P1/2 at Strathaven tournament
Great day at Strathaven ends with Cumnock taking the title!
P1/2 White team report:
The Cumnock RFC Cougar Cubs were warmly welcomed to Strathaven on a sunny Saturday for their tournament. A date on the fixture list we always look forward to.
With a fantastic P1 & 2 squad of 20 we were able to field 3 teams, black, red & white.
The Cougar Cubs White team played their first pool match against Strathaven. The team, comprising 5 P1s and 2 P2s battled hard throughout the game, Aaron's blistering runs posing a constant attacking threat, ably supported going forward by Adam & Iona in particular while Maddy's excellent ball distribution kept our runners going forward. Tries from Aaron & Adam kept the Whites in contention, ultimately losing narrowly 3-2 after Aaron had a tying score disallowed.
In the second game the Whites took on a handy side from Dalziel. Too many handling errors leading to turnovers kept Cumnock on the back foot. Desperate defence with Logan & Tilly both contributing significantly made Dalziel work hard for their 4 tries. In attack Blair, Logan & Adam carried well setting up a fine score for Iona which she took brilliantly. The game ending in a 4-1 reverse.
The Whites final match was a keenly contested affair against the Cumnock Black team. The White team struggled to cope with the pace of the Blacks but showed great determination throughout. Their ball retention was much better than the previous game although a couple of turnovers still proved costly. Logan stretched the Blacks defence with some fine breaks up the touch line while Aaron showed that the White team had pace too when scoring a fine try in a commendable 3-1 defeat.
The White team bowed out of the tournament at this stage, their medals well deserved, & cheered on their Black team teammates in the final.
White team: Adam, Aaron, Blair, Iona, Logan, Maddy, Tilly
P1/2 Red team report:
The Cougar Cubs Red team faced off against Dalziel in their opening encounter, in what proved to be a hotly contested and evenly matched tie. The Reds, consisting of 3 P1s and 4 P2s, attacked from the off but were held at bay by a stubborn defence, until Riley burst forward with a blistering run to touch down and open the scoring with a fine try. It was then Dalziel’s turn to reply, catching the Cougars Cubs on the back foot, leading to them losing 2 tries in quick succession. Rather than their heads going down, the Reds battled on and began to push and test the Dalziel defence with some great attacking runs and fine supporting play from Ava and Ruaridh. Their perseverance eventually paid off when Finlay broke through, surging forward into space and crashing over their try line to level the score. Due to the lack of a “6 touch turnover” rule, the Cougars Cubs defence, well marshalled by Ewan, had to stand fast in the dying minutes as they were bombarded by a Dalziel onslaught, repulsing them at every attempt. With this, the game ended in a well-earned 2-2 draw.
In their second fixture, the Reds met with a strong Strathaven side, who were obviously confident on their own home turf. The hosts proved to be a well drilled side, who were quick to attack and staunch in defence. This appeared to catch the Cougars off guard, and they quickly found themselves 2-0 down. As the Reds caught their breath, they quickly launched themselves on the offensive to try and fight their way back into the game. This paid off, with some great teamwork by John and Zach stretching their opponents defence, and allowing Riley to break through and claw back a try, leaving a trail of Strathaven players in his wake. As the game battled on, some basic errors from the Cougars Cubs led to a turnover, and Strathaven extended their lead to 3-1 with an easy try. The Cougars Cubs, ever defiant, fought on and executed a quick set piece which resulted in Riley smashing through the Strathaven try line in an attempt to score. Unfortunately, the Reds were so quick that they even caught the ref unawares, and a well-deserved try was disallowed. Still reeling from a disappointing decision, this led to a lapse in concentration for the Cougars Cubs and the hosts took advantage with a final try, to seal a 4-1 defeat for the Reds.
The Reds were then straight into their final match against a skilled and organised East Kilbride team.
The Cougars Cubs appeared to still be recovering from their previous game, and their tired legs struggled to cope with the pace of their opponents attack. Their attention levels also seemed to dip, leading to a number of costly turnovers. Ultimately, a third game proved just too much for the young Reds team, and they crashed to a 5-0 defeat in an undeservedly disheartening end to the competition.
This disappointment didn’t last for long however, as the Reds then had the chance to cheer on their Black teammates, as they got revenge over the same East Kilbride side in the final, to run out overall winners for the day!
All in all, it proved to be a great experience for the Reds, allowing the young players to experience a competitive tournament, and show off some well-earned and deserved medals!
Red team: Ava, Ewan, Finlay, John, Riley, Ruaridh, Zak
P1/2 Black team report:
With medals at stake the Cougar Cubs arrived with a look of determination. The black team were ready to go.
First up was a game against last year’s winners Dalziel. From the off the Cougars Cubs flew out the traps and once again from their pass/pivot restart ran in an opening try through some direct running from Mason. In defence they were a joy to watch totally dominating the opposition pushing them further up the pitch with each tackle. Further tries were added through Paul, Lewis and another by Mason leading to a 4-1 victory. A flying start.
Up next for the Blacks were the hosts Strathaven. Again the Cubs started exactly where they left off scoring from the opening play again through Mason. The Cubs were fully in their stride and playing some fast, flowing rugby. Another try was added through Ryan who spectacularly darted though finishing off his move with a diving try over the line. Once again defensive work was equally impressive with some bossy play from Lewis and Freya pushing the opposition further into their own half. Further tries were added through Ryan, Mason and Mathew leading to a 5-1 victory.
The final pool match was an encounter against our teammates Cumnock White. After the initial good luck to each other the teams went at each other with determination. The game went back and forth and the effort was relentless from both sides. 3 tries were added in quick succession by the Blacks through Mason. A fantastic move from the opposition lead to a well work try for the Whites finishing the game 3-1 to the Black team.
3 wins in the bag lead to Cumnock Black team reaching the final. Our opponents were our friends from East Kilbride.
By this time a good crowd had gathered to watch the match and the Cougar Cubs did not let them down. Being roared on from the sides by coaches, parents and team mates the Blacks went at their opponents head on.
An end to end match started with both teams enjoying good possession. The breakthrough came when Mason picked the ball up a darted to the line for the opening try. East Kilbride to their credit replied in timely fashion reply with a try of their own. Both sides then probed for gaps in the well organised, committed defences in this pulsating high quality encounter. With the clock ticking down the Cougar Cubs got the winning try though Paul running at pace onto Ryan’s timely pass leading to huge applause from the side-lines. The Cougar Cubs then defended with ferocious intensity to see out the match and become worthy Champions.
The Cougar Cubs were a credit to the club, coaches and their parents and fully deserved their win. Huge plaudits came from various opposing coaches which just shows how hard work pays off. Well done the Cougar Cubs.
Black squad: Freya, Lewis, Mason, Matthew, Paul, Ryan (Adam, Maddy & Logan also played)
Reports by S Benzie, J Stevenson & J Leitch