Uddingston Rugby Club prevail after topsy turvy Lanarkshire derby at Cumbernauld

Uddingston try and launch an attack during last Saturdays dramatic derby triumph at Cumbernauld (Pic by Craig Halkett)
Uddingston try and launch an attack during last Saturdays dramatic derby triumph at Cumbernauld (Pic by Craig Halkett)

It was a game of two halves on Saturday when Uddingston Rugby Club made the short trip to Cumbernauld for their rescheduled BT West Division2 league fixture.

Opening up a very comfortable 31-5 lead at the interval the tide turned completely in the second period, the Villagers holding on in the final minutes to secure a 38-36 victory.

The first half was all Uddingston, with some strong running from the Villagers’ backline finding plenty of space to attack and create scoring opportunities.

A total of five first half tries, two converted, was met by a single score from the hosts.

First half scoring for the Villagers went to Chris King (3), Kirk Tunnicliffe and Clinton Boyd, with Gavin Kidd slotting home two conversions.

Where the opening period had been very much easy street for the Villagers, the second half saw a complete reverse.

The hosts opted for a narrow, route one game plan, and the Villagers struggled to adapt to this change in tactic.

A series of penalties conceded by Uddingston were cleared deep into their half, and Cumbernauld used these attacking platforms to get themselves back into the match.

With Uddingston struggling to get their hands on the ball and to retain any real possession, Cumbernauld set about moving the scoreboard in their favour.

Five tries, three converted, were added to their solitary first half effort.

The Villagers did cross the home whitewash, King adding a fourth to his first half hat-trick, and Kidd securing the conversion, but it wasn’t enough to get themselves back in control of the match.

With less than five minutes of play remaining the scoreline had been clawed back to only a two-point deficit, the Villagers narrowly ahead 38-36. With Cumbernauld launching another attack deep into the Uddingston 22 the referee’s whistle sounded for a penalty to the home side.

Where most logical opinions would suggest a kick at goal and a chance for a victory as the natural choice, the home forwards however elected to scrummage.

Despite shunting the Uddingston pack over the try line on two occasions Cumbernauld were unable to get the ball grounded, and strong defence eventually allowed the Villagers to clear the danger to the welcome sound of the final whistle.

Despite the rollercoaster ride, the importance of the victory cannot be underplayed for the Villagers, securing their midtable position, with games in hand over some of the clubs above them.

With the Autumn Test matches taking priority, the next fixture for the sixth placed Villagers is another rescheduled fixture on November 25, when Millbrae will be the visitors to Castle Policies.

Kick-off is at 12.30pm.