Villagers Hang on for Vital Win
Loch Lomond 14 - 17 Uddingston
After the excitement of the Autumn Test matches at Murrayfield it was back to the bread and butter of league rugby in BT West Division 2 on Saturday, when Uddingston were the visitors to Bonhill to face Loch Lomond.
While Murrayfield had been fireworks and champagne rugby the fare served up at Bonhill was the best reason yet for going shopping with your better half on a Saturday afternoon.
Arriving late, your correspondent had missed the opening points of the match. A well struck penalty from Gavin Kidd was followed by some skillfull running rugby which saw Ross McFadden cross the whitewash, with Kidd adding the conversion. With the score at 10-0 to the Villagers, yours truly was hoping for a decent afternoon over the remaining 50 minutes.
With the first period nearing completion the Villagers pushed further ahead when a great break in midfield saw Kirk Tunnicliffe barge through the middle before offloading to Chris King who finished in style for the try. Kidd once more was on target with the boot and the first half closed with the Villagers comfortably in front at 17-0. So far, so good.
What followed in the second half was a classic example of a team with no tactical awareness, failing to execute the basics, missing any clear decision making, and very nearly throwing away a vital league win to a Loch Lomond side, who play to their strengths, but who play one dimensional rugby dominated by their heavy weight pack.
Where any sensible side would have used the wide pitch to run the legs off the Lomond forwards, the Villagers cut back inside time after time, hitting the brick wall that was the Lomond defence. This provided Lomond with ample turnover ball, and on 56 minutes they drove through the Villagers defence to score out wide. An excellent kick secured the conversion, narrowing the score to 7-17.
It only took another 4 minutes for the Villagers to hand another 7 points to their hosts. Reckless decision making coupled with some atrocious kicking saw the ball fired into the hands of the Lomond forwards a quick kick and chase and it was try time once more. The kick was good and suddenly we had a 3 point game, and 20 minutes still to play.
Thankfully for the Villagers, their hosts were no more able than they were at dominating the match, and the final quarter of the game became a turgid lesson in everything rugby should not be about.
When it came, the final whistle not only signalled a vital 17-14 victory for the Villagers, but put an end to the suffering of the hardy spectators.
Next Saturday, 9th December, all concerned will be looking for a much improved performance when the Villagers travel to Ayr to face Millbrae with a 2pm kick off.