P1-3 vs Ardrossan

Cumnock Cougars took a combined P1/2/3 team up the coast to our good friends at Ardrossan. With the weather being bitterly cold it was decided to play one game with two refreshment breaks in between.

Ardrossan started in lively fashion and were first to score with a well worked try down the wing. With both teams defending well, this forced a number of turnovers before Ardrossan nipped down the same wing to score another try. From the resulting restart Tilly got the ball and sprinted for the top left-hand corner and just crossing the line whilst evading all the desperate tackles to score Cumnock's first try of the game.

Cumnock now had the bit between their teeth now, started to get their attacking heads on and scored another two well worked quick tries. Following a dropped ball by Ardrossan, Freya instinctively picked it up and made a beeline for the try line crossing it unopposed to bring the scores level. Matthew, who was outstanding in defence, picked up the ball and using his excellent sidestep crossed the line to make the score 3-2 to Cumnock.

Ardrossan were proving to a hard team to break down but through some great interlinking play between Cuinn, Adam and Ruaridh, Iona got the first of her two tries. There was some great defending from Blair, Ruben and Ajay which prevented Ardrossan getting any further tries until the end. Matthew scored another try after a quick pass from Blair allowed him to probe a gap in the defence and cross for his second try.

Iona took hold of the ball and after some relentless running trying to find some space to nip through, a gap eventually opened up and she crossed the line for her second try of the game. There was a brief lapse in the Cumnock defence which allowed Ardrossan to score their third try. With the game almost finished it was none other than Matthew who stole the show completing his hat-trick of tries by made an explosive sprint to the corner to score Cumnock's seventh and final try of the game. The game finished 7-3 to Cumnock.

Team: Ruben, Tilly, Blair, Cuinn, Adam, Matthew, Freya, Ruaridh, Iona, Ajay

P4s v Ardrossan

Cougar Pack Show Great Team Spirit In The Sunday Sun

This week we had a warm welcome from our colleagues at Ardrossan Academicals RFC. The sun came out and showed how as battle commenced the heat was turned up on the pitch. We had two matches against a very well drilled and excellent opposition and lots of fun was to be had. A special thank you has to go to Conrad who switched teams to join the Cumnock squad for the two games to allow us to field a seven-man team as the Cumnock P4s were unusually four players down to a six-player squad.

Game one was against the most experienced of the two Ardrossan teams. This game initially left Cumnock on the back foot as the Cougar Cubs took a few minutes to get into their own style of play. Ardrossan capitalised on this and scored three very quick and very well worked tries to leave Cumnock shuddering at the thought of their first defeat of the season coming at the site of their first piece of 2018/19 season silverware. This though seemed to spur the team on and through Rudi and Euan’s phenomenal tackling the Accies onslaught was fought back. We then flicked the switch and showed that we will never be beaten back into submission and quickly through Aaron, Stuart and Kyran the boys started to have a bit more fun and show our fellow Ayrshire battlers how we open up defensive lines and are able to run not only around but through tacklers. The first half therefore ended three apiece. Again, Ardrossan set the pace very quickly in the second half scoring another two from the off. However, Cumnock were able to battle hard with Aaron starting to open the taps and show his tremendous speed running from deep in his own territory to bring it back level again by scoring a double. Euan battled hard to provide his teammates with ball after ball to run at the Ardrossan defenders and with Rudi hitting tackle after tackle the combination was working well. Stuart was able to pick and battle his way through the tacklers and dive over the line to quickly ground the ball for his second of the match. Again, though Ardrossan battled hard to get another single to keep themselves in the match. Kyran though was able to get two more tries for a Hat Trick and put the game to bed for a Cumnock win.

