With Glenrothes first XV game against Aberdeen Wanderers, postponed for a second time, it fell on the seconds to represent the club in a rearranged fixture at Bannockburn on Saturday.
The game was played in poor conditions with persistent rain and low temperature making for a scrappy game for the players and a miserable one for spectators.
Glenrothes opened up brightly putting their hosts under pressure from the opening whistle but were soon hit by their first injury of the day when Russell Grieve was forced from the field with a recurrence of a shoulder injury which has plagued him for some time.
The remainder of the first half was played almost entirely in the Bannockburn half, mainly inside their 22m area.
Despite two yellow cards for the home team the Glens were unable to score until the final seconds when Kain Duguid slotted a penalty kick.
Bannockburn’s head coach, Jim Samuel, took to the field after the mercifully short interval and his introduction galvanised the home team.
Whereas Glenrothes had probably tried to play too much of a handling game in the first half, their hosts had a simple plan in the second period, kick the ball into Glenrothes territory and use their superior pack to try to take it over the line.
A yellow card for Banu Mihai early in the half, for joining a ruck illegally, was followed by a scrum 5m or so from the Glens goal line. Samuel, operating at number 8, picked up from the base of the scrum and held off a couple of attempted tackles before driving over the line. Full back David Grainey converted.
As in the first half, nearly all of the play took place in the same part of the pitch with Bannockburn now in the ascendancy.
Samuel scored his second try picking up and diving over as his pack pushed the visiting forwards over their own goal line near the left hand corner.
Kyle McIntosh was forced from the park as a result of a try saving tackle but his heroics merely delayed matters. Bannockburn’s third try came from another scrum 5m out from the line which was initially halted but a second effort took the ball over the line and Tony Vines got the vital touch down.
Grainey scored his second conversion.
Having used both of their substitutes with the injuries to Grieve and McIntosh, Glenrothes were reduced to 14 men when Lee Gartshore was required to leave the pitch after a head knock.
Bannockburn scored a bonus point try with the last play of the game, yet again from a 5m scrum. Mark Hunter was the player credited with the try earned by his fellow forwards domination of the visiting pack. Grainey’s missed conversion was the final touch of the contest.
Full time score – Bannockburn 24 Glenrothes 3.
This was a disappointing game but Bannockburn certainly deserved their victory.
Glenrothes man of the match was Daryl Warrender but mention should also go to the three youngsters Jack Bousie,
Darien Kerr and Fraser Cairns who, despite looking in danger of hypothermia by the end of the game, stuck in well and offer hope for the future of the club.
Next weekend, weather permitting, the firsts are at Alloa and the seconds entertain Perthshire at Carleton Park, both kicking off at 2pm.