Glenrothes get nudged out in tight Caledonia Shield match

Glenrothes' Cammy Goodall
Glenrothes' Cammy Goodall

Both Glenrothes and visitors Strathmore were relieved the mild weather allowed the postponed semi-final to go ahead.

With both sides recording a home win in earlier meetings, it was expected to be a close BT Caledonia Shield match and it proved to be.

The early exchanges were pretty even, though the Glenrothes scrum was gaining the upper hand.

Gavin Emerson was forced from the field with a nasty gash below his eye which could not be staunched leading to a trip to hospital and his absence from the contest.

The first scoring opportunity fell to the visitors when Murray Mitchell had a pot at goal from a penalty on the Glenrothes 10m line but saw his kick fly past the posts.

It was from a Strathmore penalty that Glenrothes opened the scoring. The kick failed to find touch and David Gray advanced over halfway.

Cammy Goodall took the ball on and then slick passing to the left wing set Ross Anderson free 35m from the line.

He showed a fine turn of pace, sprinting up the wing and squeezing in at the corner for a well taken try. Kain Duguid’s conversion attempt came to grief as he lost his footing and so was flat on his back as the ball flew harmlessly wide.

Glenrothes went up the pitch with Stewart Hainey, Goodall and Scott McAlpine all creating holes in the visiting defence which led to a penalty on the 22m line in front of the posts. Duguid kicked the ball over the bar to give the Reds a 8-0 lead.

But there was no time for Glenrothes to feel comfortable in their lead as Stratmore immediately launched an assault over the line. The tackling was not good enough to prevent Fergus Mitchell from crawling over the line under the posts and Murray Mitchell cut the deficit to one point with the conversion.

The second half opened in some confusion as Strathmore did not have adequate front row cover so scrums became uncontested.

Tempers became frayed and a number of players form both sides were involved in a scuffle just outside the Strathmore 22m line.

The referee was liberal as he spoke to both captains before restarting the game with a scrum, but he was less lenient shortly after when he yellow carded Chris Docherty for preventing Strathmore from taking a quick penalty.

During Docherty’s absense, Strathmore took what was to be the decisive lead, firstly with a penalty and then recovering a ball spilt halfway in a tackle.

For Glenrothes, is was a disappointing end to knock out rugby for the season.