Battling Badgers make Annan work for victory

Annan players were hoping for a comfortable afternoon at Cumbernauld on Saturday after their 100 plus points score over the New Town side earlier in the season.

Andrew Reid tries to get a Cumbernauld attack going
Andrew Reid tries to get a Cumbernauld attack going

But they were quickly disabused of this notion as the Badgers set about their task with gusto and fortitude.

Although they eventually went down 50-15 to a fitter, stronger and battle hardened outfit, Jordan Reid and his troops performed valiantly against the BT West Division 1 promotion contenders.

The game kicked off at a furious lick and Annan opened their account with a score in the corner following good ruck ball.

23/04/16 Picture James Clare. CUMBERNAULD, Cumbernauld Rugby Club. Cumbernauld RFC v Annan RFC.

Unfortunately a Cumbernauld miss-pass gifted Annan further possession which they gobbled up to score their second try, again following good ruck ball.

Cumbernauld’s misfortunes continued when Gavin Calder had to retire with a recurrence of his eye injury but almost immediately they struck back with a Daniel Prinn touchdown following great work from Ryan Quate.

Moments later Quate had the home support cheering loudly with the tackle of the match to down his opponent in devastating style.

Two tries then came along in quick succession when Annan dotted down following a contentious penalty award which allowed them a quick tap penalty, and breakaway, followed by a try from Cumbernauld stand-off Andrew Reid which was converted by Jordan Reid to make the half time score 26-15 to Annan.

23/04/16 Picture James Clare. CUMBERNAULD, Cumbernauld Rugby Club. Cumbernauld RFC v Annan RFC.

Cumbernauld were well in contention but shortly after the break lost charismatic number eight Ian Hepburn to a leg injury.

This seriously disrupted Cumbernauld’s game plan but it would be grossly unfair to state this as a reason for a second-half unravelling by the Badgers. Another mitigating factor was the loss of hooker Andrew Logan in the first half with Scott Corbett answering the call and performing commendably well.

Annan scored four second half tries to secure the win and a bonus point but Cumbernauld can be pleased with the nature of their display.

Jordan Reid led by example by tackling himself to a standstill while the second row of Barry McLauchlan and Jonny Kenny worked tirelessly throughout.

Michael McDonald continues to defy the onslaught of father time and produced another fine display while Anthony Rice’s pace was a constant threat to the Annan defence. It was also nice to see Gregg Gilmour back in a Cumbernauld jersey after his stint with Cartha Queen’s Park.

Cumbernauld’s last game of the season is on Saturday, May 7, against Clydebank away which, depending on other results, they may have to win to stay up.

The club’s annual dinner will take place in the clubhouse after the match, tickets £20 from Kyle Wylie.