Carnoustie 23, Panmure 20
CARNOUSTIE entertained near neighbours Panmure on league duty for the first time in several seasons.
Only three points separated the sides and on a wet pitch and in poor overhead conditions a close game was anticipated.
The visitors kicked off with FPs fielding, but kicking out on the full. Panmure won the line-out in the 22 and drove, forcing Carnoustie to concede a penalty.
The Forthill outfit won the penalty and found a gap in the defence to touch down, but the conversion was missed.
The homesters restarted and knocked the catcher back to gain a penalty, but again the posts were missed. The drop-out was fielded by FPs and run wide, but the ball was turned over, although Panmure failed to take advantage by losing the ball.
Carnoustie drove from the scrum before kicking, but the visitors dropped the ball. FPs went wide from the scrum, drawing a penalty, but again failed to find the posts. They then fielded the drop out and drove before winning a scrum and kicking into space, causing a retreating defender to drop the ball, allowing the quick follow up by CHRIS RANKIN to plunder the ball and touch down with the conversion added.
Panmure knocked on the restart allowing the homesters to kick from the scrum and force a penalty which was converted.
Weather conditions were now poor and mistakes abundant, but the strength of the home scrum was keeping them on the front foot, although this was to change with an injury to a Panmure prop resulting in non-contested scrums.
This allowed the visitors to gain more of the ball and establish better field position, enabling them to pin back the home side and ultimately drive over the line to touch down and even up the scoreline. From the restart, Carnoustie gained a foothold in visiting territory and from a penalty gained the lead before the half was brought to an end.
Half time: Carnoustie 13, Panmure 10.
As the second half started, with Carnoustie kicking off, rain was falling steadily and mistakes by both sides meant that play was mainly in midfield, with neither side gaining any real supremacy.
The visitors suffered a blow when their stand-off left the field injured, but they continued to have better field position. On the occasions when FPs attacked they failed to put in any sustained pressure. And the score, when it came, was from a penalty by Panmure which tied up the scoreline. The visitors from Forthill then picked up a free ball from a scrum, went wide and drove, before recycling and running the ball to cross at the posts with the conversion added.
Carnoustie seemed to gain momentum from this setback and they drove the ball with venom, gaining a scrum five metres out. With the ball from the scrum secure, OWEN HUGHES picked up and ran at the centres who were too far apart and, with the back row nowhere to be seen, he dived over to touch down with the conversion added.
The home players fielded a drop out and ran the ball back, but lost control and knocked on. From the scrum the Panmure kicker, in trying for length, kicked down the throat of winger Jason Donnachie who ran the ball back before being cut down by a swinging arm, thereby gaining FPs a penalty, which was put between the posts.
With less than a minute to go Carnoustie played out time.
Team: Thoms, Shepherd, Cook, Burwood, Donnachie, Swanson, C. Rankin, Hall, Murray, Dawson, Fraser, Millar, Franco, Christie, Hughes, D. Rankin, Finn, Paxton, Downie, Findlay and Jeffrey.
Carnoustie are at home to Harris tomorrow (Saturday) with a 3 p.m. kick-off.
RBS Caledonia Regional League
Division Two Midlands
P W D L B Pts
Harris Academy FPRFC 7 6 0 1 5 29
Glenrothes 6 6 0 0 4 28
Stirling University RFC 7 5 0 2 5 25
Grangemouth Stags RFC 6 4 0 2 4 20
Alloa 7 3 0 4 3 15
Madras Rugby 7 3 0 4 2 14
Carnoustie HSFP 6 2 0 4 3 11
Panmure 7 2 0 5 3 11
Kinross 7 1 0 6 2 6
Fife Southern 6 1 0 5 1 5