Match Score: Ardrossan 6 – 8 Cumnock

Match two began at another very fast pace with the Cubs receiving no let up from our opponents. Calum began this game very well with opening the game up and getting straight to work in defence. Aaron this time took to his heels all over the pitch and was able to show the lightning pace that the entire P4 sections all over the country are ruing with four tries in the first half alone. Rudi again continued his demonstration of how to pressure the attackers each and every time they get the ball as he unleashed himself time and again to crush the hopes todays hosts and with this continued pressure was able to score two tries of his own making showing not only can he tackle into submission but he can turn on the speed and sidesteps to really press his advantage. Kyran again got another double to bring todays tally to five and with his final try coming by way of a sprint which lasted the entire length of this week’s very long pitch to score a tremendous try. First half ended 8-1 as our hosts sneaked an excellent try whilst the Cumnock defenders were trying to reset after some more phenomenal tackling this time from Calum, Stuart and Euan. The second half again was extremely well played from the Cougars with passes being very free flowing and the lines being run by the entire team very reminiscent of the Autumn Internationals. This match was very much one of a team performance with excellent offloads and support being the difference in allowing the Cumnock side to ensure that they kept the score line running. In this half Aaron was not only defeating our opponents by scoring another fantastic four tries for a second match personal score of eight but also charging across the field to prevent Ardrossan getting to the try line more than once. Rudi kept the pressure up through both tackling and again another two tries. Stuart was able to retrieve an excellent pass and show a rare burst of speed to get past the entire Ardrossan defence and score to keep the Accies defenders wondering where the next attack was coming from. Again, Ardrossan were able to score another to bring their score to 2 for the match.

Match Score : Ardrossan 2 – 15 Cumnock

Match Report By Chis Lisett

Final Score: Ardrossan 8 - 23 Cumnock

Team: Conrad, Stuart, Rudi, Kyran, Calum, Euan & Aaron.

P5s v Ardrossan

Cumnock RFC P5 team travelled to Ardrossan to take on Ardrossan Accies. Being a very cold Sunday afternoon games kicked off at 12.30pm. Playing four eight-minute periods in a game. Six Cumnock players turned out for today meaning no subs, But that has never stopped them from putting in everything they have.

Kicking off the first eight minute quarter of today's game. Cumnock opened up the scoring for today. Week on week has seen the team progress when in possession of the ball with each player finding their strengths on how to get through their opponents defencive lines. On two separate occasions Aron using his strengths by pressuring the Accies defence he drew in defending players quickly offloading the ball which resulted in Dylan and Jack crossing the try line to score. Today was no different, with some quick charges and skillful stepping to break through the Accies defence to get over the try line. Cumnock were a little slow on making tackles to start which resulted in the first eight minutes ending a tight 5-4 to Cumnock. Dylan the top try scorer of this period felt sick and had to come off. A set back to our p5s in the game but this didn't impact our p5s from having fun and keeping minds on today's game. Try scorers Aron, Jack, Dylan (2) and Tony Onto the second period. Harry one of the Ardrossan players volunteered to join Cumnock in place of Dylan for the next eight minutes.

Cumnock had stepped up after the first break. Attacking was no different from the first quarter of the game. But when in defence making tackles and keeping pressure on the Accies resulted in some handling errors from the opponents and on occasions picking up some loose balls and carrying them over the Line. For example Kenzie when putting pressure on Ardrossan he made a double tackle which resulted in too much pressure on the attackers who lost the ball and being picked up by Jack and going onto score. Cumnock scoring five to Accies two. Overall so far Cumnock winning 11-6.

Try scorers, Jack (3), Tony, Kenzie and Harry Next period Accies player Rory swapped with Harry to play with Cumnock. We saw some more improvement in Cumnocks performance where at times the Cougars defence was pushing the Accies back a good distance. Tackling seemed to be improving as the game went on. But with Ardrossan having some skilled players, Cumnock could not stop every opposing player from scoring a try. In this period it ended 5-3 to Cumnock, over all 16-9. With the five Cumnock players scoring a try each in this period.

Onto the final eight minutes with Callum from Ardrossan stepping in to play for Cumnock. With Cumnocks performance remaining persistent into this quarter, there was not much that could have been said during a team talk in the break. Other than to keep up the good work. Kenzie, Tony, John and Jack scoring tries in the last 8 minutes and Accies scoring one. Another hard game and a well deserved win for Cumnock p5s today. Ending the game 20-10 to Cumnock.

P7s v Ardrossan

Ardrossan 6-11 Cumnock

The Cumnock P7’s travelled to Ardrossan for what is normally a really entertaining match and the Cumnock kids gave a great display of rugby for the coaches and parents. The team started well with some great support play to allow some lovely quick offloads and keep possession up in Ardrossan territory. The first try wasn’t far away and when the ball came loose from the back of a ruck it was Lewis who picked up and ran for a score in the corner. All the kids were working hard both in defence and attack with some brilliant displays, Lewis both in attack and defence with some great try saving tackles along with new debutant Shawn Blackmore who really impressed with his defensive work and speed. Ardrossan were starting to get a little frustrated and a few tempers were creeping into the match but fair play to the Cumnock kids who never rose to it and kept battling away and supporting each other both Harry and Sam with some great powerful displays along with Katy who was slicing their defence wide open and both Blair’s putting in a shift. The final third of the match was when Cumnock starting pulling away and putting a gap between the two teams, a great game and really good to see that the whole team was pulling together with everyone doing their part for the team.

