HELENSBURGH’S quest for safety in West Regional Division 2 suffered a blow on Saturday after a combination of poor ball retention at the lineouts and off-kilter goal kicking enabled Uddingston to secure a 15-5 win in Lanarkshire.

Having scored seven tries in a 41-5 win over the same opponents at Ardencaple in their previous fixture three weeks earlier, Burgh were hoping for a repeat performance in the return fixture – and in excellent conditions, the Grizzlies put their hosts under pressure straight from the kick-off, as full-back Nick Fish returned a clearance from Uddingston with a penetrating run through the defence, teaming up with winger Reece Court only to be stopped 10 metres from the hosts’ try line by a high tackle.

The attempted penalty kick was missed by scrum half Paul Howell and Uddingston returned a deep kick into Burgh’s 22, from where a silly offside gave Uddingston a five-metre lineout and from the resulting maul, their number eight drove over the line for an unconverted try after 12 minutes.

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On 26 minutes another lost lineout on Uddingston’s 22 saw the home side break through the Helensburgh backs; the hosts’ winger was stopped on the line by Fish, but the resulting ruck saw Uddingston shift the ball wide again to score in the corner.

But much better was to come for the visitors as second row David Calderwood won good ball fro ma lineout and set up Fish to break the defence and feed a slick ball out to centre Mark Robertson, who broke two tackles to score in the corner.

A difficult conversion was missed, leaving the hosts 10-5 in front at half-time but Burgh still very much in with a shout.

However, it was Uddingston who started the second half stronger, their constant pressure opening holes in the strong Helensburgh defence, with only crunching tackles by flanker Craig Calderwood and centre Callum O’Brien keeping the home side out.

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But another lost Helensburgh lineout, this time on their own 22, allowed Uddingston to put some distance between themselves and their visitors, passing out wide for their winger to battle over in the corner.

On 71 minutes, the home side created another break from turnover ball, and looked certain to add to their advantage, only for winger Court to show tremendous defence to prevent a bonus-point try for Uddingston.

However, the Burgh winger suffered a blow to the head in the process, and after a lengthy stoppage for treatment, the referee made the correct decision to blow for full time; with nine minutes of the match still to play, the competition’s rules means the result stands.

Helensburgh return to home soil this Saturday and their penultimate league match at Ardencaple this season. Cumbernauld are the visitors, and the match kicks off at 3pm.