Moffat 16 Isle Of Arran 10

Atrocious weather couldn’t deter the visitors from travelling from the Inner Hebrides to Moffat where both teams fought out a war of attrition in equally inclement conditions.

 The visitors set about their hosts with all the zeal of the Campbell’s dining at Glencoe. An initial 15 minutes of pressure saw the Rams draw first blood as Graham Gemmill slotted the first of his three penalties to put Moffat ahead.

 The obligatory fight back saw the visitors gather momentum and Moffat had a lucky escape as an Arran assault was stopped just short.

 The visitors re-applied the pressure and, with the help of three Moffat indiscretions a converted try reversed the lead and at the turnaround Moffat trailed by four points.

 At this stage Arran could have been forgiven for feeling that they would return home with a victory under their belt. Indeed, oranges having been taken, they increased their lead to seven as yet more Moffat transgressions gifted a further penalty.

 Though not a dirty game, the first of three yellow cards had gone to an Arran player for a late tackle on the Moffat number 15 Graham Gemmill.

He was joined in the home back three by Neil McGill and Derek Dunsmore who both tackled solidly all day if the visitors had not already been scythed down by the not so soft centres of Clint Smith and Ian Landles.

 Halfbacks Graham McGregor and Michael Lockhart shipped possession a plenty from the pack but conditions invariably spoiled the end result.

 Up front the Rams had a familiar look with Captain Scott sheltered from the tempest by the gnarled Stuart Jack and Jonny Little.

 A youthful duo of Scott Borthwick and Asher Wilson locked the pack together, providing a great platform for Polly Smith, Matt Wennington and Calum Jardine to disrupt at will.

Slowly, the Rams clawed their way back into the fray.

  Firstly Graham Gemmill narrowed the gap with a penalty, then had the home crowd in raptures as he converted an ambitious Arran attack into a home try with an audacious interception try, converted to put Moffat 13-10 ahead.

 At this point, things got a bit silly and a flurry of handbags saw each side lose a man to a yellow card. The ubiquitous Gemmill then delivered the coup de grace with another penalty.

 Moffat ran out 16-10 winners and credit must go to all concerned for entertaining so well in such poor conditions.