ARDROSSAN Accies Minis and Micros hosted Cumnock RFC and Strathaven RFC in between bursts of cold November rain on Sunday.

With the national team shining in their momentous victory against Australia the day before, the young players were buzzing with excitement and desperate to emulate their heroes at Murrayfield.

However, in Cumnock they faced a formidable opposition: well organised, technically sound and inherently abrasive. That didn’t stop the Accies players from staying competitive, with the boys and girls in blue and black, throwing their bodies into tackles when necessary and using every bit of attacking nous to rack up their own scores.

Strathaven also proved to be a handful for the home team with their well-polished passing game and clever use of space. Nonetheless the Accies fought admirably from primary one to primary seven with some notable individual performances along the way.

P1/2 played two matches against the visitors. Despite the cold weather there were smiles all round as the youngsters got to grips with the damp ball and slippery footing. Both matches were drawn with plenty of tries flowing back and forth. Stars of the day were young Ruan Gossman and Lucas Thomson, with both boys revelling in the open spaces.

P3 enjoyed themselves on the heavy, muddy turf with some excellent attacking play. The youngsters quickly grasped the concept of running on to their passes at pace which startled the defence and allowed several tries to come in.

Their own defence was slightly porous on the day, unfortunately leaking more than their opposition so that after half an hour the game went to Cumnock. The two stars of the day were the speedy Aaron Campbell and the fast-stepping Ethan Sweenie.

The P4s faced their first game of contact rugby played in wintry, Scottish mud. This proved to be their undoing against a dominant Cumnock side who seemed more comfortable in the conditions. Missed tackles and handling errors were the core problems. However, there were some great individual displays of brave tackling and powerful running from star man Harry Dixon. His fellow star Logan Murray was also up for the challenge and duly picked up the same accolade.

P5 recuits struggled to cope with the precise and aggressive rucking skills of Cumnock.

The cold conditions also sapped the strength out of their tackling at times meaning that a win was unlikely to come . Despite the result there were some stellar performances, firstly from Keirit Sohal – who battled for every ruck ball and picked off a few well-earned tries. Logan O’Moore was something of a general in the Accies ranks with his tackling, hard running, communication and leadership; once again the youngster played brilliantly. For the match against Strathaven the P4 and P5 squads merged and brought a much better challenge to their guests.

With rucking improved and passing slicker, the Accies ran in scores through stars Calum Monaghan and Finlay Brotherston. Ultimately the game was lost by a couple of tries, but coaches Euan Thomson was delighted with the effort of his young charges.

P6 took far too long to wake up and engage in the game, allowing Cumnock to score five unanswered tries before realising that they too knew where the try line was.

With the second half going the way of the Accies thanks to the Herculean performance from Ronnie Robertson the youngsters must have looked back in frustration on their slow start, ultimately losing the game by three tries. Their second match against a very slick Strathaven P7/6 also ended in defeat but not without a great effort from newest recruit Logan Cast who threw everything into his chop tackling.

The P7 aces played two successive matches against Cumnock and suffered a similar fate to their younger team-mates. But that’s not to say they capitulated – tough tackling and commitment to the rough and tough rucks from the likes of stars Daniel Christie and Dean Andrews proved the Accies were not prepared to give in easily. Both boys delighted their coach with their standout displays of courage and physicality.