Uddingston Rugby Club gear up for biggest ever game

Uddingston Rugby are through to the semi-final of the National Bowl.
Uddingston Rugby are through to the semi-final of the National Bowl.

Uddingston Rugby Club face one of the biggest games in their history when they take on Highland in the RBS Bowl semi-final at Bothwell Castle Policies on Saturday.

A bumper crowd is expected for the clash which will see the Villagers - winners of the West Regional Bowl - take on the North Regional Bowl champions.

At stake for the winners will be a place in the final against the winners of the other semi-final between East and Midlands Bowl winners St Boswells and Glenrothes.

The final is normally played at Murrayfield as part of national finals day, but construction wrk on a new hybrid pitch at the national stadium means an alternative venue will be found for this year.

As well as the West Bowl, which Uddingston won by beating Arran in December, the Villagers have also won the West Division 3 league title so success in the National Bowl would complete a trophy treble.

Kick-off against the Inverness side, who top North Division 2 with 17 wins out of 17, is at 3pm.

To mark the occasion photographer and design director Joe James, of James Aylin Design, recently undertook a set of studio portraits of a few of the players.

He said: “I played at Uddingston for a number of seasons and was lucky enough to captain the club for a while. I’ve always taken the opportunity to pop along an see the boys when I can and for the past couple of seasons there was a feeling that the team were getting better and this year seen them win both the league and reaching the National bowl semi-final.”

Uddingston warmed up for their Highland showdown with a 15-9 win over Cumnock at Bothwell Castle Policies in their penultimate West Division 3 game of the season on Saturday.

Despite what was arguably their poorest performance of the season, the Villagers did enough to maintain their unbeaten home record against a Cumnock side still chasing the second promotion spot.

Cumock took an early 3-0 lead when Uddingston were penalised for failing to release and a second penalty just before the interval gave the visitors a 6-0 half-time advantage.

The second half was barely five minutes old when Cumnock went further ahead from another converted penalty before the home side finally responded.

A Tom Hughes try converted by Gordon Burns cut the visitors’ lead to 9-7 and the Villagers went ahead when Hughes again showed his pace to go over in the corner.

Burns was unable to convert but with the last kick of the match Stewart Mackay slotted over a penalty to complete the scoring.