Cumnock Under 16 Match Report
By Morton Houston
Cumnock Edge Out Dalziel in an Epic Battle
Cumnock Under 16s 22 Dalziel Under 16s 19
Broomfield hosted an epic battle between two talented and committed sides for an early lead in the SRU Brown Conference. Dalziel, hot off a demolition victory over last year’s conference winners, came to Cumnock with their heads up whilst Cumnock after two impressive victories at the start of the season also looked to carry on a very promising season start.
The first half saw a very powerful Dalziel outfit using their larger forwards to punch holes in the Cumnock defence. Strong committed tackling from players such as Robbie Stewart, John McIlwhain and Jock Welsh ensured that the damage was kept to a minimum. Cumnock tried to move the ball more and this brought a measure of success however strong Dalziel defence limited this.
After some mediocre rucking Cumnock started to click and the subsequent quicker ball helped put their backs on the front foot. A long kick chase by Ross Marr led to a good position for Cumnock scrumming 10 metres from the visitor’s line. From the resulting lineout quick inter-passing saw Jamie Drummond latch onto the ball before driving over in the corner. This score was followed up 5 minutes later from almost the same spot as Cumnock moved the ball wide where livewire winger Kieran Owens underlined a great performance to speed through to score.
Dalziel hit back quickly and sustained pressure led to a well deserved score which was duly converted.
Before the half time whistle Cumnock once more saw themselves pressing up the park. From a scrum 15 metres out they used a training ground move when Dylan Chidwick, adding to his brace of tries from last week, hit a great line and crashed through to score. A conversion from Ross Marr left the score at 17-7 to Cumnock at half time.
In the second half Dalziel seemed to benefit from the break and mounted some sustained pressure. Cumnock seemed to be containing them, but only just, when the visitors eventually broke through to score their second.
Cumnock then had 15 minutes of madness as they carried out 4 high tackles resulting in 4 penalties and leaving the referee with no option other than to issue 2 yellow cards. Cumnock were really up against it now as Dalziel increased the pressure against the stretched Cumnock defence. This was a key point in the game when Cumnock’s full back underlined his man of the match performance by latching onto a scissors pass from the impressive Euan Wallace, before setting off in the most amazing mazy run down the right hand touch line. After bursting through 3 forwards tackles he broke clear and side stepped 2 more defenders before touching down for 60 metre beauty of a try.
This would have broken many team but not Dalziel. Dalziel with their characteristic “never say die “ attitude would not be denied as they mounted attack after attack against 14 man Cumnock. This led to third try which was converted leaving the score 22-19 to Cumnock with around 12 minutes to go.
The last 12 minutes could only be described as cruel to watch for all the coaches and parents present. Nail biting hardly described it as Cumnock held off a strong final challenge from Dalziel for narrow but probably deserved victory.
Coach Andrew Watt could hardly contain his excitement after the game, “ I am as always really proud of the effort and commitment of every member of this team. Despite the absence of several key players the remaining players dug deep to carve out a great win against a very good team. I thought our half backs Adam Watt and Andy Houston exerted great control on the game. Our forwards fronted up against a very good pack and our backs probably had the better of the play especially when they were on the front foot in the first half. Unsung heroes like Jamie Caldwell , Mitchell Smith and Kevin Van Der Leest did really well whilst the Drummond cousins were on fire. Lastly, I would pick out our Captain Wallace Findlay who as usual led from the front and added a different running element that most teams don’t have.”
Next week Cumnock welcome a much strengthened Livingstone team to Broomfield in what promises to be another thriller.