Fife Southern 28, Carnoustie HSFP 24
Carnoustie set out on the series of return league fixtures having won the home game against Fife Southern comfortably.
The situation regarding player availability for away games was again a problem, with a much changed team, particularly in the forwards, although injuries played a part in this too.
The pitch was in good order and although cold, conditions were good. Carnoustie got the game under way with Fife Southern gaining an early penalty and making a deep touch, but they lost their line out allowing the visitors to clear.
Fife Southern attacked again, but didn’t throw in straight at the line out and from the scrum FPs gained a free kick which they kicked high and long down field, but the home side fielded and cleared. Again, deep in their own half, Carnoustie won the scrum, appeared to lose their way in centre field, but then recovered the ball and kicked high.
A fast follow up caused confusion in the home ranks and they allowed the ball to bounce allowing LEE GRAY to nip between the defenders and snatch the ball and touchdown with NIALL SWANSON converting.
The visitors continued to concede penalties allowing Fife Southern to maintain an attacking field position which ultimately paid off with a line-out driven, before the ball was played through the hands for the winger to cross, but with the conversion missed.
Carnoustie put the restart out on the full and Fife Southern won the scrum, but FPs scrambled well and turned the ball over establishing an attacking position, enabling NIALL SWANSON to convert a penalty. They fielded the restart and knocked on putting themselves under pressure, which was broken with a dash by Nathan Bowles and then a break by Lee Gray, both of which were stopped.
When the home side replied, in kind, they found a clear route to the line to touchdown and this time with the conversion added. Fife Southern continued to be in the ascendency, but Carnoustie defended doggedly, taking every opportunity to clear their lines and on occasion press forward and the referee’s whistle brought the half to an end.
Half-time: Fife Southern 12, Carnoustie HSFP 10.
Fife Southern restarted setting up a strongly driven maul from which a penalty was gained and then a drive, enabling them to touchdown and convert. Carnoustie restarted by kicking short and regaining the ball, driving to gain a penalty, which was tapped, allowing IAN REID to dash over and NIALL SWANSON to convert.
Fife Southern restarted and immediately gained a penalty which increased their lead and again the visitors restarted with a short ball, which they retained and then they pressed forward, and Chris Rankin took advantage of good field position to break before being stopped close to the line.
Carnoustie retained the ball, but Dannie Van Niekirk was held up over the line and, from the scrum, FPs gained a penalty, which Chris Rankin quickly tapped and gave to IAN REID who breached the defence to touchdown with the conversion added.
The visitors failed to clear the restart and conceded a penalty which was converted to restore the home side lead. Carnoustie responded by driving forward, but both sides had lost momentum and mistakes were frequent. Fife Southern, with better field position, closed out the game with a penalty conversion, which brought the game to an end.
Team – Gray, Donnachie, Addison, Van Niekirk, Bowles, Swanson, A. Franco, Hall, Crowe, Stewart, Downie, Coates, Macdonald, Reid, K. Franco, Rankin, Shepherd and Hughes.
Carnoustie have no game tomorrow (Saturday) and the next game on November 30 is at home against league leaders Howe of Fife with a 2 p.m. kick-off.
RBS Caledonia League
Division Three Midlands
P W L D TB LB Pts
Howe 2nd XV 10 10 0 0 10 0 50
Carnoustie 10 8 2 0 8 1 41
Crieff 10 8 2 0 8 1 41
Blairgowrie 10 6 4 0 5 2 31
Fife Southern 10 4 6 0 3 2 21
Grangemouth 10 4 6 0 2 1 19
Bannockburn 10 4 6 0 2 0 18
Kirkcaldy 10 3 7 0 3 1 16
Waid Acad. 10 3 7 0 4 0 16
Glenrothes 10 0 10 0 1 1 1