7 try Cumnock cruise past Uddingston
Just 1 point required from next 2 games to secure promotion
Cumnock travelled to Uddingston on Saturday with just 3 games to go in their West Division 2 campaign. Cumnock were sitting joint top of the table alongside Lenzie knowing a bonus point win was required to keep pressure on the other title challengers. Cumnock were without injured second row Stephen Robson which meant a 1st start for breakthrough player Mikey Casey who had impressed off the bench in previous weeks. Another debutant from Cumnock’s Under-18 squad was Zak Donald who was poised on the bench ready to make his first appearance for the 1st XV.
Cumnock started out strongly, camping themselves in the Uddingston half before executing a perfect 3v2 on the short side which led to the break by Connor Hill. Hill still had the full back to beat and popped the ball out of the contact to Jayson McMillan who dived over for the score. Uddingston replied shortly after when a few missed tackles from Cumnock led to a score in the right corner. Both teams failed to convert their tries so after 10 minutes it was all square on the scoreboard.
Cumnock didn’t have to wait long before retaking the lead, a penalty against Uddingston gave them a lineout on the 22-metre line. A cheeky lineout play saw prop Jayson McMillan pass the ball to hooker Paul Miller standing at the front of the line, Miller popped the ball back to McMillan after drawing the Uddingston hooker which left a clear run in for McMillan to get his second score.
Jack Reilly had a clean break through the Uddingston defence and raced through from the halfway line to score underneath the posts. Reilly converted his own score meaning Cumnock were 12-5 up. Uddingston had an opportunity to cut the deficit but turned up a kickable penalty for a scrum 10 yards from Cumnock’s try line. Cumnock were too strong in the scrum and turned the ball over. Uddingston had the ball back on the halfway line to run it back, Uddingston finished off a simple score in the right corner after spotting a gap in the Cumnock defence.
Uddingston’s tighthead prop received a yellow card after a reckless challenge in the air on Cumnock’s John Watt. Cumnock once again kicked to the corner and after securing possession had a couple of drives towards the Uddingston try line. Inside Centre Calum Park took a crash ball and dragged two Uddingston defenders over with him for the score. Reilly converted the score and as the halftime whistle went Cumnock were 24-10 and had a try bonus point secured.
The second half started with a bang as prop Donald Hunter made a clean break through the Uddingston line. Hunter would never have imagined finishing off a break from so far out but he scored one for props everywhere as the big man ran in from the halfway line, he even managed a wee dummy at the end to fool the full back. Reilly once again converted the score.
Zak Donald replaced Murray McLeod to make his 1st XV debut, his first intervention chasing down a kick and making an important tackle which led to a Cumnock penalty. Cumnock came close to scoring on the left wing but were held up over the try line. They finished it off a few moments later as Jack Reilly claimed his second try and Cumnock stretched their lead to 36-10. Replacement prop Steven Lowrie scored not long after when he latched on to a loose Uddingston pass and dived over between the posts. Jack Reilly converted the score.
Uddingston had the final say in the match, a break down the wing led to some miscommunication as the two Cumnock defenders tackled the same man which left an easy pop to the Uddingston winger who ran in virtually unchallenged. The final score stood 43-15 in favour of Cumnock.
There were some strong showings within the Cumnock side, Jack Reilly had a few early mistakes in the game but played like a man possessed in the second half. Robbie McLaren and Jamie Thomson were both impressive in the back row, popping up all over the field and making a nuisance of themselves at the breakdown. Sean Fulton was solid in defence making huge tackles to knock back the Uddingston attack as well as carrying the ball hard into contact.
Cumnock did what was required and this win puts them within 1 league point of securing the 2nd promotion spot. Lenzie won their final game of the season and now sit equal in points with Cumnock, who still have two league games to play. Strathendrick beat Paisley and are now definite favourites for the title, requiring just 12 league points in their final 4 games to guarantee the top spot. Paisley are now 6 points behind Cumnock and with only 1 game left to play cannot catch the Broomfield side.