Glenrothes headed across the Forth to face Grangemouth on Saturday, keen to avenge the heavy defeat they suffered at Carleton earlier in the season.
They started strongly with the home team conceding an early penalty which Kain Duguid put into touch near the left corner. Gavin Emerson took the ball cleanly in the middle of the lineout and the ball moved across the field. As the ball worked its way back from the right towards the centre of the field Scott Morrison drove for the line but was stopped short. However, Emerson was on hand to scoop up the ball and crash over the line for the opening score which Duguid converted.
Grangemouth struck back when referee Bryan Johnston awarded them a penalty which they took quickly. The Glens were further penalised for not retreating 10m and Thomas Skelton stepped up to kick the ball over the bar to open the home team’s account.
This score gave Grangemouth a lift and they took the lead after another penalty. Skelton put the ball into the corner and, after winning the lineout, the pack mauled the ball over the line. Skelton converted.
The teams exchanged chances but it was Glenrothes who retook the lead from a line out 22m out from their opponents’ line. Emerson was on hand to take the ball on and as he was tackled he laid the ball back for Chris Docherty who charged through behind the posts for a well deserved try. Duguid converted.
The game had been a little niggly throughout Crookston was yellow carded after reacting angrily and pushed one of his opponents. The Glens led 10-14. The second half started in a similar vein to the first. Docherty came close with a lunge for the line but was held up. This spell of pressure continued and it was not long before Emerson was tackled 10m from the Grangemouth line but Duguid took the ball and fed Goodall. As he was tackled he timed the offload to perfection to allow Morrison to stroll in for the Glens’ third try. Duguid’s conversion attempt missed.
Skelton popped over a penalty but Duguid restored the Reds’ nine-point lead with one of his own. The niggle also continued with Scott Morrison and his opposite number getting a ten-minute rest.
Two missed tackles allowed Grangemouth to close the points gap to four. Skelton increased his personal tally slaloming through the middle of the Glens defence for an individual try and he halved the difference with his conversion.
As the game reached its final few minutes, Glenrothes concentrated on defence with Grangemouth playing a tight, forward based game, hoping for a penalty opportunity. Fortunately for the Glens when the inevitable happened, the penalty attempt flew wide of its target. The team held on for the remaining minutes to earn a well deserved, albeit narrow, victory.
The second XV were also in action on Saturday with a team cobbled together at the last minute.
Despite this they took an early lead at Hillfoots but were unable to hold on to it ending up on the wrong end of a 39-10 scoreline. Next weekend the seconds are again in action, facing Grangemouth’s second string at Carleton Park while the first XV have another free week in this somewhat disjointed time of the season.