CARNOUSTIE visited Blairgowrie on league business on Saturday, hoping to avenge the defeat they experienced last season.
The pitch was firm and well grassed with no appreciable wind, and conditions overhead were dry.
Blairgowrie kicked off with Peter Christie fielding. Steven Esposito kicked upfield allowing the home defence time to field and return the kick. The follow-up was flat and Carnoustie were caught in possession and then penalised.
The penalty was tapped but the movement stopped before the home side won a scrum and drove, gaining a penalty to put the first points on the board.
Blairgowrie kicked from the line-out and the ball was charged down and recovered by the home team, but then kicked on.
Carnoustie, in good position, lost scrum ball but fast defence forced the homesters back over the line to touch down. FPs could not take advantage of the situation and kicked too long, allowing the home side to touch down.
A succession of penalties allowed the homesters to attack the line but courageous defence turned the ball over. Because of pressure from the home forwards Carnoustie could not clear their lines and were forced to touch down.
Blairgowrie failed to gain clean ball from the scrum and the visitors cleared. Kicks were exchanged before FPs were penalised with the Perthshire side again converting.
From the restart the homesters rucked the ball but Carnoustie turned it over, enabling Chris Rankin to drop goal. And from the next restart the home side ran the ball wide and when it went to the ground it was hacked along and then hacked again with Blairgowrie winning the race to the ball. Colin McNichol was unlucky not to have won the 22 drop-out decision for touching down. Blairgowrie were awarded a try with full points added.
From the restart FPs were again penalised. The home side found touch and won the line-out before kicking down the line with the visitors scrambling the ball to touch. The men from Perthshire again won line-out ball and gained a further penalty, found touch and then the line-out before driving but turning the ball over.
They then kicked long upfield but in the follow-up knocked on allowing the half to be brought to an end.
Carnoustie restarted with Blairgowrie clearing upfield and forcing FPs to run the ball to touch and with the hosts throwing in squint the visitors cleared well upfield. Blairgowrie ran the ball back and FPs again gave away a penalty which was missed.
From the drop-out Carnoustie fielded, only to turn the ball over but it was then knocked on. Colin Jeffrey broke strongly from the scrum only to be stopped a few yards short of the line. The ball was recycled and driven but lost.
FPs were much more in the game, running the ball wide but again forced to touch. Blairgowrie broke from the line-out but the ball carrier was cut down and from the scrum kicks were exchanged.
The homesters then drove before breaking and were stopped with a high tackle but the penalty was missed.
From the drop-out Carnoustie regained the ball which they ran before driving and then losing.
Blairgowrie drove the line-out ball but the visitors turned over and cleared. In the next attack FPs kicked long, only for the ball to roll over the goal line and be touched down.
From the drop-out FPs fielded and drove back but lost the ball, allowing the homesters to break down the wing and again, when stopped, gain a penalty from which they found touch.
The home side lost the ball from the line-out with Carnoustie winning the scrum for stand-off Chris Rankin to surge through the fringe defence to touch down and then add full points.
The restart was fielded and driven and then a penalty conceded but Blairgowrie missed the posts.
From the drop-out Carnoustie drove and then kicked, with Blairgowrie winning the line-out and driving and again gaining a penalty, but failing to find touch with FPs running the ball back bringing the game to an end.
Team: Pattullo, Allen, Beatty, McNichol, Nicholson, Rankin, Jeffrey, Addison, Paterson, Hall, Christie, Morrison, Esposito, Macdonald, Millar, Stewart, Murray and Low.
Next game is away to Kinross on March 19.
Scottish Hydro Caledonia League Two (Midlands)
P W L D F A BP Pts
Madras 12 12 0 0 589 146 10 58
Fife Southern 13 9 4 0 465 125 12 48
Alloa 12 8 4 0 329 182 6 38
Carn HSFP 12 7 5 0 188 267 3 31
Blairgowrie 11 5 6 0 259 201 7 27
Kinross 12 4 8 0 164 283 4 20
Crieff & Strath 11 1 10 0 66 525 0 4
*Arbroath 11 1 10 0 89 420 3 2
* five points deducted
Young players retain Strathmore Trophy
THE CARNOUSTIE Under-14 squad and supporters made the trip to Forfar with the hope of retaining the Strathmore Trophy they won superbly last year.
Carnoustie 12, Panmure 4
The first Panmure attack was stopped by some hard tackling and the rucking, so hard practices left a fast clean ball which allowed the backs to ship the ball wide to flying winger Chris Blackburn who scored in the corner. With the forwards delivering good ball from both scrum and line-out the backs were able to attack from Andrew Burgess’s quick service.
First Harry Lobban then Liam Rennie burst through the centre to leave Panmure chasing the game.
The final Carnoustie attack saw Rhys Finlay exploit the clean ball to ghost through the gaps in midfield to power over from the 22. Game over, or so Carnoustie thought.
With last play called by the referee Carnoustie went to sleep and allowed Panmure to chalk up a score with a well worked move.
Carnoustie 24, Montrose 0
Montrose were the opposition in game two and after watching their previous encounter it looked like a forward battle would be the order of the day. So it worked out. However the power of the Carnoustie pack was too much. Fergus Lyon made his intentions clear with a powerful run down the far touchline supported well by Callum Noble.
From the line-out Ross Strachan powered through the defence to score under the posts. With Montrose unable to get out of their own half and good quick ball available it was perfect conditions for the Carnoustie strike runners to have a field day, and they did. Captain Liam Rennie scored three tries with another try for Harry Lobban sandwiching a fine try for Kyle Howlett after some excellent rucking.
Andrew Ramsay converted all six.
The game was not as one-sided as the score suggests. Montrose were large and ran well, but tackle after tackle halted their progress and the turnover ball was used to good effect.
Carnoustie 23, Blairgowrie 0
With two victories under their belts it was clear that the Carnoustie boys were not going to allow Blair to block their route to retaining the trophy.
The tackling was ferocious but the use of the ball by Carnoustie was effective. With the forwards crashing on and more quick ball available Liam Rennie scored another three tries, Ross Strachan again smashed over and Rhys Finlay showed a great turn of pace to go over.
With time running out it was up to Dylan Tyrrell to cap off the performance with a great run and juggle to make it six tries for the second game. Andrew Ramsay converted five.
Carnoustie 14, Strathmore 4
So to the final game. Both teams were undefeated. Straight from Andrew Ramsay’s clever kick-off, first Ramsay then David Nail pushed down the wing before the power of Liam Rennie took over and the perfect start was realised.
The boys knew that giving space to Strathie’s Elliot Batt would be dangerous, and so it proved. One good piece of line-out work from Strathmore set him free and despite some attempted tackles he was able to score, with a conversion added.
For the first time in the tournament the Carnoustie boys were behind. After having a quiet game James Leslie made a decision to score under the posts and there was nothing Strathmore could do with four players carried over the line with him. Andrew continued his fine kicking performance with a conversion.
Both teams attacked well but there was just too much class all over the Carnoustie side. The backs were able to take ball through the gaps time after time to leave Liam able to score a further two tries and tie up the game and the tournament.
Andrew Ramsay converted two.
Under-14 squad: Andrew Burgess, Michael Murphy, Chris Duncan, Callum Noble, Rhys Finlay, Andrew Ramsay, Kyle Howlett, Liam Rennie, James Leslie, Shaun Siddall, Harry Lobban, Jordan Steele, Fergus Lyon, Ross Strachan, David Nail and Dylan Tyrrell.
All in all Carnoustie gave an excellent performance in each game.