The last time these two sides met the league title was at stake, with Strathendrick being crowned champions. League restructure during the summer saw both clubs remain in the same division and it was Strathendrick who made the trip from Fintry to face the Villagers at Bothwell Castle Policies last Saturday in their RBS West Division 2 fixture.
With the warm weather of earlier in the week having been replaced with heavy rain both sides looked to keep the ball in hand in the opening exchanges. As such, the early scoring came from the boot with the visitors taking a 6-3 lead. Sam Greenock successfully converting 2 penalty opportunities, while Uddingston Captain Gordon Burns pulled one back for the Villagers.
The opening try of the afternoon came on 15 minutes. With the Villagers penalised inside their own 22 David Brown reacted first, taking the quick tap to power over from close range. Greenock made sure of the conversion from in front of the posts giving the visitors a 13-3 advantage.
Strathendrick were starting to dominate the breakdown, and were using their strike runners to good effect, punching holes in the home defence and creating gaps for their backs to exploit. Some excellent defence from the young Uddingston side was keeping the visitors at bay but the Villagers were struggling to put any real attacking force together.
On 32 minutes Strathendrick extended their lead further when Peter Sunderland took advantage of missed tackles to break up the blindside to score in the corner. Greenock again added the extras and Strathendrick were now comfortably ahead 20-3.
Despite playing up the slope in the second half the Villagers put in a much improved performance, containing the Strathendrick attack and retaining possession. Despite going further behind 4 minutes after the break to a well worked try for Drew McDonald Uddingston fought their way back into the match. Their reward came on 64 minutes when Mikey McKeown crashed over the line for a well-deserved try. Enjoying a period of sustained pressure in the visitors half Uddingston drove round the fringes, forcing the Strathendrick defence to scramble back. As play moved closer to the try line Strathendrick were forced to concede a penalty for handling in the ruck. With gaps in front of him McKeown reacted well, took the quick tap and drove for the line. Burns nudged the conversion over taking the scoreboard to 25-10.
Uddingston put in a much improved performance during the second half, stifling the visitors play and forcing basic errors. As the match entered the closing 10 minutes however Strathendrick showed their superior fitness to score a further 2 tries and secure the bonus point. Calum Fergusson and Drew McDonald claiming the tries with Greenock adding a further conversion bringing the final score to
The 2nd XV fixture with Dalziel was postponed however the Villagers Under 18 squad were in action on Sunday when they hosted Lenzie in a league match. In a close, competitive match it was the Villagers who prevailed 6-0. Two penalties from the boot of Richard Murray seeing them home.
Next Saturday, 08/10, Uddingston make the short trip to face Strathaven in the Lanarkshire derby while the 2nd XV are also scheduled for a derby match when they travel to face Waysiders Drumpellier. Both games kick off at 3pm. The Under18’s are also in action next Saturday when they travel south to face Annan.