Glenrothes 32 - Aberdeen University 27: Reds put out the northern lights

Glenrothes started this game playing uphill on a soggy pitch bathed in glorious sunshine.

Coach Tom Hainey had to make a change to his selection before the game started when Lee Byers damaged his hamstring during the warm up.

His place was taken by Johnny Campbell.

Reds opened their account early in the game when the forwards trundled forward, moving the ball to Steven Varney who ran through the offside Aberdeen defence, carrying one would be tackler with him as he touched down under the posts. Shaun Gray duly converted the try.

Things got even better for the Reds when an Aberdeen attack broke down deep in the home half.

The ball was slickly moved to Shaun Gray who scored after running 70 yards, throwing a couple of dummies on the way. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful on this occasion.

Aberdeen University struck back well and following some indecision in the Reds’ defence, their outside centre scored on the right hand side and the conversion narrowed the gap to five points.

The equalising try came from a line out 30 metres from the Reds’ line. The local supporters were convinced that the throw was squint, but the Students moved the ball to midfield where the stand-off put a clever kick into the corner and the visiting right winger won the race to touch the ball down. The conversion was missed.

The Students had a player yellow carded for a stamp on a prone Gary Tipling which was out of keeping with the spirit in which the game was played. From the resulting penalty and line out, Reds’ forwards set up a maul which advanced 20m before releasing scrum-half Michael Delorey to put Glenrothes back into a five point lead.

Reds suffered their own yellow card shortly thereafter when Ian Bell was harshly adjudged to have put in a high tackle. This reinvigorated the visitors who forced a line out on the Glenrothes 5m line and from this scored another equalising try under the posts. The resulting conversion giving a half time score of 17-19.

Harsh words from coach Hainey reverberated round Carleton Park during the interval, but it was the visitors who came closest early in the second-half.

Another clever kick by the Aberdeen stand-off was gathered by a player, who was arguably offside, and the attack only stopped by a try-saving tackle by full-back Colin Maxwell.

It was thus fitting that Maxwell scored the try that ensured a bonus point for Reds when he finished of a passing move involving both forwards and backs and a smart run around by stand-off Stewart Hainey. Despite the try being in the corner, Shaun Gray added the two points from a well-taken conversion.

Reds were increasingly frustrated by the referee’s decisions, being marched back 10m on at least three occasions and it was no surprise when the Students again drew level with a try to take the score to 24-24.

Penalty goals were then scored by both teams and as the game drew to a close a Glenrothes maul, following a line out, drove over the line. The referee ruled that the ball was held up, at which point captain Michael Delorey looked in danger of exploding.

However he need not have worried as from the resulting scrum, a planned move led to a try in the corner for winger Johnny Campbell. The unsuccessful conversion attempt was the last action of the game.

GLENROTHES: C. Maxwell, C. Duguid, S. Gray, S. Varney, J. Campbell, S. Hainey, M. Delorey, S. Munro, D. Butchart, S. Dick, D. McGregor, R. Douglas, R. Wilson, G. Linton, G. Tipling. Replacements - G. Cook, I. Bell, L. Byers.