Great game, and victory to end the season

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Carnoustie HSFP 2nd XV 18,

Grangemouth 2nd XV 8

CARNOUSTIE 2nd XV welcomed Grangemouth in a return game, having lost the away fixture by a substantial margin.

The home side was bolstered by several youngsters taking part in their first senior game, and the team was much lighter and smaller than their opponents. The pitch was good as were conditions.

Grangemouth kicked off and found touch. Carnoustie won the line-out and drove, only to be penalised.

Both teams showed a willingness to run the ball, with FPs, in particular, making good ground only to mishandle out wide.

The visitors changed tactics and drove but conceded a penalty. Carnoustie failed to find touch but turned the ball over from the visitors’ drive. From a scrum the home side chipped ahead and regathered but went offside at the ruck. Grangemouth ran the penalty but were stopped by a high tackle and, from the subsequent penalty, took the lead.

The men from the banks of the Forth fielded the restart and kicked. FPs fielded and found touch, winning the line-out against the throw and running the ball, forcing the visitors to concede a penalty from which Tony Coffield evened the score.

The homesters fielded the restart but then knocked on, giving field position to the visitors and a subsequent penalty conceded in good position, but the kick was pushed wide.

From the drop out Grangemouth mishandled with Carnoustie going blind and kicking down the wing.

Ross Coates hacked the ball past the last defender and won the race to touch down but with no conversion. The restart failed to carry 10 metres but FPs lost the scrum and subsequently a penalty, but made amends by winning the line-out and then a scrum before conceding two penalties, but again winning line-out ball with the half being brought to an end.

Carnoustie restarted and the visitors knocked on. From the scrum FPs went through the hands but were held up. They maintained an attacking position, putting the ball through the hands and gaining a penalty which they tapped and drove before gaining a further penalty which Tony Coffield converted.

The Angus side fielded the restart and drove before losing the ball. Grangemouth ran the ball and then drove but were forced to touch. They then changed tactics, running the ball through their big, heavy forwards and although good ground was made it was all individual efforts with no link up allowing the defence time to realign.

On the one occasion the ball went through the hands, the winger found space to cross but with no conversion. Grangemouth fielded the restart but Carnoustie turned the ball over and drove, and then won a subsequent scrum in midfield, playing the ball wide for fullback Dean Nicholson to take an inside ball at pace to get through the defence to touch down, with Tony Coffield adding full points.

The visitors fielded and drove the restart but FPs turned the ball over and cleared. Grangemouth cranked up the pressure with well contained individual runs and drives, but Carnoustie stood their ground in defence holding up the ball carrier over the line and at a scrum five got into the attackers’ faces, forcing a knock-on to bring the game to an end.

This was one of the best games of rugby this season with two well matched teams giving their all.

Tomorrow’s fixture

Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie will hold their annual captain v vice-captain game with a 3 p.m. kick-off at the High School.