Defeat in annual friendly clash

Carnoustie 8, Cumnock 24

Carnoustie entertained Cumnock in their annual friendly on a well grassed pitch at the weekend.

With several changes in players from last season and a new young coach it was expected that the team would take time to settle.

The home side kicked off and took the initiative by gathering the kick and immediately drawing a penalty which NIALL SWANSON converted. From the restart Carnoustie fielded and ran the ball upfield, but when stopped, conceded a penalty.

Cumnock found touch and drove from the line-out, but the FPs’ defence was solid and the ball carrier was stopped over the line with the home side wrestling the ball away and touching down. A quick 22 was taken and a good touch found. Carnoustie broke well from the line-out putting the ball through the hands and making good yards, but they knocked on, stopping the move.

Cumnock made an excellent break, but full-back Dean Nicholson was equal to the task with a superb low tackle. Cumnock returned immediately to pound the home line, but a well organised, solid defence won the day.

From a line-out Cumnock failed to gather a loose ball and were forced to carry over and from the five-metre scrum the home side picked up, drove and recycled until NIALL SWANSON found space to squeeze over the line, but he failed to convert.

Cumnock restarted and Carnoustie conceded a penalty. The visitors found touch, took the line-out ball and drove effortlessly to the line and touched down, with the conversion added which brought the half to an end.

Half-time: Carnoustie 8, Cumnock 7.

Cumnock restarted with Carnoustie knocking on the kick, but the visitors gathered the ball and the referee played advantage allowing them to drive up the wing and touchdown, but with no conversion. The homesters restarted and recovered the ball which was chipped ahead, but a defender cleared to touch.

Cumnock, with much more ball, kept the home side pinned back without seriously threatening the line. Carnoustie ran the ball back strongly and looked to have scored, but were pulled back for a forward pass. The visitors returned to the attack with the winger running strongly, but being forced into touch, a metre short of the line.

FPs scrambled the ball clear, but failed to find touch and were penalised for playing the ball from an offside position. Cumnock found touch and took the line-out before driving solidly to touchdown, but without the conversion. They then knocked on the restart with Carnoustie playing advantage to play the ball wide and then setting up a strong drive before losing the ball.

The Ayrshire men replied in like fashion, but unlike the homesters finished off their good work with a converted try which brought the game to an end. Although beaten this was a good display by Carnoustie, but they must protect the ball better and most importantly finish off their moves more positively.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Carnoustie’s 1st XV are away to Glenrothes in the first round of the Midlands Bowl.