After the euphoria of a winning start to their BT League West Division 2 campaign the previous week, Cumbernauld ended up on the wrong side of a seven-try onslaught from McLaren HS on Saturday.
On an overcast day on a very firm pitch the Blacks held on bravely to a 12-8 half time deficit but had to submit to a second half onslaught from faster, fitter, more mobile opponents and went down 45-8.
Cumbernauld suffered early damage as McLaren stole Cumbernauld lineout ball and scored in the corner after some less than forceful tackling by the visitors.
A disallowed McLaren touchdown then seemed to rouse Cumbernauld from their slumbers and following great pressure from the Badgers, with Willie Bulloch, Ross Cowie, Jordan Reid and Ian Hepburn prominent, McLaren were pinged for a penalty which Andrew Reid duly converted.
The pattern of play then reverted to its previous model with McLaren scoring another try following relentless pressure to extend their lead to 12-3.
Jordan Reid tried to rally his troops when he brilliantly fielded the ball in his own 22, beat two men in a 40-yard dash with the ball taken up by Spike McDonald, forcing the home team to concede a penalty which was narrowly missed by Andrew Reid.
A score for the Blacks was only briefly postponed as some quick thinking by Ian Hepburn and Anthony Rice allowed a quick lineout ball to be cycled down the touchline for a score in the corner, allowing Cumbernauld to hang onto their rivals’ coat-tails at the break.
But the second half was a tale of woe for Cumbernauld as McLaren unleashed their superior firepower and ran in five additional tries without reply.
Over the course of the match, Cumbernauld lost Chris Anderson, Willie Bulloch and Andrew Logan to injuries, with veteran Bulloch having to return to the fray for the last 10 minutes just to make up numbers.
Cumbernauld can take some positives as Zac Davies, Daniel Prinn and Anthony Rice all covered acres of ground and fielded and tackled well. The Reid brothers, Andrew and Jordan, were again prominent with Jordan’s tackling a shining example to some of his team-mates while number 8 Ian Hepburn and wing forward Ross Cowie battled manfully to stem the flow of incessant pressure.
Jonathan Kenny competed well in the lineout while Ryan Hunter and Alan Durson never flinched from their difficult task in the front row.
This Saturday Cumbernauld welcome Paisley to Auchenkilns with a 3pm kick-off. Training as usual will be held at Auchenkilns on Tuesday and Thursday with a reporting time of 6.45pm for a 7pm start.