Fine finish by firsts

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THIS season has been dominated by poor weather. Not only is it a deterrent for spectators, but it leads to games of rugby that can be a bit of a slog – with many low scoring encounters, as well as re-arranged games. And whilst the weather has improved, it again showed this weekend what an impact it has on the game.

On Saturday, with the spectators in shorts sleeves and sunglasses, Cumbernauld 1st XV welcomed Strathendrick onto a firm pitch, great for fast flowing rugby. Strathendrick accepted the invite with gusto by opening the scoring in 90 seconds with a try that showed how lethal their back lines is on a firm pitch. But Cumbernauld didn’t let the quick fire score upset them, again showing a great deal of steel that has helped get some great results this season.

With the upper hand in the scrums, Cumbernauld used this platform to level the scores, when quick ball from the base of the scrum allowed full back MacDonald to join the line, burst through a tackle, and score to the right of the posts. It was now game on, which gave us a see-saw tussle for the rest of the first half, with Strathendrick regularly putting boot to ball to make the most of the wind advantage and pace they had in their backs, and Cumbernauld gaining territory in both forwards and backs.

The second half saw Cumbernauld’s pack take control of both scrum and line-out, giving the backs far greater possession going forward, but a break away try for Strathendrick with 15 minutes remaining gave the visitors a 19-15 lead – could all the hard work be undone. Cumbernauld showed great strength of character, and put in perhaps their best 15 minutes of the season to end the match in dominant form with them scoring three tries, to give a final score of 32-22.

It was a great game of rugby, played in good conditions conducive to running rugby, which resulted in a match of nine tries, and only the third try bonus point for Cumbernauld all season.

But getting back to the discussion about the weather, and the experience of Sunday which was somewhat different to the 1st XV the previous day. The under 15s were scheduled to play Paisley, but this had to be called off due to the overnight rain, which saw the pitches at Auchenkilns and Paisley unplayable.

The season is approaching its’ close with the 1st XV having only a few games left. Under 15s games continue for a few weeks, but a new initiative this year will see under 14 rugby continue until the school holidays in June. Twenty-four clubs from around the West Region have got together for a better weather rugby trial, which will see games extended beyond the normal end of season, Cumbernauld’s first fixture of the trial being a home tie against Dalziel this Sunday, kick-off 2pm.

Other notable dates in the club’s calendar include the Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday, May 4 and the annual general meeting on Thursday, May 16.