COMPETITIVE rugby was back for the first time this season for Clydebank Rugby Club as the first team travelled to Kilmarnock in the cup and the second team welcomed Marr to Whitecrook to begin their league campaign.

Both sides lost and in the first team’s case it was an agonising last minute penalty that broke their hearts but the level of performance indicates the hard work put in at pre-season will ultimately pay off.

Kilmarnock play in the division above Clydebank’s first team and their home support were hoping for an easy victory. Clydebank had other ideas and began the match brightly with aggressive defence and impressive attacking patterns that frustrated the home side.

Kilmarnock dominated possession in the opening 20 minutes but the red and black defence was solid. It was Clydebank who opened the scoring from a lineout that the forwards caught and drove with David Warden in possession when they crossed the line. David Miller narrowly missed the conversion from out wide.

The score gave Clydebank confidence and they got into their attacking rhythm and took the game to the hosts with big runners hitting up the midfield. However they were slow to the breakdown allowing Killie to force mistakes and turnovers.

They closed the gap with a penalty from their stand off from 25 metres. Clydebank continued to defend with aggression and attacked with vigour but were unable to add to their tally and the half ended 5-3 to Clydebank.

Their lead was extended in similar fashion to their first score with another strong driving maul with “Big L” Joe Moore this time dotting the ball down. Miller was again unsuccessful with the conversion. This seemed to waken Killie up to the fact that a cup upset was on the cards and they livened up their attack. Clydebank defended well until 10 minutes to go when Killie scored a lovely sweeping backs try in the left corner to peg it back to 10-8.

With a minute left on the clock, Clydebank infringed at a scrum to give Killie a penalty shot that their stand off just sneaked inside the post and they took the lead by a point for the first time in the match.

Clydebank were unable to regain possession from the kick off and Kilmarnock breathed a massive sigh of relief at the final whistle.

At Whitecrook the second team began their league campaign with a host of new faces in the team coupled with a core of Clydebank veterans.

Marr were the opposition in a high scoring, entertaining encounter with Marr eventually winning 35-21.

Marr were playing an expansive running game and they took the lead first but Clydebank hit back with Colin Newman, who only started playing rugby eight months ago, scoring his first ever try. Veteran David Smart was on kicking duty and converted. Mark Woodcock then scored a peach of a try for the home side after skinning two defenders to score in the corner. Smart stepped up and knocked over the conversion from the touch line with a booming belt of the right boot to stun everyone including himself to extend the lead. Marr replied with an unconverted try of their own The hosts were growing in confidence and scored another try from Andy Lyle that Smart again converted.

Injuries took their toll on the home sides backs with Kevin Montgomery suffering a nasty ankle injury. Marr took advantage of Clydebank’s depleted back division and scored three second half trIes to claim a 39-21 victory.