Stirling University 19, Carnoustie HSFP 10.
Carnoustie travelled to Bridge of Allan to meet Stirling University in a Midlands Bowl semi-final, having won a league game at the same venue by a point.
The weather was dry, but overcast and the pitch, although soft, did not tear up.
Stirling got the game under way with a finely judged kick falling on the 10 metre line. Carnoustie waited for the ball, but a Uni forward jumped up and gathered, drove in and set up the ball.
This was played wide, causing FPs to concede a penalty, but the kick was wide. The Carnoustie drop out was not well placed, allowing Stirling to gather and run the ball with the visitors guilty of a high tackle.
The penalty this time was converted. Carnoustie restarted, with kicks exchanged, before FPs attempted to clear their lines with a kick, but it was charged down and, in a race to ground the ball, the attacking player was obstructed and a penalty try awarded with the conversion added.
From the restart Stirling came on the attack, but Carnoustie regained the ball and again attempted to run it clear, but this time dropped it. The visitors conceded a penalty at the scrum and again at the subsequent line out, resulting in a further three points for Stirling.
Kicks were exchanged from the restart allowing Carnoustie to gain an attacking position. They pressured their opponents, but continued to make basic errors, allowing Stirling to clear to midfield.
Carnoustie continued to probe the defence and eventually Craig Dawson drove forward with the ball, recycled and popped it out to MICHAEL DOWNIE, who was pushed over and grounded the ball, but with no conversion.
Half-time: Stirling University 13, Carnoustie HSFP 5.
Carnoustie started the second half by putting the ball out on the full. Stirling won the scrum, but then lost the ball which was gathered by FPs and taken forward. With an attacking position established, they set up a series of drives, from a scrum, which culminated in ANTHONY FRANCO touching down, but again the conversion missed.
The visitors fielded the restart and drove, gaining a penalty and from the line-out the ball was driven, recycled and sent wide, stopped and driven again, before going through the hands with Craig Addison appearing to have broken the defensive line, only to be pulled back for a forward pass.
Carnoustie heads appeared to drop and Stirling pressed forward, gaining and converting a penalty.
From the restart Stirling gained a further penalty which was also converted. FPs continued to press forward, but could not break down a stuffy defence which stood firm and, on occasions, did threaten the visitor line before the referee blew for fulltime.
Team - R. Coates, J. Donnachie, G. Johns, C. Addison, M. Downie, L. Chalmers, D. Findlay, A. Schweizer, F. Simpson, C. Dawson, O. Schweizer, O. Hughes, A. Franco, I.Reid, D. Van Neikerk, D. Campbell, N. Bowles, E. Fraser, K. Franco, M. McQueen and S. Millar.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie are away to league leaders Alloa with a 2 p.m. kick-off.
Carnoustie Rugby Club will again host the 2015 New Year Dook. All dookers are asked to download the consent form from Carnoustie HSFP RFC web site. There will be more news on The Dook nearer the day.
Other results – Howe of Fife 2nd XV 77, Blairgowrie RFC 20.