Cumnock 15, Clydebank 18

Fourth-placed Clydebank travelled to take on third-place Cumnock, in knowing a bonus point win would take them above the Ayrshiremen in the West District Second Division.

The father and son combination of Ross and Jack McCombe were instrumental in the win, with the older McCombe scoring a great try and the younger holding his nerve to knock over the winning penalty.

Clydebank’s task was made harder within 10 minutes when they conceded two tries and lost influential back row Jamie Boyd to injury. Bank's midfield allowed Cumnock to waltz through almost untouched and a nice offload freed up their centre to score. Poor tackling then allowed the home side to extend their lead to 12. Boyd went down soon after with a nasty calf injury, to be replaced by Connor Sloss.

The loss of such an influential player would usually weaken the Red and Blacks but they then dominated Cumnock in both posession and territory for the next half an hour.

Bank got their opening score from a great team try. The forwards hit it to the home 22 then McCombe released Miller who stepped inside the defence and passed back to McCombe on his shoulder and the stand off finished off from 10 metres. Jack McCombe converted well from a difficult angle, . Jack then made it 12-10 with a well struck penalty and it was anyone's game going into the second half.

The second half continued to be a physical and bruising encounter with both defences cancelling each other out. Bank lost another influential player when top try scorer and second row enforcer Joe Moore had to go off with a nasty gash on his cheek.

TheyBank were dealt another blow when Burgoyne was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for taking out Cumnock's full back in the air challenging for a high ball, but Cumnock were unable to capitalise on the numerical advantage as Banks defence snuffed them out.

When Burgoyne returned to the field with 15 minutes to go the game suddenly sprang to life and Bank took the lead with possibly the try of the season.

Kirkwood broke blind with a lovely dummy and fed Ali Smart who broke into a gallop down the right wing. Mick Duncan was in support and passed back inside to Smart who scooped the ball up with one hand and dived over in the right corner to give Bank a three point lead. Jack McCombe then missed a long penalty attempt at goal that would have put Bank more than a converted try ahead.

With five 5 minutes left on the clock, Clydebank infringed on the Cumnock 22 and their stand off knocked over a finely struck penalty to even the score at 15-all.

Cumnock then got over eager at a breakdown and conceded a penalty and Jack McCombe made up for the earlier miss by confidently struck iking the kick from 30 metres to take the lead.

The drama wasn’t finished, there as Clydebank were caught offside and Cumnock decided to go for the win and kicked for the corner. Bank disrupted the throw, and regained possession and kicked the ball out to end the match and extinguish home hopes of a comeback.

All credit to Cumnock for a committed and aggressive performance and it was a thrilling match that could have gone either way. Cumnock gained a losing bonus point for finishing within 7 and they remain in 3rd place however the deficit is now down to 2 points and Bank have 2 games in hand with 4 games remaining including 3 at home to teams below them in the league so the Red and Blacks have a great chance of securing their highest league position for several years. Next week they face 5th placed McLaren at Whitecrook.