Heartache as Cam­bus let slip chance of ti­tle

Cap­tain Jones says loss feels worse than rel­e­ga­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Rugby - Mur­ray Spooner

Cam­bus­lang coach Jamie Seery be­lieves the league ti­tle was re­ally lost in key matches through­out the cam­paign rather than in Satur­day’s de­feat to Ste­wartry.

The Coats Park side failed to win just three out of 15 games this sea­son but two came at a price af­ter two losses to ti­tle-snatch­ers Ste­wartry.

Seery said:“If you look at stages in the sea­son you can see what has fal­tered us. We shouldn’t have lost at Ste­wartry and not gone to Cly­de­bank and lost. We gave our­selves too much of a moun­tain to climb even though we pulled points back.

“And we should have won on Satur­day. Out of the two teams we were the bet­ter.

“But at the start of the year, we were strug­gling for num­bers and weren’t sure if we would get a team to­gether so to get within one game from win­ning the league was great. You need to take the pos­i­tives.”

He added:“We need to say well done to Ste­wartry. It was a very much de­served win for them af­ter miss­ing out with one point last year.

“We didn’t play to the game plan but the play­ers left ev­ery­thing on the park. We’ve come a long way in a short pe­riod which is what we will move for­ward with.

“We feel we are build­ing some­thing here and this is just the start of the jour­ney.”

Greenock RFC are the likely team from the West re­gion to be rel­e­gated from the Na­tional

Cam­bus­lang Rugby Club cap­tain Gre­gor Jones says Satur­day’s loss in their league de­cider felt worse than be­ing rel­e­gated last sea­son.

The Coats Park skip­per, who has played with the first team for 10 years, re­vealed how gut­ted the team were to miss out on win­ning the league and pro­mo­tion with one game left to play.

The Cam­bus’ 23-17 de­feat to ri­vals Ste­wartry was their first loss at home this sea­son and their third over­all in the BT West Divi­sion 2.

But Jones told the Re­former the feel­ing of be­ing de­moted from the divi­sion above last sea­son was not nearly as bad as the week­end’s heartache.

“They were ob­vi­ously two dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions but Satur­day prob­a­bly felt worse than when we got rel­e­gated”, the 26-year-old said.

“We were play­ing in a higher league so it wasn’t so much of a sur­prise when we fi­nally went down.

“Satur­day felt worse be­cause we all be­lieved pro­mo­tion was pos­si­ble.

“We were well aware that Ste­wartry were a very good side and it’s been pretty much us and them for the whole sea­son at the top of the league.”

Com­ment­ing on the match it­self, he added: “In the first half we played well and stuck to our game plan and scored a cou­ple of tries.

“They didn’t stick to their plan as Divi­sion 3, so only the league win­ner is guar­an­teed pro­mo­tion from the BT West Divi­sion 2.

Cam­bus­lang will play away to Mill­brae on Satur­day and must gain max­i­mum points in the hope Ste­wartry, who are one point ahead, drop points to bot­tom of the pile Cum­ber­nauld on Fe­bru­ary 18. much as they’d prob­a­bly have liked and made a cou­ple of mis­takes which we man­aged to cap­i­talise on.

“But, credit to them, they came out in the sec­ond half fir­ing and took the game to us. We didn’t han­dle the pres­sure as well as we should have done. We didn’t stick to what we had been work­ing on and in­stead we ran around like head­less chick­ens and didn’t stick to our game plan.”

Jones, who lives in East Kil­bride, has been in­volved with Cam­bus­lang RFC since he was eight years old and has been part of tur­bu­lent sea­sons in the past.

But this cam­paign proved to be an en­thralling ex­pe­ri­ence which he never would have be­lieved pos­si­ble with­out the hir­ing of coach Jamie Seery.

He said: “Pro­mo­tion and win­ning the league wasn’t the aim at the start but as the sea­son went on it be­came the goal.

“At the tail end of last sea­son we didn’t have a coach and not a lot of play­ers.

“We prob­a­bly could have scraped a 15 to­gether to put out on the park but that would have been it.

“Then Jamie came in and brought in some new faces. A lot of them couldn’t play in the first few games so they didn’t have a lot of time to gel.

“An­other pos­i­tive is that all the team is go­ing to stay to­gether and I be­lieve we have the squad to push for pro­mo­tion and the ti­tle next sea­son.

“We’ll have a full pre-sea­son this time around to gel and I think we are more than ca­pa­ble of mount­ing a chal­lenge.”

Satur­day’s de­feat prob­a­bly felt worse than when we got rel­e­gated last sea­son

No way through A Cam­bus­lang man is met by a wall of Ste­wartry play­ers

Cap­tain’s word Gre­gor Jones skips away from his man

Scrap Har­land is held by a swarm of op­po­si­tion play­ers

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