FPs fight hard but Glens too strong

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Glenrothes 32, Carnoustie 8

CARNOUSTIE travelled to Glenrothes on league business on Saturday for the first time in many years as the hosts had been playing in considerably higher leagues.

Late call-offs and injuries played havoc, with seven of the previous week’s squad unable to play.

FPs kicked off with kicks being the means of attack for both sides, but Carnoustie gained the initiative when Glenrothes spilled the ball and Chris Rankin hacked the ball into the home side’s 22. The follow-up was fast and Carnoustie put the ball through hands with Owen Hughes breaking a tackle and releasing to winger JASON DONNACHIE to touch down, but with the conversion missed.

The restart by the homesters was short and from the scrum FPs were caught in possession, but the tackler conceded a penalty. Touch was found, but the throw-in wasn’t straight and kicks were exchanged before Glenrothes ran the ball, but the move came to nothing with a forward pass.

Carnoustie then ran the ball, but conceded a penalty when stopped then another for a high tackle. The pressure was intense and a scrum was lost against the head allowing the homesters to find space out wide to make the try, but again the conversion was missed.

Glenrothes kept up the pressure, but failed to make it count with sloppy passing and although under the cosh, the visitors stood firm until close to half time when eventually worn down. A tiring defence was slow off a scrum giving the hosts space to drive through for another unconverted try.

Carnoustie restarted with the home side knocking on, but they were then penalised at the scrum. Glenrothes found touch and established field position and with the visitors unable to get clear of their twenty-two, The homesters set up a strong drive to cross, but again with no conversion. Glenrothes fielded the restart and then conceded a penalty which CHRIS RANKIN converted and the referee brought the half to a close.

Half-time: Glenrothes 15, Carnoustie HSFP 8.

Carnoustie restarted with sleet starting to fall making conditions poor and even more favourable for the much more physical home side. The game continued with the visitors under severe pressure and having difficulty clearing their twenty-two.

The Glenrothes’ backs continued to make mistakes, but ultimately the forwards took over, setting up an unstoppable driving move to touch down, again with no conversion.

It was some 30 minutes into the half before the visitors managed to get over the halfway line and Chris Rankin again hacked the ball through on the ground before gaining a penalty and finding a five metre touch. The line-out was won and a drive set up to within touching distance of the line, but the ball was turned over and Glenrothes drove upfield setting up a further drive to score another unconverted try.

Carnoustie were now out on their feet, but defended stoutly only to be breached in the last seconds of the game with a big forward breaking through to touch down at the post and with the only conversion of the day added. FPs can take a lot out of this game defending with guts and great spirit and showing great determination and team spirit.

Team: D. Nicholson, L. Sparkey, C. McNichol, C. Addison, J. Donnachie, A. Shepherd, C. Rankin, T. Hall, N. Bowles, A. Ringsell, R. Coates, S. Millar, I. Reid, K. Franco, O. Hughes, E. Fraser, M. Cowan and E. Downie.

Tomorow, Saturday, Carnoustie 1st XV are away to Panmure and Carnoustie 2nd XV are at home to Panmure 2nd XV with both games kicking-off at 3 p.m.

The Former Players and Friends of Carnoustie Rugby Pre-match Lunch is on March 23 which is the last home game of the season. Details are on the website or at the clubhouse.

A cheque for £200 was handed over to Carnoustie First Responders from the bucket collection at the New Year Dook.

RBS Caledonia Regional League Division Two Midlands

Placings

P W D L B Pts

Glenrothes 13 11 0 2 11 55

Grangemouth 13 11 0 2 10 54

Stirling Uni RFC 14 10 0 4 9 49

Harris Acad 13 10 0 3 8 48

Alloa 14 6 0 8 6 30

Madras Rugby 15 6 0 9 6 30

Panmure 12 4 0 8 5 21

Kinross 13 4 0 9 3 19

Carnoustie 14 3 0 11 5 13

Fife Southern 11 1 0 10 1 5