RUGBY: Birkmyre Are Runaway Winners To Regain League Lead

28 November, 2023 | Sport

David Cruickshank

BIRKMYRE’S winning streak continued on Saturday in a match which saw veteran subs take to the field and, unusually, a father-and-son combination also.

They secured a convincing 76-12 away win against Hyndland. The game was more or less over after the first 40 minutes with Birkmyre going in 54-5 up at the half.

Birkmyre had to make some last-minute changes to their squad. Two overnight call-offs left them short of front row players. This resulted in 53-year-old Stuart Cruickshank coming out of retirement to take his place on the bench.

Alongside him was 57-year-old Matt Hunt. With a combined age of 110 this must be one of the oldest prop forward combinations to take to the field when they both came on.

It only took Birkmyre five minutes to make their mark on the match. When they won a scrum on the opposition 22, the ball made its way to captain Ross Moglia who broke a couple of tackles to score under the posts. David Cruickshank converted.

On 11 minutes the score was doubled. This time Owen Nicholas powered over from close distance after a five-metre penalty.

From the resultant kick-off, Birkmyre went three tries up. A couple of phases of play saw the ball passed along the back line. Paul Carruth, supporting from 15, received the ball 25 metres out and went down the line to score.

On the 17th minute, Ross McDonnell collected the ball just inside his own half. He skipped down the touchline avoiding tackles to score under the posts.

Next up was David Cruickshank on 24 minutes with a great solo effort. Receiving the ball 30 metres out, he saw space in the Hyndland back line. He chip-kicked, gathered it and ran in under the posts.

Ross Moglia then added his second try, running in from his own half, before Hyndland managed their first score on the 28th minute. Before the half, Moglia completed his hat-trick and Liam Nicholas also ran in his only score of the game.

The healthy lead allowed Birkmyre to make a number of changes at the half to give more players game time. This did not stop the tries coming, with Ali Peacock scoring on the 42nd minute and Ross McDonnell completed his double on the 55th. With 20 minutes left, Hyndland scored their second try.

At this point, Stuart Cruickshank took to the field, joining his son David on the field.

Birkmyre scored their penultimate try on the 70th minute through Robbie Espie. He received a pass from a quickly taken five-metre penalty and found a gap to cross the line.

The final score went to Ali Peacock for his second. He collected a loose pass 15 metres out and weaved his way across the line to score.

The result saw Birkmyre reclaim top spot in West League Three, and they also have a game in hand against their closest rivals, Irvine.

Scorers: Tries –- Ross Moglia (3), David Cruickshank, Ali Peacock (2), Ross McDonnell (2), Liam Nicholas, Owen Nicholas, Paul Carruth, Robbie Espie. Conversion –- David Cruickshank (8)

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