2nd XV - Report
|E Kilbride 2XV||8||vs||31||Cartha QP 2XV|
EK 2s lose 8-31 to league leaders Cartha Queens Park
EK 2s lost at Duncanrig in Saturday to league leaders Cartha QP 2s. Defeat was made worse by defector Calum Blackwood playing for the opposition.
This was doubly disappointing as the EK support, along with the 2nds, had been looking forward to the return of EK old boy Calum Blackwood at 10 for Cartha.
Late call offs depleted the 2nd XV squad (some due to lack of commitment allied to alcohol poisoning – we all know who you are!!) and led to the familiar Saturday morning scramble for players. So a big pat on the back to prop Ally Donaldson for answering the call at 2pm!
EK were forced into a makeshift pack which was compounded by the referee refusing to allow uncontested scrums, despite a recent relaxation in the competition rules. Thus the front row comprised Ally Donaldson, winger Alex Irvine and number 8 Craig Ferguson. The need to play contested scrums gave Cartha the edge at set piece time, despite the admirable efforts of the EK trio.
EK were under pressure right from the kick off, and the team, while trying to gel quickly, made a series of errors. Cartha’s forwards won turnover ball and their backs exposed defensive frailties in the EK backline.
The pressure eventually told and after a series of close calls on the EK line, Cartha worked their way over in the left hand corner. Typically, Calum Blackwood missed the conversion. EK 0-5 Cartha.
This woke EK up and they put Cartha under pressure for long spells of the half. Cartha conceded a high number of penalties, under strain, leading ultimately to a yellow card for their number 8 in the second half. Scott Johnston kicked one of the penalties to reduce the deficit. EK 3-5 Cartha.
With EK battering the Cartha line, Chris Slaven was stopped just short. Mark Ellison tried to move the ball on quickly, however the Cartha winger read his intentions and intercepted to storm the length of the pitch. Speedy Chris Mullins however managed to haul him down inches from the EK line.
EK’s scramble defence infringed at the ensuing ruck then switched off as Cartha took a quick tap and moved the ball to allow their big centre to stroll under the posts. Blackwood miskicked the ball over the bar for a conversion. EK 3-12 Cartha.
EK responded with a well worked switch move off the back of a scrum which resulted in veteran Titch Beaton outpacing Blackwood to cross in the corner. Titch was recorded as breaking the 4mph barrier, which does not say much for Mr Blackwood’s speed! Johnston’s conversion failed to threaten the posts. EK 8-12 Cartha.
That was about as good as it got for EK, and they disappointingly conceded another score before half time. A calamitous slip in EK’s defence left two players on the ground and a gaping hole in the backline.
Slick handling from the Cartha outside backs allowed ex EK hooker Blackwood to cross the EK line. The speed camera did not register any pace at all, even though the svelte Bert only had to stagger over from one yard. Out of puff from his sprint, Blackwood fluffed the conversion. Half time: EK 8-17 Cartha.
A turgid second half followed with both sides scrapping for every inch with a fairly even balance of play. League leaders Cartha, however, were the more clinical side, and added 2 further scores in almost identical fashion.
Penalties were kicked to the corner, with well worked line-outs allowing their huge pack to drive home near the posts, much to the relief of Calum Blackwood who was able to slot the conversions. Final score – EK 8-31 Cartha.
On return to Torrance House, the 1st XV crowd really only wanted to know whether anyone had managed to thump (legally in a rugby sporting fashion) Calum Blackwood.
The response was “no way, he got rid of the ball as quickly as possible and ran away whenever he thought he is was in any danger”. It’s reassuring to know Bert has not changed!! Safe journey through the rest of the season.