CLYDEBANK Rugby Club 1st XV reached a season-high league position as they jumped into third in West Division Two with a 21-15 win at home to McLaren on Saturday.

Having lost the reverse fixture by two points to a last-minute penalty it promised to be a close encounter and it was a thrilling contest at Whitecrook.

The squad was dealt a blow by the last-minute call off to top try scorer Joe Moore so Connor Sloss started at second row and Callum Smith was also handed his first-team debut at back row. Dave Kirkwood returned to the centre after illness.

McLaren opened the scoring from a penalty shot. After testing the away midfield with a couple of hard runs, Jack Burgoyne opened Bank’s account in sensational style.

The forwards won clean line-out ball on their own 10 metre line and Burgoyne took a short pop pass and blasted his way through the defence to score a magnificent 60 metre solo try full. Jack McCombe converted.

McLaren hit back with a silky try of their own when they fielded a long kick and their full back gathered his own chipped kicked then threw a pass out the back door to his centre, who finished well.

McLaren then started to give away a lot of penalties under some intense pressure. They lost their second row to a yellow card after repeat infringements and McCombe punished them with two finely struck penalties to make it 13-10 at half time.

The second half was full of incident and tension. McCombe struck another penalty goal to make the score 16-10 and Burgoyne was then yellow carded for a tackle.

McLaren’s scrum half then scored a cheeky try as he dummied and sniped around a breakdown to score from close range. The conversion would have taken them into a one point lead but from in front of the posts they inexplicably took a rushed drop goal and it was sliced by the post.

Bank then had two tries disallowed. The first was from Sloss as he made a barnstorming run down the right, he was tackled just short of the line and was judged to have made a double movement when scoring.

Liam Day then nearly finished off a slick handling move in the left corner when he just touched the corner flag while making a massive dive for the line but just touched the corner flag and therefore in touch.

Sloss then had a hand in The decisive score came as the forwards powered close to the line. Captain Ali Smart was in possession with Sloss adding some extra driving power to Smart’s run.

The win is Clydebank’s 6th from 8 games this year losing only to the division’s top 2 teams and puts them into 3rd place above Cumnock with a game in hand.

The club now face their annual tour to Durham but the following week is a daunting trip to face title challengers Annan.