LOMOND and Helensburgh’s second XV ran in 11 tries to end their home league programme with a 100 per cent record on Saturday.

Eight different players crossed the line in the 67-5 win over L&H’s Cartha Queens Park counterparts on a weekend that underlined the growing strength in depth on the Helensburgh rugby scene, with the L&H first XV and U18 sides also winning on Saturday and their U16 and U15 counterparts following suit on Sunday.

The strength and size of the 2nd XV squad meant L&H were able to loan their visitors two players after members of the Cartha squad got stuck in traffic on the way to the game – and by the time the delayed visitors arrived at the ground, their team were already behind, with L&H shipping the ball out to T-Jay Lambert straight from the kick-off for the winger to score in the corner.

And more was to come from the restart, with the home forwards taking the ball into the Cartha half and passing the ball through the backs from a maul to Thomas Shaw, who sidestepped his way through to score under the posts.

Michael ‘Raquel’ Welch’s conversion opened up a 12-0 lead with just six minutes on the clock, but the visitors upped their game and kept out L&H until just short of the half-hour mark when Thomas beat several Cartha players before passing to Lambert to score in the corner.

That third try came moments after an enforced substitution in the home ranks when flanker Scott Gates took a knock to the head and had to be replaced by Jack McHenry – but the change didn’t interrupt the hosts’ rhythm, and Welch was next to add his name to the list of try scorers just four minutes after Lambert’s score, handing off two Cartha players to cross the line.

From the restart, forwards Darcey Bourton and Charles Takel took the ball straight back into the Cartha half, and from a ruck Anthony Burnside-Shonk saw space in the away defence to sprint in under the posts from outside the 22 for try number five, with Welch’s conversion leaving L&H 31-0 up at half time.

Cartha, though, were determined not to go down without a fight, and at the start of the second half the visitors didn’t look like a team who were losing by 31 points – but the L&H players showed they’re as good in defence as they are in attack, resisting everything the away side could throw at them.

And on 55 minutes L&H showed they hadn’t lost their clinical attacking edge when Welch waltzed through the Cartha defence to score in the left-hand corner.

Next up to score, in the same corner, was prop Craig Norrie – and from the restart Norrie made it two in a matter of moments, running in from the 22-metre line to score under the posts, with Welch converting to open up the lead to 48 points.

Burnside-Shonk added his own second and the home side’s ninth of the afternoon as the game entered the final quarter, with Takel taking over kicking duties to add the extras.

The depth of the home squad allowed them to loan Ben Wain and Martin Argyelan, both of whom had just made way for replacements in the home ranks, to Cartha after two of the visitors’ players were forced off injured, but the ‘stand-ins’ were unable to stem the tide, with Stuart Carruthers next on the list of the hosts’ try-scorers, Welch converting the number eight’s try under the posts.

A brief loss of concentration allowed Cartha to chalk up a consolation score in the right corner, but it was fitting that L&H had the last word, with Edward Cosgrove touching down between the sticks to round off an excellent afternoon’s work for the squad.

Welch’s two tries and four conversions played a large part in earning him the man of the match award, though one of the most encouraging signs for manager Ian MacQuire was the first appearances for the team for no fewer than seven players – Norrie, Argyelan, Cosgrove, McHenry, Denis Chamberlain, Daniel Talbot and Ross Malcolm.

L&H’s second XV round out an impressive first league season since the team’s reformation with a trip to Clydebank to face the Glasgow Raptors on March 23.

Squad: Craig Norrie, Anthony Burnside-Shonk, Martin Jamieson, Colin Rettie, Darcy Bourton, Charles Takel (vice captain), Scott Gates, Stuart Carruthers, Michael Welch, Douglas King (captain), T-Jay Lambert, Stuart King, Thomas Shaw, Martin Argyelan, Ben Wain, Edward Cosgrove, Denis Chamberlain, Jack McHenry, Joshua Foster, Mickael Paris, Daniel Talbot, Ross Malcolm.

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The smiles were equally large, meanwhile, on the faces of the L&H first XV, who dug deep while showing plenty of impressive rugby skills to see off Carrick 36-31 in West Division 2.

The visitors could have gone top of the table with a win, but on a thrilling afternoon at Ardencaple that featured nine tries, the home team upset the odds, chalking up three scores in the first half and adding two more in the second to secure a memorable victory – with the try that clinched the victory, on 74 minutes, coming from a stunning solo run inside the hosts’ 22 of which Duhan van der Merwe would have been proud.

Elsewhere on Saturday, L&H’s under-18s defeated Marr College 35-33 in Troon in an exciting West Youth Plate clash, while there were two more wins to enjoy at Ardencaple on Sunday, with the under-16s comfortably seeing off their Marr counterparts 67-5 in the U15 West Youth Plate, and the under-15s enjoying a 55-7 victory at home to Wigtownshire.

The focus at Ardencaple this weekend is on the L&H youth teams, with the U18 squad hosting Whitecraigs on Saturday, March 9 in the West Youth Plate semi-final and the U15s welcoming their GHK counterparts to town on Sunday.

For more on what's happening at the club see facebook.com/helensburghrugby or helensburghrugby.co.uk.