Birkmyre 62 – 15 Shawlands
Saturday 22nd March 2024 KO 3.00pm
West Region League Division 3

Birkmyre kept their title hopes on track with a convincing 62-15 victory over Shawlands at the weekend.

The Kilmacolm side ran in 9 tries from 8 different scorers as they closed the gap at the top of the league.

The match nearly did not go ahead due to the heavy rain that fell during the week. However, a last minute change of venue to the all-weather surface at Clydebank Rugby Club, allowed the game to proceed.

Despite the victory, it was the visitors who took the lead. From a well worked line out, their forwards broke away for a score in the corner after just five minutes. Birkmyre responded quickly. From open play, Stand-off David Cruickshank, chipped the defensive line at the halfway mark. He ran on to collect his kick and then popped a pass to Ali Peacock, who ran in from 40m out to score under the post. Cruickshank converted.

Next to score was Michael McGeoch. Running powerfully at 13, he weaved his way through the defence on 10 minutes for another score close to the posts. Cruickshank added the conversion and then 5 minutes later, he slotted over a penalty to take the score to 17-5.

From then on, there was no looking back. Captain Ross Moglia and Full Back, Paul Carruth both scored excellent tries in the first half and McGeoch also scored his second with an equally impressive run leaving the home side leading by 33 points at the half, and a bonus point secured.

Shawlands were first on the board in the second half with another score near the corner flag. However, just as in the first half, Birkmyre replied almost immediately when Ross McDonnell touched down. McGeoch broke a few tackles as he closed in on the try line and popped a pass to McDonnell. He was tackled high on the line but manged to get the ball down for the score.

Robbie Espie was next up on 58 minutes. Shawlands had won a scrum on their own 5m line. The ball however, slipped out the back and Espie was quick to capitalise on the error to score from short distance.

Quinn Murphy extended the lead on 62 minutes with a characteristically powerful run from 30m out and then the Birkmyre scoring was complete two minutes later. This time an aggressive run from Peacock saw him finally tacked 10m out. He slipped a passed to Jamie Haran who was running in support. Haran was himself tackled a couple of metres short of the line but had the strength to scramble over the line.

Shawlands scored a consolation try in the final 10 minutes but not before being reduced to 14 men, with one of their Centres seeing red for an off the ball incident.

As a result of the win, Birkmyre remain in contention for the league title. They do however need to win all remaining 5 matches and pick up some bonus points along the way, assuming the teams above them do not slip up.

Scorers:- Tries – M McGeoch (2), R Moglia, R Espie, J Haran, P Carruth, R McDonnell, Q Murphy, A Peacock. Penalties – D Cruickshank. Conversions – D Cruickshank (7)

By Stuart Cruickshank

Stuart Cruickshank is a member of Birkmyre RFC and writes and shares match reports for his club.

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