On a sunny Sunday morning, a team of our mighty Micros travelled down the long and winding road to Stranraer, to play against our friends from Wigtownshire and Newton Stewart. It was certainly worth the trek for all involved, as they were treated to 3 fast paced and action packed games of rugby.
In the first match, Cumnock faced off against the hosts Wigtownshire, who fielded an additional player, in what proved to be an eye-opener for our young side. Right from the off, Wigtownshire defended hard and fast, constantly shutting Cumnock down and forcing us back towards our own try line. Our Micros battled back, creating a stalemate in the centre of the pitch, as both sides earned turnover after turnover. Spotting a gap down the flank, Caleb burst through the opposition to sprint clear and score the first try of the day to put Cumnock in front. The lead was short lived however, as Wigtownshire retaliated and scored two tries in quick succession, taking the game to 2-1. As the match broke for half time, Cumnock regrouped and refreshed, ready to get right back into it, however there was an unexpected change of plans and it was on to the next game...
In the second match of the day, Cumnock lined up against Newton Stewart, and this time our Micros were more ready for it. Cumnock were quick to find their feet and get into their stride, with some fine tackling, running and support play. This paid dividends as we continually forced turnovers to regain possession. Iona and Riley unleashed their trademark runs up the wings, whilst Adam and Caleb worked tirelessly in defence and attack. Ruben and Ruaridh combined as the midfield engine, whilst Maddy proffered crucial support play for her comrades. A few momentary laps of concentration allowed Newton Stewart to bag some deserved tries, however Maddy, Adam and Ruaridh grabbed 3 a piece, and Caleb added a further 2 to his tally. As the final whistle blew, Cumnock came out on top as 11-4 winners.
In the final match of the day, Cumnock were up against a combined Wigtownshire and Newton Stewart side. This time the hosts adopted an experimental, lenient and loose style of refereeing in an effort to encourage more attacking and creative play. This initially seemed to confuse our Micros (and parents!) who couldn’t quite grasp that players were being allowed to carry on, despite having been tackled a number of times. Once Cumnock got to grips with the notion of “Play On”, they soon began to use it to their advantage, forging runs into opposition territory and gaining much deserved ground. Ruben probed their defence with some scintillating runs, whilst Adam and Caleb combined again to make vital tackles and force a number of turnovers. Ruaridh must have covered every blade of grass on the pitch with his endless running, while Riley and Iona tested the opposition with their speed. Again, Maddy was there at every cut and turn to provide vital support for her teammates, finding the space to receive that all important pass or offload. Due to the nature of this game, Cumnock were being pulled all over the pitch, leaving their wings exposed, and this allowed their counterparts to run in a few tries. In an end to end match, Riley, Adam and Ruaridh all made it on to the scoreboard with a try each, Caleb grabbed another 2, whilst Maddy bagged a well deserved hat trick. As the dust settled, Cumnock emerged as winners with an 8-5 victory.
All in all, it was another successful day for our Mighty Micros, who can hold their heads high after putting in such a hard working shift, over 3 breathless matches. As always, there are lessons to be learned and points to work on in training, however our young Cougars proved their mettle with a well earned 20-11 aggregate win, leaving the coaches and parents very proud of their performances!