Aberdeen Wanderers 13 Glenrothes 19
With a much changed team, Glenrothes travelled to Aberdeen to face the Wanderers on Saturday.
Work, family and other commitments rendered a number of regulars unavailable and this had a knock on effect on the Devs.
Despite over 70 players having turned out for the Glens this season the reserve string were unable to raise a team to fulfil the fixture against Stirling County’s third team.
The game at Aberdeen got off to a disappointing start from the Reds point of view. Within the first 20 minutes they were ten points down.
Firstly a speculative kick into the Glens’ in-goal area led to a race which was won by a home player in the right corner and converted.
Then referee, Grant Stephen then penalised a high tackle resulting in another three points for the Aberdonians.
This stung the Glens into action and they started to exert some pressure on their hosts.
Wanderers lived up to their name by wandering offside at a ruck midway between their 22m and 10m lines in midfield.
Kain Duguid stepped up and calmly kicked the penalty to open the visitors’ account.
The next Glens’ attack produced the same result with another offside, this time on the 22m line to the right of the posts.
Duguid accepted another three points to further narrow the margin.
From the restart, Wanderers received a boost with Chris Docherty catching the kick destined for touch and landing in touch himself to give the home team a line out near the Reds’ goal line.
Wanderers knocked on in the lineout giving Stewart Hainey the opportunity to clear the danger and Docherty made up for his earlier misjudgement by stealing the resulting lineout.
Wanderers stopped this attack and cleared up to half way.
A Glens’ scrum on halfway caused Wanderers to concede yet another penalty which Daryl
Warrender took quickly and launched an attack where most of the players handled the ball before a high tackle on Docherty halted the move deep in the 22m area.
The perpetrator was shown a yellow card by Mr Stephen and Duguid slotted his third successful penalty. The score remained 10-9 until half-time.
Glenrothes started the second half on the front foot and a long pass from Hainey set Derek Mitchell free on the left wing.
He raced over the goal line but a last gasp tackle resulted in the winger being held up and Glenrothes unable to capitalise on the resulting scrum.
A score was not delayed long as the next attack yielded a fourth penalty for Duguid when Wanderers did not release a tackled player.
The referee and home touch judge awarded this kick as the Glens’ assistant was slow in getting behind the posts.
Wanderers were restored to full strength, possibly relieved that the Glens had not scored more points while they were short-handed.
However the relief was not to last long as, with the referee signalling for another penalty, the Reds took advantage with passes from Hainey, Duguid and Steven Dean setting David Gray free on the right wing.
He dived over in the corner and Duguid continued with his 100 per cent kicking record from tight to the touch line.
Glens kept the pressure on their hosts but were unable to add to their score.
Daryl Warrender’s frustration led to a penalty and yellow card when the official was unhappy with his rucking technique.
Mr Stephen looked like he was going to issue another card to Wanderers when Duguid was the victim of another high tackle but he settled for a stern warning instead.
The home team were unable to take advantage of their extra man and only handling errors and a controversial offside decision after a Wanderers clearance was charged down prevented the Glens extending their lead.
The seven man scrum more than held its own and when Warrender returned to the fray some unkind spectators suggested that the pack had done better in his absence.
The Aberdeen outfit had some moments of their own and Duguid was forced from the field with a damaged shoulder after tackling an opponent in a move that only ground to a halt after a knock on.
In fact it was the home team who scored the final points of the encounter with a penalty when Glenrothes left their feet at a ruck.
At full time, Glenrothes were pleased to achieve a win from a difficult encounter and Wanderers were relieved to have snatched a losing bonus point.
Duguid’s immaculate kicking and control of the game earned him the title of man of the match.
The team now enjoys a well-earned rest until their Shield tie with Strathmore on January 7 though they will continue to train through the festive season.
Glenrothes: K Duguid, D Mitchell, S Dean, C Goodall, R Anderson, K Duguid, S Hainey, D Warrender, C Docherty, M Byers, R Anderson, M Guthrie, A Thomson, R Strachan, J Finlay. Replacements: J Cowan, K McIntosh, C May, D Robertson.