Cumnock run out winners in top of the table clash
Unbeaten run continues
Cumnock travelled to Paisley for the top of the league clash. Going into the game both teams were unbeaten, Cumnock taking top spot due to playing one game more. However, Paisley were also protecting a 13 month unbeaten home record and beat Cumnock in both fixtures last season.
From the kick off both teams got stuck in with plenty of big hits, each team working tirelessly trying to find away though their opponents. Every opportunity Paisley got they kicked to the corner looking for the big score but each time Cumnock thwarted the attempt. Gareth Polland seemed to be at the centre of most things early in the game but unfortunately he was penalised for a high tackle, which put Cumnock down to 14 men for the next 10 minutes.
It was during this time Cumnock lost the first points of the game, from another penalty. Paisley this time elected to kick the 3 points. Despite being a man down Cumnock came back at Paisley and 5 minutes later from good sustained Cumnock pressure deep in Paisley territory Scott Houston dived over from the back of a ruck for the first try of the game. New boy Nick Cumming added the extras to take the lead 3-7. Cumnock back to full strength closed the half still leading by 4 points.
An infringement early in the second half gave Cumnock the opportunity stretch their lead, Cumming again obliged, Paisley 3 Cumnock 10. By now it was evident that the Cumnock defence was on point, leaving Paisley little room or opportunity to sniff out a score, this was apparent again when they elected to take the 3 points when offered to narrow the score to 6-10.
The Cumnock defence was the building block of the game, Polland at the heart of the backs and Michael Anderson, the pick of the pack, made at least half a dozen turnovers between them. But to be fair the Paisley defence was not far behind, not allowing Cumnock the space to unleash their backs. Then with about 15 minutes to go, at last Cumnock managed to create a bit of space and direct running, good hands and timely offloads saw John Watt stretch over the line for Cumnock’s second try of the game, Cumming again added the 2 points, stretching the Cumnock Lead 6-17.
Paisley however came back at Cumnock pressing them deep in to their own half and while the defence again held firm the referee judged Stephen Robson to have wondered off-side once too often and yellow carded him to leave Cumnock again down to 14 men for the remainder of the game. Paisley eventually rumbled over for the try which was converted to bring the game to 4 points, Paisley 13 Cumnock 17, with about 5 mins to go.
From the kick off rather than panic about the score Cumnock steadily worked their way up the field and picked up a penalty which saw Paisley lose a man to the sin bin, to even the numbers up. Cumming tried to stretch the score as time was running out but his kick faded and didn’t go dead, Paisley looked to run the ball from deep in their half eventually making the half way before the Cumnock defence again rallied, gained possession and launched the ball out to mark the end of a great game.
After last weeks stuttering performance Cumnock upped their game when it mattered and produced their best performance of the season so far against a good Paisley team. However, they have now set a marker for the rest of the season and a standard that they will have to try and maintain.