Cumbernauld enjoyed a 6-try romp against current league leaders, Cambuslang, in their latest BT West Division 2 match on Saturday at Auchenkilns. Having won the corresponding fixture away at Cambuslang, the home outfit were well prepared for any backlash from their table-topping opponents and never allowed the South Lanarkshire outfit into the game. Indeed but for 2 disallowed tries, the winning margin would have been even greater. Anthony Rice was penalised for having a foot in touch when he stormed over the goal line while Michael “Spike” McDonald was harshly denied a good try in the corner by referee by Calum Lazenby, again having judged that an errant Cumbernauld foot disallowed what looked to be a good try. Cumbernauld had started the match on the front foot and soon demonstrated their intent with a converted try after 9 minutes when following a great feed from Grant Cowie, Captain Ruaridh Clark rode two tackles to score under the posts. The good work from the home squad was soon to be undone when Cambuslang quickly equalised as a result of some sloppy tackling. Cumbernauld were not disheartened by this early setback and continued to take the game to their opponent. Hooker Andrew Logan was unlucky not to score, having the ball ripped from his hands when over the line. A second try for the Badgers was only delayed as Zac Davies scored in the corner, following great handling from his backs’ colleagues. Again the reliable boot of stand-off Andrew Reid added the conversion to allow the home team a half time advantage of 14-7. The Cumbernauld coaches summarised the half time report card as having more pluses than minuses. Cumbernauld’s scrum and ruck play went from strength to strength with good lineout ball being achieved. While some tackling was outstanding, other displays of this skill were somewhat lacking while some of the kicks into space left a bit to be desired.
Cambuslang then put added pressure on the home team when they scored early in the second half when their scrum half galloped through the gap left by the home defence to reduce the deficit to 2 points, leading to some vociferous comments being shared. Cumbernauld then upped their game and following a great break by Zac Davies, Andrew Logan powered over from the resultant lineout. Cumbernauld’s flying winger, Zac Davies, then added his own second and Cumbernauld’s fourth try when he brilliantly fielded a Cambuslang 22 and scampered under the posts for another converted try. The Blacks then started to turn the screw on their tiring opponents when Jordan Reid finished off his tap penalty by scoring try number 5, again converted by his younger sibling, Andrew Reid. Ross Cowie then rounded off an excellent individual performance when he touched down for a push-over try, again converted by the ever-reliable Andrew Reid. Unfortunately Cumbernauld at this point thought that the game was over and done with and this subsequent lack of concentration allowed the visitors to run in two late tries, to make the final score 40-17. Several notable individual displays sealed this vital home victory for Cumbernauld. Robert McGeachy was outstanding at tighthead while Ian Hepburn’s driving play always resulted in good quality ruck ball for his scrum half. Young Ryan Hunter displayed good hands as he consistently gathered Cambuslang kick-offs and Kevin McTier put in a great shift at blindside wing forward. This observer awarded “Man-of-the-match” to Zac Davies for his 2-try display but he was closely matched by Jordan Reid and Grant Cowie. Cumbernauld’s next match on Saturday 11 April is away to Waysiders/Drumpellier who are currently languishing near the foot of the table. The 5 points plundered from this home victory should ensure that Cumbernauld’s League Division 2 status is maintained but it can be taken as certain that their Airdrie neighbours will provide their usual robust challenge this Saturday. As always players are reminded of their training commitment – Tuesday and Thursday at 6.45 for 7 pm at Auchenkilns.