Whitecrook played host to both 1st and 2nd XV on Saturday and the firsts were dealt a major blow in their quest to avoid relegation as they were beaten 9-8 by old rivals Cumbernauld.
Despite not conceding any tries it was the season long problem of conceding penalties in crucial areas that undone the Bankies. The Red and Black attack were the White Wonders this week as a clash of strips for both teams resulted in the home sides turning theirs inside out. The first 20 minutes of the match was a cagey affair as both teams had a go at each other in contrasting styles. Bank tried to spin it wide through the backs and Cumbernauld were using their powerful centre as their main attacking weapon along with the big boot of their outside half to clear their lines to gain territory. Hooker Craig Shearer was lively in the tight making several great runs and backs David McLintock and Robert Parr were making breaks behind the gain line continuously but poor support and handling ended most of the attacks.
Cumbernauld took the lead after 20 minutes from a penalty and were then reduced to 14 after playing the ball off their feet too many times on the deck for the referees liking. Clydebank were unable to take advantage of the extra man to score any tries but Ross Moffatt confidently struck a penalty to even things up from 30 metres. Cumby missed another penalty chance from the same distance and the half ended equal.
The Bankies made a couple of changes at half time with second row Peter Watson replaced by Ross Short and Jack McCombe took stand off David Millers place. Short made some big hits in defence as the home side tried to gain the lead and Parr and centre partner Michael Starkey continued to make line breaks. The penalty count against Clydebank was rising though and was killing any chance of gaining any consistent attacking momentum. Cumbernauld's stand off struck another penalty from long range to take the lead then the Bank forwards took over. In a 10 minute spell they rumbled their way up the park and battered the away line. Moffatt exploited the space down the blind side and fed Shearer who ran in from 5 metres out to score the games only try in the right corner. Moffatts conversion from out wide was missed.
Clydebank then contributed in their own downfall 5 minutes from time. Another penalty was conceded and the away stand off slotted the kick to take a 1 point lead. Their was still time to make amends and Starkey made a great 30 metre break in the last minute and launched a wide pass to MacLean in space who would have surely scored but knocked on and the chance was gone. Cumbernauld played out the final few seconds from the resulting scrum to win the game and leave Bank bottom of the table. They now only have 6 games to save their season and have games in hand to do so and must cut out the penalties and poor decision making to claw their way up the league.