HELENSBURGH threw away a 14-point lead on Saturday as they lost out 29-19 to Strathaven in a match in which they should have been home and dry.

It really a was game of two halves for Burgh having worked so hard to tame a lively Strathaven side in the opening 40 minutes after scoring three excellent tries.

It was a different story after the break, however, as the visitors made the most of influential fly-half Mike Linzee-Gordon’s nasty injury to overturn the deficit.

With a line-out maul driven over by Mark Ashdown before being converted by Callum O’Brien after just three minutes, it all started so well for the Grizzlies.

The away side almost replied immediately with a try in the corner only for a last gasp tackle from stand-in scrum-half Ali Rogers, who went on to have a fine game in an unfamiliar position.

Strathaven did get themselves on the scoresheet 15 minutes in, however, as their number eight picked it up too easily from a scrum on the Burgh 22 to glide past cover tackles before flipping it to his winger for an unconverted try.

The Grizzlies restored their lead moments later after a powerful series of drives forward with Cammy Kerr and Craig Calderwood at the helm. An O’Brien grubber kick was guddled on the line by Strathaven which allowed young Ben Farrar to pounce for his first try in senior rugby. O’Brien went on to miss the conversion but it still put Burgh 12-5 ahead with 22 minutes on the clock.

Young speedster Farrar was at it again minutes later, showing three defenders a clean pair of heels after fine Linzee-Gordon and Bowman link up play with O’Brien converting this time to put Burgh in a commanding 19-5 lead.

But Strathaven didn’t pause for breath as their fly-half lobbed a speculative cross-field kick to find their winger who rose well above Farrar before slick interplay from their backs led to a fine try in the corner to end a lively first-half.

Burgh went in search of that killer fourth try after the break as both sides showed some fine enterprise.

Skipper Kerr was held up over the line 50 minutes in before a knock-on among the pack just yards from the line ended another fine chance. Linzee-Gordon and Michael Welch had a couple of gilt-edged chances themselves in behind the visiting defence but failed to find any support at the crucial moments.

The visitors are flying high in the Tennents Lager West League division two for a reason and bit by bit they exerted their dominance as they forged ahead - aided it must be said by some harsh decisions by the referee and injuries to Linzee-Gordon and Sean Alton.

A losing bonus point even disappeared for Burgh right at the death as more poor tackling opened the door for the away side to pounce for a fifth try to kill it off with a game that promised so much petering out with a 29-19 scoreline.

Coach David Calderwood said: “I was delighted with the way the boys took the game to Strathaven in the first-half. They showed the desire and ability to win this game against the team in third place in the league.

“Unfortunately we were unable to match that in the second-half. Some poor refereeing decisions and Strathaven upping their game didn’t allow us to get the continuity we had in the first-half and the game slipped away from us.

“The boys can take great credit from this performance and push on into out last game of the season away to the same opposition this Saturday. They are there to be beaten.”