Cumbernauld travelled to Fintry on Saturday hoping for a repeat win in this RBS West League 2 fixture against Strathendrick.
Cumbernauld easily won the first game of the season at home to Strathendrick and were chasing a hat-trick of victories after their recent successes against Clydebank and Strathaven.
However, Strathendrick had other ideas and immediately took the game to Cumbernauld by winning a penalty and scoring an unconverted try from a driving maul, a tactic which they used regularly throughout the game and which Cumbernauld found difficult to counter.
Shortly afterwards, Strathendrick increased their lead from another driving maul from which their scrum half, who was having an outstanding game, found an empty channel on the blind side to score in the corner. On this occasion, the try was successfully converted giving Strathendrick a well-deserved 12 points lead.
However Cumbernauld started to awake from their slumbers and started to fight back, making several incursions into their opponent’s half but without any material success. Their cause was not helped by the sin-binning of wing forward Alan MacLeod for persistent offside and unfortunately, during his absence, Cumbernauld shipped another try when Strathendrick scored their third try of the match following another driving maul. As the try was scored under the posts, it was easily converted to give Strathendrick a 19 points total at half time.
Cumbernauld’s second half performance improved considerably after some stern talk from Director of Rugby, Drew Reid, at half time but it was not enough to stop Strathendrick extending their lead from another, guess what, driving maul, this time setting up a crash ball for their centre to score under the posts to give the hosts a fourth try and the bonus point. Although the game was effectively over by this time Cumbernauld never gave up and following good breaks by Barry McLaughlin, Nick Richardson, Grant Cowie and Alex Stokes, the ball was eventually fed out for Andrew Reid to score a consolation Blacks try in the corner, making the final score 26-5 to Strathendrick.
It was difficult to highlight too many good performances but Alan MacLeod was voted man-of-the-match, with Andrew Reid the pick of the backs. Cumbernauld First have no fixture next Saturday as their scheduled opponents, Garnock, have cup commitments so their next league fixture is against Cambuslang, away, on 14 December. As always, players are reminded of their training commitment – Tuesdays and Thursdays at Antonine Centre Croy, 6.45 pm for a 7 pm start.