LOMOND Helensburgh’s youth rugby sides enjoyed mixed fortunes recently.

The under-18s travelled to Edinburgh for a midweek clash against Dalkeith under-18s, enjoying a comprehensive 55-7 victory in the quarter-final of the Scottish Schools National Bowl.

The under-18s were keen to put the defeats of the last two games behind them and started the match with a bang.

A determined, go-forward attitude allowed the lads to run in five tries from Lambert (2), Rae and Clark. Devenny successfully kicked two conversations.

A mix-up from a restart allowed Dalkeith to grab their only try of the tie; the conversion was good.

In the second half the coaches emphasised the need to keep doing the basics right. The under-18s heeded this advice and ran in another five tries, Clark (2), Lambert (2) and Deighan.

Devenny was successful with three conversations en route to a fine win.

This Saturday, November 26, the under-18s travel to Edinburgh to take on Preston Lodge Under-18s in the semi-final.

Preston Lodge beat Lenzie 45 – 0 in their quarter final. It should make for an exciting match as Lomond Helensburgh beat Lenzie 50 – 0 earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, the under-16s made the short trip over to St Columba in the quarter-final of the National School Cup Competition. Having recently faced St Columba in the conference this was billed to be a real showcase event.

A new look and much changed, beefed up St Columba team was at home to Lomond Helensburgh, who once again called on the 15s to bolster the squad size.

It was not a day for expansive running rugby, nor were the conditions conducive to open play; very muddy underfoot and lashing rain saw an error strewn game.

The opening half saw Lomond Helensburgh concede 40 penalties, a yellow card and a red card. It saw St Columba finish the half 30 points to the good.

The second half continued in the same vein, with the referee consistently penalising Lomond Helensburgh in open play and allowing St Columba to turn the screw and run away to victory without conceding.The scoring was not a reflection of the match. Thank you to 15s who stepped up to play, it was greatly appreciated.

The squad gave everything they had on that pitch and left nothing in reserve, as was evident from the aching bodies and limbs on the coach trip home.

Coach Ian Smith spoke of his pride at the squad and added: “Difficult conditions, baffling decisions and a lack of ball possession – you never gave up. The maturity, togetherness and team spirit are to be highly commended.”