After showing some good form recently, Cumbernauld travelled to East Ayrshire with 16 players and were made to pay the price for lack of numbers. By the end of the game the Blacks had 2 players incapacitated through injury and lost Skipper Jordan Reid to a yellow card, and had to play out the remainder of the game with only 13 men. The Club, generally, wishes to thank the 16 players who took on the mantel of visiting their East Ayrshire rivals with a depleted squad and managed to take the game to Cumnock and displayed great pluck in what was always going to be a difficult match. Cumnock are on a bit of a roll at the present time, having achieved promotion from BT West Division League 4 and League 3 in successive seasons. They also have a formidable record of being unbeaten at home in over 2 years. So Cumbernauld’s task was always going to be difficult even if they had the full complement of 22 players. At any level of rugby, the ability to make changes to the front row is essential and Cumbernauld were mightily handicapped in that respect, with no replacement front row players available. For example, Cumbernauld’s single replacement, Danny McGinley , was playing his first ever game of rugby and when called on to enter the fray, he displayed a level of competence and maturity which bodes well for the future.
Cumnock started the game strongly and soon built a lead from a converted scrum and 2 penalties. To their credit, Cumbernauld never stopped trying and Ian Hepburn was prominent in the loose, although unlucky to receive a yellow card as the referee totted up the numbers of penalties conceded by Cumbernauld. In fairness, over the course of the match, Cumnock conceded more penalties than Cumbernauld which is a first for the season when the opposition outscores the Badges in the penalty count. Cumbernauld’s best spell came at the start of the second half when they bravely took the game to their East Ayrshire hosts but as the New Town tired in the second half, Cumnock took advantage to score 2 more tries. However a fine try from man-of-the-match Jordan Reid, converted by his brother, Andrew, and an additional penalty from the stand-off ensured some measure of respectability in the final score. Winger Anthony Rice continues to improve and was sound under the high ball. Once Anthony’s decision-making develops, he will be a real force to be reckoned with. Daniel Prinn continues to shine at centre and Michael McDonald, a veteran of 40 plus years continues to be an inspiration to his younger colleagues.
Next Saturday, 31 October, Cumbernauld are scheduled to visit Annan with a 2 pm kick off. As always players are reminded of their training commitment – Tuesday and Thursday at Auchenkilns at 6.45 pm for a prompt 7 pm start.