Moffat 25 -17 Paisley
Paisley showed signs of the old disease in underestimating the opposition and allowing them to get the upper hand early on. In the later stages of the game, they threatened to stage a huge comeback, but it was too little, too late. After only 11 minutes, Moffat should have scored, but knocked on in the act of crossing the line. From the resultant scrum, Paisley used a series of penalties to drive Moffat back into their 22, but came away pointless. Then, three minutes later, Paisley again threatened and forced a knock on under the Moffat posts. Two minutes after that, they at last got on the score sheet, when number 8 Davie Dodd, who had been leading the charge in his usual ebullient manner, drove over in the corner. Moffat weren’t long in replying though. They forced a lineout five metres out, caught and drove straight over the Paisley line, converting the try for good measure. With the half drawing to a close, the home side stretched their lead with a penalty. 2 Minutes later, Martin McKellar narrowly missed the tying score and half time was called.
Half Time Moffat 10 – 5 Paisley
Playing down the substantial slope, Paisley could have been forgiven for thinking they must have the game in their sights, but it wasn’t to be. One minute into the second half, Moffat increased their lead with a converted try. They then missed a penalty before the visitors were further stunned when the referee missed a blatant knock-on, the Moffat winger just beating Gordon McPhee to the ball and hacking the ball on, managing to touch down. With the conversion missed, alarm bells were beginning to ring for Paisley and they went 20 points behind when the Moffat fly half appeared to have drifted the ball wide from the tee, only to have the kick awarded by both touch judges.
So, with 24 minutes of the game remaining, Paisley’s task looked beyond them. Then a minor miracle almost happened. Paisley woke up. The last quarter consisted of the visitors being more or less camped out in the opposition 22. With 62 minutes on the clock, after a number of penalties, prop Calum MacLeod barrelled over the line, McKellar converting the try. Eleven minutes later, the ball moved quickly wide, leaving winger Colin McKay 25 metres out. He was up to the task and dived over, sliding the last few metres, bringing the score to 25-17. Paisley were on a roll, but the comeback was not to be. With time out on the clock, the home side played safe and put the ball out, brining the curtain down on a frustrating game for the visiting side. It’s almost become a cliché that Paisley teams are slow to start. This was no exception. Paisley lost to a side who should never have been allowed to get near to beating them.
It would be an understatement to say the coaching team is frustrated by the side’s apparent inability to just relax and apply the game plan. Head coach Grant Sweenie and the others have worked very hard to produce a playing style which suits Paisley and which works. The players need to believe that and stick to it.
Team: Calum MacLeod; Michael Sommerville; Ben Van Eyssen; Murray Lowe; Paul Di Duca; Al Brodie (c); Mark McKinnon; Scott Glover; Martin McKellar; Colin McKay; Ross warden; Gordon Powrie; Gordon McPhee; Euan Stuart. Replacements: Michael Di Duca; Scott Sutherland; Murray Sutherland; Andrew Gibson; Paul Edwards; Gavin Postlethwaite.