A BATTLING performance from Whitecraigs saw them grind out another important victory, but they were made to fight right to the death.

The short trip to take on Greenock was always going to be tough but Craigs showed great resilience to bounce back from an early 10-point deficit to keep the title push on track.

Craigs were on the back-foot immediately when Greenock forced a penalty after just two minutes which was easily converted to open the scoring, before the hosts squandered a chance to extend their advantage minutes later with another penalty.

It took the West Lodge boys 20 minutes to get into the match but they finally got on the scoreboard when Ryan Moffat slotted a penalty to bring the scores level, despite being a man down with Murray Stuart in the sin-bin.

But the cheers of the noisy travelling support turned to despair moments later when an ambitious miss pass by Ally Stevenson was fumbled in the midfield by Moffat, allowing the Greenock centre to run the length of the pitch for a try against the run of play. Another Greenock penalty stretched the lead to 13-3 before Moffat knocked over a penalty of his own to leave Whitecraigs trailing by seven points at half-time.

After the break Whitecraigs came out with more drive and the impressive Keith Hunter got the scoring started when he picked up at the back of a ruck and darted through a massive gap in the home defence to touch down between the posts.

With the scores level there were nerves all around the ground, with everyone knowing that the next score would be crucial.

It came in the 65th minute after patient build-up from Craigs finally saw the ball passed wide to Moffat who drew his man before popping it to Hunter who bagged his second try of the day.

Whitecraigs had their tails up now and a searing break from Graeme Fisher provided the platform for Jamie Christine to muscle his way over to put the game out of sight.

And the icing on the cake came with the final play of the game when winger Garry Johnston chipped the ball forward before securing it again, allowing Ian Laidlaw to release Nicky Blamire who darted over to secure the crucial bonus point and conclude the scoring at 13-28.

Delighted head coach Jim Henderson said: 'I always knew coming down here would be tough and at 13-all the game could have swung either way, but with it was then that our fitness and dogged determination kicked in.

'I"m very pleased with the win, even if we were lucky to get the bonus.' Whitecraigs: Nisbet, Christine, Campbell, Pollock, Stuart, N Blamire, B Blamire, K Hunter, Turnbull, Stevenson, Fisher, Moffat, Nicol, Johnston, Corbett. Subs: Laidlaw, McKelvie, F Hunter.