CARNOUSTIE High School FPs lined up against Grangemouth for their first home fixture game of the season.
Saturday’s opponents played in a higher league last season and were something of an unknown quantity. The pitch was well grassed but the rain was pelting down at kick off.
The visitors kicked off and Carnoustie fielded cleanly only to knock on when the ball was passed out. The early play was all in the home half with FPs failing to clear the ball and paying same with Grangemouth gaining a penalty to open the score.
Carnoustie then had an attacking opportunity from two successive penalty kicks to gain a foothold in the 22, but they lost the line-out and were then penalised. The ball then went loose in midfield with the visitors reacting quicker to hack the ball down field and then secure it and recycle for the stand-off to cross, kick to the far wing, where the winger was unopposed to gather and touchdown with full points added.
From the restart Carnoustie set up two forward drives and gained a penalty which Gavin Dissel converted. FPs fielded the restart and found touch, Grangemouth won the line-out, sending the ball wide but with danger looming they threw a forward pass. The visitors continued to attack but Carnoustie retaliated with a series of drives before being stopped illegally. From the penalty the home side drove again but lost the ball.
Grangemouth kicked infield with the ball striking the base of the goal post enabling the defender to pick up and clear. FPs stole the line-out and Glen Feighan broke upfield but lacked support. Grangemouth then broke strongly before driving but good defence stopped both drives and forced the ball into touch.
Kicks were then exchanged but with the homesters under pressure a further kick was directed infield, the visitors fielded and ran the ball back strongly to cross and add full points.
The restart was fielded but a penalty conceded. From the line-out, and a subsequent scrum, Grangemouth crossed but failed to convert bringing the half to an end.
Carnoustie restarted with the most notable event in a scrappy period of play being two home strikes against the head in the scrum. The visitors then raised the stakes attacking down the left recycling and cross kicking, to the far wing where the winger was again in covered allowing him to gather and cross with full points added.
From the restart Grangemouth ran the ball back but were stopped wide out and forced to touch. Glen Feighan again broke from the line out but the ball was turned over and with good quick hands the visitors found space to again cross and add full points. The situation was compounded with the restart failing to clear the 10m line, but the away side knocked on from the scrum and from the subsequent scrum Carnoustie broke being stopped by a high tackle. The penalty found touch, but the line-out was lost with Grangemouth making ground upfield winning a scrum and the stand-off dropping a goal.
The restart was fielded by the visitors but went loose allowing Carnoustie to gather and chip ahead but too long allowing for a touchdown. The drop out was taken cleanly and a penalty gained but the kick was too long finding touch in goal. From the scrum at the point of kick Grangemouth ran the ball and with good hands and incisive passes tore the defence to shreds for another seven pointer.
The restart was again short but the scrum was won against the head and a clean break made before again being knocked on. Penalties were exchanged but whereas the FPs were slow to the break down and the ball carrier holding on Grangemouth with strong running broke the defensive line to again score and convert.
Again the restart failed to carry but the scrum was taken against the head with the ball carrier stopped with a high tackle which earned a yellow card. The penalty was tapped but again poorly supported and the ball carrier holding on allowing the official to blow for full time.
This was a disappointment to all concerned giving the coaches a lot to work on. If the lessons are learned they are well capable of bouncing back especially if players continue to train well and so not let their heads go down.
Team: Nicholson, Downie, Burwood, McNichol, Bowles, Shepherd, Coates, Addison, Murray, Hall, Dissel, Millar, Feighan, Macdonald, Jeffrey, Dawson and Reid.
Tomorrow (Saturday), FPs are away to Fife Southern with a 3 p.m. kick-off. The 2nd XV are away to Madras also with a 3 p.m. kick-off.
RBS Caledonia Regional League
Division Two (Midlands)
P W L D F A BP Pts
St Andrews Uni.y 2 2 0 0 68 36 2 10
Grangemouth 2 2 0 0 69 8 1 9
Madras 2 2 0 0 49 9 1 9
Harris Academy FP 2 2 0 0 52 39 1 9
Blairgowrie 2 1 1 0 31 29 1 5
Alloa 2 1 1 0 18 25 0 4
Stirling University 2 0 2 0 43 52 2 2
Fife Southern 2 0 2 0 10 52 1 1
Kinross 2 0 2 0 36 62 0 0
Carnoustie HSFP 2 0 2 0 18 82 0 0