Uddingston Rugby Club had a successful weekend with victories for the 1st and 2nd XV’s on Saturday followed by a comprehensive win for the U18’s on Sunday.
The 1st XV played host to Isle of Arran in their RBS West Regional Bowl 2nd Round match at Castle Policies and progressed into this week’s 3rd draw with a 17-7 victory. Despite Arran playing their league rugby 2 divisions below the Villagers they made the home side work hard for their victory and were still in contention until the last play of the match secured a home win.
The Villagers got off to a busy start and were moving the ball at pace, exposing the Arran defence. The opening try came on 7 minutes when good Uddingston pressure forced an infringement on halfway. The Villagers sent the resulting penalty deep into the corner and from the lineout easily secured possession. With the forwards working as a unit they drove the Arran pack back over their own try line, allowing Kyle McVey to force the ball down for the try. The conversion from out wide proved too much for Chris King but the Villagers were 5-0 ahead.
Having dominated the opening exchanges Uddingston let the visitors back into the match and Arran took full advantage. Enjoying their fair share of possession and territory it only took until the 15th minute for them to equal the try count and pull ahead with the conversion. With Arran awarded a scrum on the home 22 the ball was moved to Lauchlan Jones at stand-off. As the defence rushed forward Jones stepped inside his man and sprinted over the line for his try. Jones also made sure with the conversion from in front of the posts.
After such a high paced opening the game slowed and the remainder of the first period produced no further scoring.
Trailing by 2 points the Villagers started the second half looking to get back into the match but found an Arran side equal to the task and equally determined to take a cup scalp back home. The Villagers tried to play with pace but all too often found themselves locked in a midfield battle. The break eventually came on 61 minutes. Good pressure in the Arran half allowed the backs to get a decent run at their opponents. As the ball reached the wing, Jamie McPherson side stepped his opposite man and broke clear into the Arran 22. A solid tackle from the Arran fullback halted McPherson’s progress but did not prevent a well-timed offload to Tony McGowan who collected and crossed the line for the try. King again missed the target with conversion attempt but the Villagers were back in front 10-7.
The closing quarter of the match did little to alter the scoreboard. Arran had an opportunity to draw level when they were awarded a penalty on the Uddingston 22 but Jones’ kick drifted past the upright. With time running out the final word went to the home side. Having secured their own srummage ball, inside their 22, Arran were looking for one last attack but some excellent defending by the young Uddingston scrum half Connor Bradley saw him upend his opposite man and strip the ball before feeding to Ross McKeown who drove fast and hard towards the try line. Once more some solid Arran tackling halted the move but McKeown was able to get the ball away to Neil Convery who forced his way past the last tackler to stretch over the try line to score. This time King split the uprights and the referee brought the match to a close.
While the 1st XV were playing cup rugby it should have been league business for the 2nd XV. Unfortunately player shortage caused Lenzie to call off on Friday afternoon so a hastily arranged fixture saw the Villagers head over to Cartha to face their 3B’s in a friendly encounter.
In an excellent fixture the Villagers came out on top 36-26. With a mix of old heads and youthful enthusiasm the 2nd XV played some excellent rugby scoring 5 tries and thoroughly deserving their win.
Try scorers on the day were Liam Quinn (2), Gavin Quinn, Alan Stokes and George Fenn. The mighty boot of Captain Kelvin Kidd added 4 conversions and a penalty.
In Sunday’s match the U18 squad made it 3 from 3 for the Villagers when they travelled the short distance to face a combined East Kilbride and Cambuslang XV. Another excellent performance from the Uddingston Colts saw them return home with a 56-5 victory to maintain their unbeaten start to the season
Next Saturday, 1st October, all 3 sides are back in league action. The 1st XV host Strathendrick, the 2nd XV make the short trip to face Dalziel 3rd XV while the U18’s host top of the table Lenzie.