THE PAST few weeks have been busy for Carnoustie’s Under-14s rugby side.
Victory in the Strathmore tournament was followed by an excellent first prize at Forthill at the Panmure 13-a-side tournament.
Glenrothes were first to feel the power of the squad, going down to three converted tries with no reply.
Next the home side, Panmure were tucked away by the same score. To seal the trophy Carnoustie had to play Montrose and with a five tries to nil victory the trophy was secured.
Probably most importantly, no tries were conceded along the way.
Strathmore 9, Carnoustie 29
The next week saw an away fixture at Strathmore, the only side to record a victory against the team all season, back in November.
It was clear from the start that Carnoustie had the better of the fixture. Early pressure resulted in tries from Tyrrell and Siddall following long periods of set play pressure. Captain Rennie again stamped his authority on the game with a couple of fine individual tries and with Lobban, Leslie, Burgess and Hay all crossing during a dominant performance, a fine victory was assured.
As with most games there was a period of play where Strathmore came back into the tie, scoring two good tries, followed by another at the death. This has to be taken as a reminder to maintain concentration for the full game.
Scorers: Tyrrell, Siddall, Rennie (2), Lobban, Leslie, Burgess and Hay, who also converted five.
Easter weekend marked the final chance for the team to play together as an Under-14 side, with only 7s tournaments remaining (home tournament, May 8). A trip to Montrose with a good support would hopefully match the fine weather. The opposition would be Montrose and for the first time this year the might of Aberdeen Grammar.
Aberdeen Grammar 0
The draw saw Carnoustie v Aberdeen Grammar as the opener. With the sides new to each other it looked likely there would be a period of feeling the game out.
Carnoustie’s instructions were to tackle hard and run at spaces as the team has proved time and again that off loading from the pass is strength. With some of the younger player perhaps a little in awe of the larger Grammar pack, captain Liam Rennie did what he has done all season and led from the front.
A good interchange from a scrum saw him storm home from half-way and despite a spirited pursuit, score a fine try. Lobban has made stand-off his own this year and his ferocious tackling, followed by quick rucking paid, off after seven minutes when the Grammar forwards were driven off the ball by the arriving Carnoustie pack to allow him to score.
It looked like this would be the half-time score, however Finlay, blond locks flowing, ran past (and through) several players to score under the posts allowing Hay to convert.
Grammar’s decision to reduce the ball size backfired slightly in the second half with the rampaging Tyrrell able to easily carry a size four ball in one hand whilst fending off the defenders. A try in the corner was the result.
Grammar kept pressing but the midweek tackle practice was etched on the boys and they let nothing past. With the line-out working superbly, the quick ball allowed some excellent inter-passing from the backs to be rewarded with another fine try by Rennie. This was another excellent scalp for the season.
Scorers: Rennie (2), Lobban, Finlay, Tyrrell, and Hay, who converted one.
Montrose 4, Carnoustie 23
Carnoustie had a 100 per cent record against Montrose this season and the team was reminded of this before kick-off. However, Montrose had just pulled off an excellent 6-3 win against a downhearted Grammar side.
The game started with some excellent tackling by both sides, keeping the ball in midfield. With the threat of a haircut from his Dad for a poor performance, Finlay romped over for a try, closely followed for a second by Lobban.
Montrose pressed but could make little headway against the ferocious Carnoustie tackling. In his best game of the season Tyrrell added the third try after a 30-metre sprint to the line.
Finlay added a second and the unstoppable Rennie made the score sheet with a fifth try to cap an excellent first half performance. Despite some substitutions Montrose found it difficult to make ground and once again some powerful, direct running by Harry Lobban resulted in a try.
The forwards had put in a power of work and it was only fitting that the final try came from a rumbling driving maul after a stolen line-out.
The ball was eventually smuggled to Ross who proved unstoppable on the charge to the line, with Rory adding the conversion. Perhaps because they all know each other so well now, Montrose capitalised on a late Carnoustie lapse in concentration to score a well deserved try and bring a fine day to a close.
Scorers: Finlay (2), Lobban (2), Tyrrell, Rennie, Strachan and a conversion by Hay.
Squad: Andrew Burgess, Michael Murphy, Chris Duncan, David Nail, Rhys Finlay, Calum Noble, Rory Hay, Andrew Ramsay, Kyle Howlett, Liam Rennie, James Leslie, Shaun Siddall, Harry Lobban, Ross Strachan, Fergus Lyon, Jordan Steele, Ramsay McGowan and Dylan Tyrrell.