RUGBY: Narrow First Defeat For Birkmyre

18 September, 2023 | Sport

BIRKMYRE suffered their first defeat of the season on the road to Moffat.

It was a close affair, with The Bears securing a losing bonus point from th 13:10 score line.

The game started brightly for the Kilmacolm side with David Cruickshank kicking a 50:22 from the first passage of play. He launched the ball from inside his own 22 with the ball rolling out 10 to 15 metres from the opposition try line. However, Birkmyre could not take advantage, knocking on out wide following the resultant line out.

Birkmyre were in the ascendancy for the first 10 minutes but not fully in control with a few errors creeping in. However, on the 12th minute, following a short succession of rucks, Owen Nicholas broke a tackle and powered over the line for his first ever Birkmyre try. Cruickshank narrowly missed the extra points.

Moffat quickly hit back with three points of their own. Having progressed up the park, they won a kickable penalty which they happily accepted. It was then the turn of Birkmyre to reply with Ross McDonnell scoring his second try of the season in the corner following a positive phase of play. Again, the extra points were narrowly missed.

Moffat managed to get a foothold in the game which resulted in them scoring a converted try on the 35th minute. Birkmyre still had the balance of play but now found themselves held at 10:10. In the final few minutes of the half, the visitors exerted a great deal of pressure inside the opposition 22. This culminated in a five-metre penalty which the referee bizarrely made them tap from 10 metres out. Rather than taking time to set, Birkmyre somewhat rushed the tap and ultimately the play fizzled out with a forward pass.

In the second half, The Bears were playing up hill and into the wind. Shortly after kick-off, they conceded a penalty in front of the posts, about 35 metres out. Moffat elected for a shot at goal. It should have been fairly straight forward, but the kick drifted wide. However, Birkmyre did not learn their lesson and two minutes later, they conceded another penalty on the exact same spot. This time, there was no mistake and Moffat took a 13:10 lead.

Throughout the rest of the half, Birkmyre applied pressure progressing into the opposition 22 on a regular basis. But Birkmyre proceeded to give away scrums through a series of knock-ons and general handling errors, many of which were unforced. They were also reduced to 14 with Thomas McKeown received a yellow card for a no-arms tackle.

Robbie Espie at one point managed to break the opposition lines and was just about to score, however Paul Carruth was adjudged to have impeded a defender off the ball. In a separate attack, Thomas McKeown was through with one man to beat. The better option would have been to pass to his support runner, however he decided to take on the defender, was tackled and knocked the ball on, injuring himself in the process.

Every time Birkmyre found themselves in good attacking positions, the opposition were able to clear their lines with long kicks into Birkmyre territory. Birkmyre ran these back well but were having to do this too often.

On 75 minutes, a Moffat player received a red card for serious foul play. They had also picked up a number of injuries during the match. This presented an opportunity to win the game. Birkmyre pressurised the goal line again and again and were within inches at one point. A try looked inevitable however further handling errors resulted in a knock-on as the clock ran out.

The match ended with a scrum to Moffat who were able to kick to touch and kill the game.

It was a tough defeat to swallow however the boys will look to bounce back next Saturday with a home game against Lanark/Clydesdale.

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