4 weeks ago
By Christopher Mclellan
High Scoring Match at Coates Park
East Kilbride made the short journey to Coates Park in Cambuslang looking to repeat the form that has seen the team win well and score a lot of points in recent weeks.
Supporters expected another big score as within 10 minutes of the kick off the Beaton brothers, Eddie and Roddy, had scored a try each and Scott Shankie had added the extra points.
Cambuslang fought back. Paul Rosie put an initial stop to their attack with the kind of big hit to which those who follow EK have become accustomed but the recycled ball was moved quickly to their strong running right wing who crossed for a try that was unconverted. Following an exchange of penalties Cambuslang crossed the EK line for the second time and the conversion brought the scores to Cambuslang 15, East Kilbride 17.
With fifteen minutes of the half remaining it was time for EK to put some space between them and their opposition. First strike came from Scott Shankie. EK’s scrummage had been dominant all day so when Scott, playing at no. 8, picked up and ran from around 20 metres out the defence was on the back foot and failed to stop him touching down between the posts for a try that he converted himself. The next try was the best of the afternoon.
Poor handling in the EK mid field saw the ball on the ground with players from both sides converging on it. Mark Ellison showed great determination in diving to claim it but, not only that, he quickly got back on to his feet and with some jinky running evaded the converging Cambuslang players. He then offloaded to Robbie Greenfield who carried the ball for a full 50 metres before it was transferred to Calum Simpson who went over for a try in the right hand corner. Scott Shankie converted this try as he did when straight from the kick off the ball was moved to Robbie Greenfield who scored between the posts to make the half time score Cambuslang 15, East Kilbride 38.
With a comfortable cushion between them and Cambuslang and the try bonus point secured one might have expected EK to play a more contained game in the second half. This was not the case. When the EK scrum put pressure on their opponents on their line the referee had no option other than to award a penalty try – no conversion required. Then it was Calum Aitken’s turn to pick up and score from the no. 8 position. Cambuslang had not given up. With converted tries in the 20th and 22nd minutes they brought the score back to 29-52 before Calum Aitken claimed his second, unconverted this time.
Neither side was quite finished. Robbie Green field crossed the line for his second try of the afternoon, converted by Scott Shankie and on the stroke of full time Cambuslang scored their 5th try which, with the conversion, made the final score Cambuslang 36 East Kilbride 64.
As the score-line would suggest this was an exciting game. Both sides showed a willingness to move the ball the result being that 14 tries were scored. For EK the power of the scrum was a dominant factor as it has been throughout the season. The best try of the afternoon was EK’s third which all started with some brilliant recovery work from Mark Ellison and for this he is “Man of the Match”.
There’s no game for EK 1st xv next week (31st March) which might please those who want to go skiing during the Easter weekend but there will be a full programme of league rugby in April when there will be home games for East Kilbride on all Saturdays. Three of the four games to be played in April are against teams in 1st, 2nd and 4th places respectively. Sitting, as they are, in 3rd place at the moment 2nd is a realistic possibility but there are some stern tests ahead. What is needed is attacking play of the quality we’ve witnessed recently coupled with more solidity in defence.
M. Ellison, G. Haggerty, R. Greenfield, C. Simpson & C. Ferguson. R. Murray and A. Stott. C. McLellan, R. Anderson, E. Beaton, P. Rosie, A. Irvine, R. Beaton, S. Shankie & C. Wilson.
Replacements: G. Blackwood, C. Aitken, E. Aitken and A. Steel.
Updated 16:39 - 17 Apr 2018 by Malcolm MacDonald