and before long the Referee was showing the Yellow reducing the Medics to 14 men. Bish managed to take advantage of the additional man as Lock Kyle Haldane was able to bully his way through the defence and dot down once again scoring his 5th try of the season. The conversion sailed wide, 34-16 to the Medics.
The Medics then responded back with a quick-fire double and the firs saw the ball ripped from a bishopton player and quickly passed along the line to the wing where it was dotted down and the second was due to a gap in midfield being exploited and run in, taking the score to 44-16.
Bishopton refused to go quietly into the night, and with minutes remaining they started to look to get back up the pitch searching for two more tries so that they could come away with a try bonus at the very least. It was Lock Alex Neil who was able to spot the gap, having been dominant in the air at the line out he was first to the ball splayed out from the back of the ruck and the Medic taking him for a dummy runner as he had played several times in the game were not expecting the ball to go to him and he was able to flat foot the defence and stride in to open his account at senior level having not scored since junior rugby! This took the game to 44-23, Bishopton still had time to attempt for the 4th try, Building several phases back towards the try line once more. But it was not to be as the Medics were able to turn the ball over and knock it out to end the game.
A tough first League defeat against a very well organised Medics team, but Bishopton will look back on this result knowing that they could have been more resolute in defence and that they did not play to the standard that they had been at to this point. The Bishopton Man of the Match went to Harry Seymour who was a pillar in defence putting in several large hits and seemed to be at every break down all over the park putting in a complete shift.