Missed penalty was glimpse into game: Glenrothes 22 - Madras FP 25

Glenrothes won the toss and began the game playing uphill into a cold wind on a bright afternoon.

Mackie made use of the elements and put the home side under pressure early in the game. Their first points came from a penalty, awarded for a scrummage offence, after about 10 minutes.

The home side suffered a scare shortly after this when a clearance kick was charged down following a lineout on the 22m line. Fortunately the ball was then hacked on and bounced over the dead ball line allowing the Glens the clear their line. Glenrothes came into the game a little more with a good run by Iain Bell following a quick penalty but the move broke down. Mackie forced their way down to the Glenrothes line where their big forwards tried to bulldoze their way over for a try. Solid defence kept them at bay but from a 5m scrum and no8 pick up, the visitors’ scrum half scored the first try of the game, which was duly converted to give a score of 0-10. Good work from Delorey, Gray and Linton allowed the Glens forwards to take play to the Mackie 22. Not for the first, or last, time the ball was poorly controlled in the ruck allowing a defender to kick through. This was followed by two more fly hacks through the middle of the park before Lee Byers tackled the man off the ball, leading to a penalty try which was duly converted. Glenrothes enjoyed a prolonged period of play on the visitors’ line with the Mackie defence holding up well before the ball was moved to the backs where Shaun Gray, coming from a deep position, shrugged of two or three would be tacklers to touch down behind the posts. The conversion also from Gray was a formality. Before half time, the home side suffered another setback as the forwards were penalised for killing the ball at a ruck about 35m from goal. The visitors’ kicker slotted his fourth successful kick to leave the half time score at 7-20. The second half was much better with the play almost exclusively in the Mackie half of the pitch, however too often attacks broke down when the visiting forwards were hungrier for the ball, or possibly more streetwise, at the ruck and maul. A missed penalty offered a glimpse of what was to happen later in the game before Johnny Campbell dived over the line, only to be brought back for a knock on. Steven Varney knocked on in front of the posts but made amends shortly afterwards when he took a pass from Stuart Hainey and touched down to the right of the posts. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful. The Glens continued to press and the next score came when Stuart Hainey belied his slight frame to carry a couple of defenders with him as he scored a good try near the left hand corner. Again the conversion was not made. Glenrothes took the lead when the ball was worked by Delorey and Gray out to left winger Campbell who burst through two tackles, one of which was very high, before feeding the ball back inside to Micchael Delorey who had supported well and scored to the left of the posts for an unconverted try. That try should have given Glenrothes an all too rare victory but it was not to be. The home side may have eased off having taken the lead, when in their only real foray into Glenrothes territory of the second half, Mackie allowed their forwards to take the ball on. The first two strikes were repelled but eventually a visiting player crossed the line untouched to give a final score of 22-25. While there were many good things in the game to cheer unwell coach Tom Hainey, not least the four tries and solid forward performances at scrum and lineout, there were too many occasions where the Glenrothes forwards were second best at the break down.

GLENROTHES: J Birrell, L Byers, S Gray, S Varney, J Campbell, S Hainey, M Delorey, S Munro, D Butchart, G Dryburgh-Cook, R Douglas, C Kavanagh, I Bell, G Linton, R Wilson. Replacements - S Bell, S Andersen, N Bell.