Glenrothes too strong for Ellon

Shaun Gray - Glenrothes RFC
Shaun Gray - Glenrothes RFC

Ellon 9, Glenrothes Rugby 41

Glenrothes got off to a flying start in Saturday’s league fixture when Daryl Warrender crashed over in the corner for the opening try.

The conversion attempt was missed.

Ellon tried to reply but their attack was very one dimensional and Glens extended their lead when having with their own scrum ball, a slack pass from the Ellon scrum half went over his team mates’ head, bounced in goal and Michael Delorey was round quickly to touch down to the right of the posts with Kain Duguid’s conversion making the score 0-12.

Ellon narrowed the margin when referee Gary Duncan awarded them a penalty in front of the posts. Invigorated by this score, Ellon made another foray into the reds 22m area and forced a scrum 5m from the line.

They attempted a passing move out to their right but dropped the ball. Man of the match Shaun Gray, playing despite a painful hip incurred in last week’s game, picked up and raced towards the Ellon posts, giving Duguid another easy conversion.

Within five minutes Ellon again made a mess of a backs move and Goodall was unlucky not to hold onto an attempted interception which would have tied up the try bonus before the interval.

The home side took these events on board and abandoned any thoughts of expansive rugby as being beyond them, reverting instead to the battering ram approach of their stand off and front row forwards.

This nearly brought them some reward but ferocious tackling brought every attack to a juddering halt. It must be admitted that the Glens also gave away a series of penalties in the course of their defence, but Ellon spurned the points on offer and continued with this one dimensional tactic.

Eventually referee Duncan decided that the reds had committed too many offences, albeit his decision was made easier by Stewart Hainey kicking the ball away after the award of another penalty, and it was the stand off who was shown a yellow card.

Undeterred Glenrothes marched back upfield where Ross Hutchison was stopped short of the line, with Ellon conceding a penalty in doing so which Duguid converted to give a half-time score of 3-22.

Ellon scored two further penalties early in the second half but even at this stage it was clearly damage limitation rather than the start of a revival.

It was only a matter of time until the Glens added to their tally and when the next score came it was worth waiting for. Strong interplay involving forwards and backs had taken play to the home 22m line where they conceded a penalty.

This time Glenrothes ignored the relatively easy three points on offer, instead putting the ball into touch in the right corner.

Warrender, who was playing on despite a nasty gash above his eye acquired early in the game, took the lineout ball, fed Delorey and the ball moved across the pitch so quickly that Willie Maxwell on the left wing had an overlap and ran in to touch down in the corner.

Glenrothes were now rampant and Gray soon ran in untouched and claimed a try behind the posts, which Duguid duly converted.

Campbell took advantage of a refereeing advantage to score the sixth and final try of a very satisfying afternoon as Duguid’s conversion rounded off the scoring.

Glens coach Tom Hainey seemed satisfied with the performance, not least in the second half, saying: “Some of our scores were right out of the top drawer but stopping Ellon from crossing the whitewash was every bit as satisfying.

“We have some tough games coming up though and we know it is very early days and will be taking absolutely nothing for granted.”

Glenrothes: S Gray, K Duguid, C Goodall, S Varney, W Maxwell, S Hainey, M Delorey, R Thomson, G Linton, M Caldwell, R Hutchison, A Campbell, B Crookston, K Christie, D Warrender. Replacements M Byers, R Bryce, J Cowan, T Hainey.

The development squad started brightly in their game against Waid, leading 20-10 at half time through tries by Kenny Harrow (2) and Billy Napier with Connor Baxter adding a conversion and penalty.

Unfortunately, the wheels rather came off in the second half with Waid coming back strongly to win 20-61.

Next week the firsts entertain Orkney, kicking off early, with both teams having notched two bonus point victories in the first games of the season and the development boys make the short trip to Rosyth.