Cumnock suffer first defeat at Clydebank
Two late yellow cards sink Cumnock
Cumnock travelled to Clydebank on Saturday looking to continue their winning run in BT West Division 2. It was a changed Cumnock side with Ryan McCron making his first start for the 1st XV whilst John Watt took up the full back position as coach Stevie Edwards looked to mix up his selection. Clydebank came into this game having lost their last three against Strathendrick, Millbrae and Cumbernauld.
Cumnock started the game strongest and after keeping Clydebank pinned back deep in their own half they benefitted as the ball came spilling out of the back of the Clydebank ruck. Paul Miller was first to react and the Hooker pounced on the ball before battling his way up to the Clydebank tryline before being stopped just short, luckily Jamie Thomson was on hand for the offload and the captain touched down between the posts. Nick Cummings added the conversion giving Cumnock a 7-0 lead with 5 minutes played.
It was another twenty minutes before Cumnock added to their tally with a Nick Cummings penalty after a scrum penalty. Cumnock were struggling to find their usual rhythm in attack whilst Clydebank were arguably having some of the better attack play as a few well-placed wide passes were finding runners in space and causing headaches for the Cumnock defence. Clydebank opened their account on the scoreboard after winning a penalty from Cumnock at the breakdown. Cumnock struck back with another penalty but it was Clydebank who went in buoyed at halftime after winning a penalty just 5 metres out from the Cumnock line, this time Clydebank opted for the scrum and it was their number 8 who picked up at the back before bulldozing his way over for a try. The half finished 10-13 with Cumnock holding a very narrow lead and looking much less comfortable.
Cumnock made changes at half time to try and improve their attacking display and it was them who drew first blood with a Connor Hill try. It was a classic move as they took a few pods up tight to the right-hand side to draw in Clydebanks defence before swinging the ball wide for winger Connor Hill to finish in the left-hand corner. The conversion was missed but Cumnocks travelling support hoped this was a turning point for the Ayrshire side.
Cumnock spent the majority of the second half defending their own line. Their line was wavering but holding before the foot of Calum Park, in the process of tripping over himself, clipped the heels of the Clydebank ball carrier in a dangerous position. Although accidental, it seemed the referee had little choice but to yellow card Park with around 15 minutes left on the clock. Clydebank had several penalties in this position as they looked for the all elusive scoring opportunity. At last they made their one-man advantage pay off as they put a pin point perfect cross field kick onto the vacant right wing and the ball sat perfectly for their winger to touch down. The successful conversion gave Cumnock a slender one point lead with ten minutes left on the clock.
Cumnock were dealt another blow as Nick Cummings also received a yellow for what the referee deemed a deliberate knock on. Cumming’s can feel a little aggrieved as he did look to use both hands in his attempt to intercept the ball but the referee had made his decision. The second yellow put Cumnock down to 13 men and it would be another 5 minutes before Park could retake the field. Clydebank made the advantage pay, scoring a try after working through numerous phases close to the Cumnock line.
The game finished at 24-18 in favour of Clydebank. Full credit should be given to the Glasgow side as they kept Cumnock pinned back in their own half and had an aggressive line speed which didn’t allow Cumnock to get onto the front foot. It was a flat performance from Cumnock who didn’t really play to their potential, many of the good things which had made Cumnock successful up until this game were missing including their aggression at the breakdown and their accuracy in attack. They’ll look to try and put their season back on track as they host Loch Lomond this Saturday with a 2pm Kick off in what will officially be the last 1st XV game after 55 years at Broomfield before the work on the new school campus begins. For those that can’t get to this historic game can follow the action live on twitter by following @CumnockRugby.