Team – Lewis O’Kane, Katy Hart, Harry Linden, Blair Bell, Stuart Sharpe, Ali Wallace, Sam Allan, Blair Lorimer, Alfie Linden, Seth McKenzie, Kian Clelland, Brooklyn Phillips, Shawn Blackmore

Under 14s v Greenock

Cumnock travelled up to Greenock Wanderers Club on Sunday to play a 15 a-side game of three 20-minute periods.

Greenock kicked off but one of their players was offside so a scrum was awarded to Cumnock in the centre of the pitch. The scrum was well won with Gavin being the scrum half and he got the ball to the backs despite some rather quick attacking from Greenock. However the move came to nothing following a knockon. There was some loose play from both sides resulting in another knock-on and from the resulting scrum Greenock moved the ball quickly and ran in to score. The restart saw Cumnock move the ball at speed to Scott Kirkland who made good ground before being stopped and the ball went loose, but Cumnock made a good pick up and ran the ball but were put into touch. Greenock then got the ball to their wing who ran in for another try. From the restart Cumnock passed the ball well to reach Adam K who made some ground before putting a foot into touch. Cumnock put in some good tackles as Greenock tried to make ground, but were pinged for offside in the ruck. Cumnock kicked to touch and from the lineout moved the ball along the line but a knockon gave the resulting scrum to Greenock who again whipped the ball out for a powerfull run to score. The restart saw Cumnock moving the ball well but they could not hold onto the ball which went loose and finished in touch. From the throw in Cody ran upfield but was stopped by a high tackle. Cumnock moved the ball from one side to the other but gave a forward pass . Greenock were unable to make any ground from the scrum due to some great tackles, and the whistle blew to end the first period.

Cumnock kicked off and the ball went loose , so they were able to make a good pick up but eventually lost the ball in contact. This allowed Greenock to make a strong run for the line from the scrum. The restart saw the ball moved to Scott who ran strongly spinning off several attempted tackles to score under the posts, with the conversion following. Cumnock applied good pressure from the restart forcing the Greenock runner into touch. However they regained possession soon after and scored a couple of tries in quick succession. Cumnock took the restart and kicked upfield, with a good chase forcing an error, and then a penalty for holding on. Cody took a quick penalty and darted over for a try which he converted. The Greenock restart saw them try a kick and chase but the ball went loose allowing Cumnock to pick up and run before again going into touch. More pressure from Cumnock at the lineout resulted in a high tackle but the whistle blew for the end on the second period.

Greenock kicked off the final period but neither side were able to collect the loose ball and it was knocked on. Cumnock won the scrum and opted to kick and chase but Greenock replied in the same way and the ball went loose. Cumnock picked up and ran but from a tackle did not release and Greenock kicked the penalty to touch. From the lineout they ran quickly to score. From the restart Scott was given the ball and made good ground before passing to Adam K, but he ran out of space. Greenock took the lineout well and charged upfield to score. Cumnock restarted but their kick and chase backfired allowing Greenock to win the ball and run through some missed tackles to score. Cumnock again restarted and moved the ball well through Cameron Edgar, Cody, Scott and Adam K but the move was stopped by a Greenock infringement. Several penalties followed allowing Cumnock to get close to the line before Scott K took the ball and plunged over for a converted try. Greenock were to have the last say as from the restart one of their strong runners again avoided tackles to score to finish the game.

Final Score: Greenock 43 – Cumnock 12 The boys tried hard in a tricky game where some players were not accustomed to playing with each other due to S1 and S2 players being mixed. However a good willingness was displayed by all despite the obvious differences in sizes of the boys on the park. Conditions were not ideal as it was very cold which did not help those on the sidelines during substitutions. Hopefully the S1 boys will have learnt from the experiece in playing with S2 players.

Team: Scott Kirkland (c), Cody Gibson, Jay Callender, Kieran Ferrans, Jake Shearer, Alasdair Rae, Alex Drummond, Cameron Edgar, Callum Hodge, Adam Krimley, Francis Maghee, Scott Giraldo, Lucas, Cameron Kerr, Tom Robinson, Jacob Robertson, Kenzie, Adam Carmichael, Gavin Kirkland, Anthony.