AFTER 10 consecutive weeks without a game Carnoustie travelled to visit Arbroath who have been in a similar position. Conditions were not great, with heavy rain falling on a saturated pitch.
FPs got the game under way, with Arbroath fielding but almost immediately the ball went to ground.
This set the pattern for early play, with dropped balls and negative play at the rucks leading to penalty opportunities. The first fell to Chris Rankin to open the scoring.
The home side had much more of the ball and better field position which gave them the opportunity to equalise which they took.
Carnoustie improved their kicking game to give themselves better field position and, as confidence grew, they started to run the ball without threatening the goal line, but forcing the defence into errors which enabled Chris Rankin to convert two penalties before the half time whistle.
Arbroath got the second half going with FPs fielding and pressing forward, allowing Chris Rankin to convert a further penalty.
Carnoustie began to gain supremacy in the set piece, giving them the opportunity to set up attacking position, but a failure to control the ruck allowed the homesters to turn over ball and on occasion press forward and ultimately be rewarded with a penalty which they converted.
Carnoustie forwards had a monopoly of possession with back rower Ally Macdonald and Johnny Christie leading from the front.
This enabled the visitors to monopolise the ball and repeatedly get to within five yards of the line, but failure in the ruck time and again gave Arbroath a relieving penalty for hands in the ruck or failure to release the ball.
Stalemate seemed to have been reached with Carnoustie pinching line out ball and returning to attack.
It was in the final minutes before the scorer was again troubled, with Chris Rankin missing the first and converting the second.
With only a minute left the home side restarted the game,
Carnoustie fielded but delayed the clearing kick which was ultimately charged down allowing Arbroath to kick on the ball and win the race for the touchdown.
The conversion was successful and the referee blew for time.
There was some excellent running and driving undertaken After the long lay-off and taking into account the poor conditions, this was a good display by both teams.
Carnoustie: Pattullo, Bowles, Allen, Rankin, Nicholson, Langlands, Jeffrey, Hall, Murray, Dissel, J. Christie, Morrison, Esposito, Macdonald, Millar, P. Christie, Stewart and Murray.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie are at home to Kinross with a 2 p.m. kick-off.
Scottish Hydro Caledonia
League Two (Midlands)
P W L D F A BP Pts
Madras 9 9 0 0 399 100 7 43
Alloa 10 6 4 0 289 168 5 29
Fife S 8 5 3 0 244 82 7 27
Carnoustie 9 6 3 0 160 179 2 26
Kinross 9 4 5 0 150 230 3 19
Blairgowrie 8 3 5 0 197 169 5 17
Arbroath 9 1 8 0 89 332 3 7
Crieff 8 1 7 0 47 315 0 4