Strathendrick RFC played Drumpellier away from home on Saturday losing 34-26.
After more than two months of inactivity, due to bad weather it was good for the squad to get back in action, albeit with a number of regular players missing.
The Fintry squad scored four excellent tries, but had some difficulty in dealing with WD’s well organised driving maul and the home side exploited their superiority in that area to score five tries.
Endrick had a slight territorial edge in the opening minutes but failed to turn that early advantage into points. The first score went to Waysiders after nine minutes when their pack in a well rehearsed move drove half the length of the pitch for the opening try which was converted.
That lead was short-lived and two minutes later Conor Gibson made a spectacular break from midfield and followed with a clever offload to Douglas Duff. The fly half stepped round a couple of defenders before heading for the try line and Sam Greenock kicked the conversion to level the scores.
Locked at 7-7, neither side could claim a clear advantage until half an hour had gone when WD won the ball inside their own half and the mauling machine got going. This time Endrick stopped them before any damage had been done but at the cost of a penalty.
The Monklands men found touch inside Endrick’s 22, won the line-out and drove over for their second try.
The match continued with each side cancelling out the other’s efforts until the last minute of the half when the home pack again got their act together and drove over for a third try.
That gave them a 17-7 lead at the break.
It took Endrick just two second half minutes to put a better aspect on the score. Tim Moore won possession in his own half and beat a couple of tackles to make an opening. He covered 40 metres before being overhauled by the home defence but his two half backs were with him in close support and he offloaded to Sam Greenock. He threw in a couple of fancy steps before bringing his partner into the action and Douglas Duff finished the move in brilliant fashion. Sam Greenock added the extras.
Endrick were now back in contention but things immediately went awry. The match had been fiercely contested from the start and when centre Jeremy Thomas was fractionally late in a tackle, the referee decided that enough was enough. Another day a penalty and a warning might have sufficed but this time the official opted for a firm line and sent Jez to the sin bin for ten minutes of quiet reflection.
Within a minute Endrick went further behind when the Monklands maul drove in their fourth try. Four minutes later they gave a repeat performance and with both converted WD were up 31-14 with half an hour left for play and their visitors still a man short for five minutes.
It could hardly get worse - but it did! Douglas Duff chose that moment to make an unsolicited comment and he was sent to join his colleague for a 10 minute rest.
Endrick’s 13 got their heads down and a spirited performance saw them with the better of the exchanges without cutting into the deficit. Midway through the half they brought on a replacement forward to allow Kyle Campbell to move from the unaccustomed role of wing forward to resume his normal position at full back. He showed his gratitude right away by coming into the line to finish off a sweet attacking move with a try in the corner.
Three minutes later a quickly taken throw in by Sam Greenock on halfway sent Douglas Duff off on a diagonal run that took him past the whole WD back division for Endrick’s fourth try. Sam Greenock’s kick moved the score on to 26-31.
Five points down and with quarter of an hour left for play, Endrick now had high hopes of a win but their chances of a breakthrough gradually became fewer. In the late stages their aim was to survive the home pressure to ensure a losers’ bonus point to add to their try bonus. They almost succeeded but in the fifth minute of stoppage time, WD won a penalty on Endrick’s 22 and the last kick of the match stretched the gap to eight points.
Endrick: Dave Beaumont; Doug Beaumont, J.Thomas, T.Moore, B.Anderson; D.Duff, S.Greenock; C.Gibson, G.Davies, M.O’Connell, S.Cuthbertson, M.Calderwood, A.Vickers, K.Campbell and J.Ogilvy, repl. S.Campbell, B.Holmes, A.McVean, G.Yuill (all used) and R.Bruce (not used).
On Saturday Endrick are at home to league leaders Cambuslang, the match kicking off at 3pm.