1st Xv
Sat 23 Mar 2024  ·  West Region League Division 1 (Men's)
Wigtownshire RFC
Kilmarnock Rugby Football Club
1st Xv
Wigtonshire vs KRFC Match Report

Wigtonshire vs KRFC Match Report

Paul Guthrie1 Apr - 11:33
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Excellent Away Win

Last Saturday Kilmarnock were the visitors at Ladies Walk in Stranraer to face hosts Wigtownshire and it was the visitors who took the spoils with a 24-12 well deserved victory.

Kilmarnock kicked off into a very strong wind and the host stand-off kicked and the ball went over the Kilmarnock dead ball for a scrum on the home twenty -two, such was the strength of the wind. Kilmarnock moved the ball out their backline with Kyle Bendall slipping on the greasy surface however the forwards made ground from the ruck eventually losing the ball with ‘shire kicking downfield and winning a lineout. Kilmarnock stole the ball at the tail and attacked out of defence to win another lineout. The forwards held possession and attacked again but were turned over with ‘Shire knocking on in attack.

The scrum was inside the ‘Shire half and a pick-up from Ross Murray saw him break up the blind side and bundled into touch. ‘Shire won their lineout and moved the ball with their outside centre breaking through the initial defence but penalised in the process. Tap and go was order of the day due to the gale force conditions. Out to winger Ewan Caldwell who linked with Ross Murray then to Craig McWhirter whose kick was fielded and, returned and a second kick charged down with ‘Shire mounting an attack. Kilmarnock gained a penalty and the tap and go led to winger Chris Milligan gaining ground, back into the forwards who knocked on for a ’Shire scrum in the Kilmarnock twenty-two. The half-backs moved the ball and Kilmarnock were caught offside but ‘Shire made a forward pass to ease the pressure. Ewan Caldwell sustained an injury which proved to be a broken collar bone and was replaced by Ian Kerr on the wing.

The sun came out as the wind howled. A blind side move from the scrum was taken on by Victor Murray followed by Archie Jackson and then the forwards but was wasted with a penalty to the hosts. The kick to touch went dead for a scrum to Kilmarnock on the home twenty-two. Ross Murray picked up at number eight and broke blindside passing to winger Chris Milligan who charged over in the corner for the opening try. A fine effort into the wind for the conversion from Josh Cooper failed. Kilmarnock 5 - ‘Shire 0 midway through the half.

The restart kick bounced into touch for a Kilmarnock lineout and a penalty allowed the Killie forwards to make a number of attacks followed by a searching low kick into the ‘Shire half. Play continued with ‘Shire kicking with the wind for a lineout deep in Kilmarnock territory and Chris Milligan raced thirty-five metres out of defence but knocked on to stem a promising attack. The sides swapped possession and then the rain added to the day with handling errors being made. ‘Shire began to have more of the ball and Kilmarnock defended well up until half time.

The sides turned around with the strong wind in Kilmarnock’s favour. Penalties were exchanged and a high tackle forced a scrum to Kilmarnock and a stoppage for Victor Murray to change his boots. The penalty count mounted against Kilmarnock and John Brown substituted Ewan Callaghan. ’Shire upped their game and moved into the Killie twenty-two and from their scrum Killie tried to run the ball instead of kicking clear and dropped the ball. From the scrum the ‘Shire number eight picked up and passed to the left winger who scored in the corner.
No conversion score 5-5 after quarter of an hour.

Kilmarnock continued to pressure the home side and from a turnover ‘Shire won a penalty and the tap and go was intercepted by burly winger Ian Kerr who raced some fifty metres with defenders in hot pursuit to score a try converted by Josh Cooper. Score 12-5.

The restart kick was fielded and kicked to touch with a ricochet giving Kilmarnock the throw-in. ‘Shire stole the lineout and from the catch and drive won a penalty. The tap and go resulted in a second try with the conversion levelling the scores. 12-12.

The wind subsided and the restart kick did not go the requisite ten metres but play went on with the Kilmarnock forwards to the fore. Ross Murray was penalised then ‘Shire kicked after a tap and go followed by two backline moves thwarted by winger Ian Kerr winning the ball. His pass to Victor Murray was collected and he fed Ross Murray who raced in to restore the Kilmarnock lead. Josh Cooper converted 19-12 to Kilmarnock with six minutes remaining.

Taylor McHarg fielded the ball, but possession was lost in the process. The ‘Shire scrum was forced backwards and a steal by Kilmarnock saw Ross Murray pass to Taylor McHarg and his pass was kicked to touch by Craig McWhirter. Kilmarnock won the ‘Shire lineout with Craig Shepperd forcing his way into the ‘Shire twenty-two, Robbie Paxton took the ball but was held up short to win a penalty. Kilmarnock deliberated and opted to take a scrum ten metres from the ‘Shire goal line. The scrum was won, and the ball shipped to Robbie Paxton who jinked passed a couple of defenders to score the fourth bonus point try. Josh Cooper’s conversion rebounded off the upright to give Kilmarnock a much-needed win 24-12.

Coach Stuart Pratt was exuberant saying, “it was the best defensive performance of the year, we stuck to the game plan and wore them down” and named the outstanding Ross Murray Kilmarnock Man of the Match.

Captain Craig Sheppard said, “do not underestimate the magnitude of the win, we came for four points and got five.”

Match details

Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024




West Region League Division 1 (Men's)

League position

Wigtownshire RFC
Kilmarnock RFC
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