On fire FPs go five points clear at top

Chris Rankin organises a Carnoustie push to gain another try.
Chris Rankin organises a Carnoustie push to gain another try.

Kinross 10,

Carnoustie HSFP 26

Carnoustie continued their quest for league points away to Kinross on Saturday, having won the corresponding home game with a bonus point.

The pitch was very soft and heavy with a gale blowing at an angle across the pitch.

FPs got the game under way with the elements in the hosts favour, but the wind held the ball up and Carnoustie were able to field and drive the ball.

The early play was scrappy with poor ball retention and penalties conceded by both sides. Kinross had better field position, but FPs drove a line-out in their own half, gaining a scrum from which a clean, quick heel allowed them to find space out wide, allowing Jason Donnachie to break clear down the wing. Two defenders chased across, with the second stopping him, but like all good flankers ANTHONY FRANCO was on his shoulder to take the pop up ball and touchdown, but the conversion was missed.

From the restart Carnoustie let the ball bounce before fielding, giving Homesters a good attacking position and although FPs defended stoutly, they were unable to work the ball up field. Eventually from a scrum Carnoustie made ground with a good drive, but were penalised. Kinross found touch and at the line-out FPs conceded a further penalty.

They defended the line-out and drove over the ball, but the clearance kick blew back over the their heads, with the homesters reacting quickly to the loose ball and touching down, but they also failed to convert, leaving the score level.

The game was littered with penalties and errors with Carnoustie pinned in their own half and, without a kicking option, they had to rely on driving rucks and mauls or running the ball. One good break looked promising until the move was blown up for a forward pass.

With the break looming FPs were pinned back deep in their own 22 and Kinross were intent on driving, but a tremendous defensive performance kept them out, with one drive being stopped only inches from the line. Stout hearts prevailed and a frustrated home team were penalised. Carnoustie sensibly kept the ball low, finding touch at the 22 and the referee blew for half-time.

Half-time: Kinross 5, Carnoustie HSFPs 5.

Kinross started the second half into the wind with Carnoustie fielding and then chipping a low ball to touch. The homesters knocked on at the line-out giving FPs a scrum from which they broke at pace, but were forced into touch, close to the line.

Maintaining field position Carnoustie were able to work the ball back into midfield and although the pass was loose, it bounced up kindly for JORDAN DONNACHIE to pounce, step inside the defender and cross for the try, which DANIE VAN WYK converted. The restart kick found touch giving Kinross a foothold in the FPs’ 22 and from a driven line-out, the homesters gained a penalty, which they tapped, but were driven into touch. Kinross took the line-out, but failed to secure the ball and knocked on and then Carnoustie were penalised for not feeding straight into the scrum.

The homes side tapped the penalty and drove, gained a further penalty and drove again to touchdown, but again their conversion kick failed. The FPs’ response from the kick-off was quick, establishing field position and, with a well weighted kick forced Kinross to kick the ball dead. The ensuing scrum was driven, with the FPs keeping the scrum straight and allowing IAN REID, at number eight, to touchdown with DANIE VAN WYK again converting.

With full-time looming Carnoustie made a last desperate attack to get a fourth try and bonus point and for virtually the first time in the game, worked the ball out to MIKE DOWNIE who, with space in which to work, accepted the challenge and raced down the wing to outstrip the defence and touchdown in the corner, with DANIE VAN WYK converting.

Team: D. Van Wyk, J. Donnachie, C. Addison, G. Johns, M. Downie, J. McLaren, C. Rankin, D. Campbell, K. Watt, A. Schweizer, O. Schweizer, O. Hughes, A. Franco, N. Bowles, I. Reid, S. Millar, L. Thoms, F. Simpson and D. Findlay.

Tomorrow’s Match

Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie are once again on their travels, when they make the short trip to St Andrews to play Madras in the BT Caledonia League Division Two Midlands. Carnoustie ran out 85-3 winners in the home fixture, back on October 11, 2014, and they will be hoping to keep their good run of form going and stay in top spot. This will be a 2 p.m. kick-off. 

Other results – Howe of Fife 2nd XV 14, Stirling University RFC 65; Blairgowrie RFC 14, Panmure 15; Harris Academy FP RFC 17, Grangemouth Stags RFC 5.

BT Caledonia League

Division Two Midlands


Carnoustie 16 14 1 1 10 1 69

Harris Acad 15 13 2 0 12 0 64

Alloa 15 11 3 1 11 0 57

Grangemouth 14 8 6 0 10 1 43

Madras* 15 8 7 0 7 0 36

Howe 2nd XV 15 5 10 0 6 3 29

Kinross 16 5 11 0 5 1 26

Stirling U.* 14 7 7 0 7 2 25

Panmure* 17 3 14 0 3 0 8

Blairgowrie* 15 1 14 0 0 2 3

*Points deduction applied.