Aberdeen Wanderers RFC 1st XV.........12

Alloa RFC 1st XV..................................45

BT Caledonia League, Division 1

ANY win the North is a good win for a side like Alloa located as they are in the southern tip of the Caledonia region.

However, to win so emphatically at Groats Road, a venue where they struggled to a narrow victory last season, was a fantastic performance from the travelling squad.

The pitch had undergone an inspection in the morning and was deemed playable. However, this was a very wet pitch with some frozen spots and the slippery conditions were to play a role in the game.

Alloa have been relatively slow starters in their fixtures to date in 2018, but they were quickly out the traps on this occasion opening the scoring from a blind-side snipe by Martin McKenzie after the forwards had driven a line out.

Fullback Alan Keir increased the advantage soon after, latching on to a chip before the home side pulled back a try of their own, as they were so determined to hold on to their season’s unbeaten home record.

However, Daniel Jackson posed a real threat in midfield with his direct running and he found a gap before the interval to extend his side's advantage. Lee Cairney slotted two first half conversions.

Leading 17-5 at the break, the big question was whether Alloa could kick on as they had done recently against Grangemouth and Strathmore. The squad quickly put any fears of a home come back to bed and in the end ran away with the match.

The home side managed a second score; however tries from Michael Doig, Matt Pope, Daniel Murrell and Martin McKenzie gave Alloa victory and a welcome five league points.

The game was very stop start throughout as the wet conditions made the ball hard to keep a hold of and Alloa could easily have scored another 4 or 5 tries if passes had stayed in hand.

There were some first-team debuts with Milligan, Shaw and Guild all coming on as replacements in the last ten minutes. Defensively the team showed wholehearted commitment and the pace that Pope, Keir, Jackson and Murrell were able to turn on was a delight to see.

Alloa have steadily improved this year after a 17-0 loss at Earlsfield to Caithness and now look forward to the return visit of the Wick side in the BT Caledonia Shield final on March 3.