Strathmore 2nd XV 31, Carnoustie 2nd XV 20
CARNOUSTIE HSFP 2nd XV travelled to Forfar last Tuesday evening to complete their fixtures for the season.
Conditions for rugby were excellent with the pitch in good condition. The home team was mainly veterans, well experienced and physical but not particularly fit. Carnoustie was a young side, inexperienced but keen and fit and, despite giving away around two stone a man in the forwards, players were willing to put their bodies on the line.
Strathmore kicked off and Carnoustie immediately ran the ball but knocked on. The home side went for a kick but it was charged down, allowing Ross Coates to field and stretch the defence.
FPs struggled in the scrum, and were pushed off the ball but held their own in the line-out. Despite battling well, a tap penalty by the hosts saw their big men run the ball to open the scoring and add the conversion.
From the restart Carnoustie pressed forward and missed a penalty but maintained field position and gained a further penalty which Kyle Burwood converted. Strathmore pressed forward and, from a scrum against the head, drove the ball over the line but excellent defence forced the ball loose.
From consecutive penalties Craig Addison again broke strongly and the forwards drove but were stopped.
Strathmore then recovered and broke upfield before winning line-out ball and driving over to score with the conversion added.
FPs started the second half with the homesters fielding but being stopped deep in their half by solid tackling. From successive penalties Danny Findlay gave the visitors hope by reducing the deficit. Carnoustie fell foul of the official giving away a succession of penalties, ultimately allowing Strathmore to drive over from a tap but with no conversion added.
Shortly after, Strathmore rumbled back upfield and gained penalties. The defence strove hard but eventually the Forfar side forced an overlap which they used to full effect to add seven points.
From the restart the home side attacked but allowed the ball to go loose deep in the visiting 22, thereby allowing full-back Dean Nicholson to scoop up the loose ball and run at the home side, beating several defenders down the centre of the field before passing to Kyle Burwood, who beat the remaining defenders with superb pace to add the conversion.
From the restart, Carnoustie failed to clear their lines before going offside giving a penalty to the home side who tapped and drove over but failed to convert.
With the game in its final stages mistakes abounded until Ally Shepherd tapped a penalty and ran, before sending Kyle Burwood speeding on his way to leave the defence in tatters to score again and convert, at which point the referee blew for time.
This was a magnificent effort by a young team best summed up by the words of a home supporter: “This was a game by Strathmore pasts and Carnoustie future.”