LOMOND and Helensburgh’s under-16 side overcame the odds at the weekend as a scratch team, missing several players, enjoyed a 28-12 victory away to Balfron Strathendrick.

A score against the run of play saw the away side fall behind to an unconverted try, but the boys hit back almost immediately with Tom McClearn sprinting through to score and Rhuairidh adding the two points.

Some huge driving tackles from Harris Maclean kept the score tight, but numbers told and Balfron crossed for a second try.

The resulting restart saw Balfron run the ball straight into the heart of the Lomond Helensburgh forwards and purposeful rucking by Ethan and Mace saw Lomond Helensburgh turn the ball over to release Luke Noble from the halfway line, breaking two tackles he strode home to cross the line. It was 12-12 half-time and probably a fair scoreline.

The second half saw Balfron ring the changes; Lomond Helensburgh had already lost Lee Matthew and Tom McVeigh, both to wrist injuries from the battle.

The catalyst of losing both players gelled the team, Solomon and Ben had so much room to run free and challenge the Balfron backline that the pressure caused mistakes and field position for Lomond Helensburgh. Alex Brown seized the field position and used his speed to cross for two scores. Further solid tackling by Gethin saw him strip the ball in the tackle on many occasions. Kyle, on his return from injury against Dalziel some six weeks ago demonstrated that size is no barrier and targeted their bigger stronger runners. The final score went to Rhuairidh who converted his own try to finish 28-12.

Coach Ian was very pleased with the performance: “We won the ball in rucks we ought not to have, we turned over tackles and drove hard gaining five or six metres in the tackles. The squad read the game well and used field position to their advantage. It is fitness and team spirit that brought this team its success. Best wishes and speedy recovery to Lee and Tom.”

Helensburgh Advertiser: The 13/14s and under-16s sides were in actionThe 13/14s and under-16s sides were in action (Image: Helensburgh Rugby Club)

Meanwhile, the under 13/14 squad came out on top after a 49-33 win away to Lenzie.

The two teams were well matched with end-to-end play with Archie B going over for two tries in the first half after some strong rucking and tackling from William and Ryan.

Some solid defence from Archie N and Fraser allowed the boys to turn over the ball and allowed Struan in for two more tries and all converted by Archie.

A very strong performance from a new front row of Alex, Cai and Archie N combined to hold a strong Lenzie pack. A ferocious performance from flankers Ruaridh C and Stephen kept the scum half on his toes and under pressure. They went in at half time level at 28 each.

The second half featured some clever play from Ben, who always looks like he’s about to pass, but threw a dummy pass and touched down himself under the posts. Soon after this Rory Branch caught an interception and ran the length of the pitch being chased but never caught.

Some strong runs from Finn, Ruaridh S, Harry and Lewis kept momentum with our boys.

Great defensive performances from Cai, Ruaridh, Struan, Ben and Ryan kept Lomond Helensburgh in the game as they took the lead 42-33. Unfortunately,

Stephen took a bad tackle on his run to the corner before Archie collected the ball for his hat trick, giving Lomond Helensburgh a 49-33 win.

Best wishes to Stephen after his injury.

The return game next week will see Lenzie looking for revenge but I’m sure our boys will be up for the challenge.

Youth convenor Ian is pleased with the growth of this squad, it is no secret that the 14s almost folded post Christmas with very few players and no coach, the squad should immensely proud of what they have achieved in ten weeks, they are a dominant team that have many successful years ahead of them.