THIRD-PLACED Irvine Rugby Club rounded of their league campaign with a comfortable 47-5 win over Annan at Violetbank.
As in the corresponding clash at Marress it was virtually all over in the first half hour as Irvine opened up a 28-5 lead, thanks largely to three tries from Danyl Davies.
The Welshman opened his account after only two minutes in typical fashion, gathering a clearance from an Annan penalty and racing half the length of the field to touch down and leave fly-half Kris Hobson with an easy conversion.
Annan came back with a try of their own when they won a lineout and worked the ball to left winger Copeland who crossed in the corner, but Craig McCann's conversion attempt foundered in the strong wind to leave Irvine 7-5 up.
With 12 minutes gone Davies beat everyone to a Craig Lang kick to score his second try of the afternoon and, just five minutes later, Irvine turned over possession in their own half and once again the Welshman streaked away to complete his hat trick, with Kris Hobson converting both tries to open up a 21-5 advantage.
Irvine had turnover possession to thank again for their bonus point try after 24 minutes, with a slick handling move involving Kris Hobson, Craig Lang and captain Kevin Lang ending with the last named crossing in the left corner and once more Kris Hobson converted to take the score to 28-5.
There was no stopping Irvine now and, after good tactical kicking forced a series of promising attacking positions in the Annan half, they eventually made one count when the forwards mauled the ball over the line for the visitors' fifth try of the afternoon, but this time Kris Hobson was unable to add the conversion, leaving Irvine with an unassailable 33-5 interval lead.
Chances were few as the second half got off to a scrappy start but Irvine eventually extended their lead in 65 minutes when that man Davies notched his fourth try of the afternoon, running the ball home from a long, long way out after a well-worked Irvine scrum.
That was his 24th try of the season and Kris Hobson capped it off nicely with a successful conversion to bring the Irvine total up to the 40-point mark.
Annan threw everything at the visitors in an attempt to reduce the deficit in the last ten minutes but Irvine weathered the storm and completed the scoring in 78 minutes when a dangerous break by Ruchin Filander culminated in a scrum which saw the ball worked to centre Allan Spiers who crossed under the posts, leaving Kris Hobson to make the final score 47-5 with another easy conversion.
The result means Irvine finish third in the table with 12 wins and six defeats, four of which were by a margin of less than a converted try and five from winning positions – a healthy record.
Irvine’s Alastair Maxwell was Man of the Match.
Marress began the build-up to their promotion play-off semi-final at East Kilbride on March 24 with a fine 24-9 away win over their Annan counterparts at the same venue. Martin Sneddon scored a brace of tries, and there were also individual scores for Alan Nugent and Stuart Tracey who also kicked two conversions.
Also in action against their Annan counterparts were Irvine U15s, who earned a highly creditable 10-10 draw through tries by Liam Matthews and Scott Humphries.