Isle of Mull come from behind to defeat Shawlands
ISLE OF Mull RFC once again came from behind to secure a victory over Shawlands RFC, in a show stopping performance that left the crowd at Garmony thoroughly entertained. Their last three games against the Southsiders had seen extremely strong performances from Mull, but never coming away with a result - the boys in black in white were determined to change this run of results.
Mull were fresh from the success of two back to back wins over their neighbours Argyll, but were beginning to count the cost of the season with a large amount of injuries - they still managed to muster a squad of 19 however.
The earlier kick off time of 2pm saw Mull immediately under pressure. A converted penalty and a try, after a lack of concentration in the Muileach’s defence saw them trailing 0-10.
As in the previous week’s game, Mull weathered the storm and picked themselves up. A big tackle from captain Craig O’Donnell started a move that put the pressure on Shawlands - some wizardry from Merlin Lawrence gave the crowd a superb try, 5-10.
Lochbuie’s Lawrence then went on to score again just before half time. The Mull forwards secured ball after ball, drawing in the Shawlands players. A break soon ensued, with great passing involving on-form Sean Black, skipper Craig O’Donnell and Knock’s Jaimie MacLean gave Lawrence the opportunity to sneak over the line. With Andrew MacLeannan’s conversion, this put the Islanders 12-10 up at half time.
A long overdue comeback from Salen’s Crawford Whyte to the Mull side saw him rewarded with a try after 55 minute.
Mull now started to dominate the second half. The tide had turned in the scrummaging also – the Mull pack had found their feet and were beginning to win the majority of the scrums.
Coach Fergus Whyte’s running and support drills paid off as Merlin completed his hat trick after a pick and drive from Sean Black, who had made another impressive run.
Mull’s final try came with 10 minutes to go. After a break up the left wing, some superb interplay between Crawford Whyte, Craig O’Donnell and Sean Black saw Black score the try and convert – Mull were 3110 up.
Shawlands never gave up however, and scored a try in the dying minutes of the game. Final score 31-15 to Mull.
A jubilant team captain Craig O’Donnell said: ‘An absolutely phenomenal performance today from the Mull team, once again we made it hard for ourselves at the start of the game, but to turn it round like we did was just brilliant.
All credit to Shawlands who were a tough opposition and never gave up. We will have a little celebration tonight then focus on training next week and Saturday’s game’.
Mull remain in third place as second place Lanark kept up the pressure by beating Argyll. The Muileach’s next game sees them travel to Clydesdale RFC this Saturday.
Kilchoan’s Ross Rankin is tackled by a Shawlands defender.