With Ellon newly promoted to Tennents Caledonia League Divison 1, Glenrothes travelled north on a very soggy Saturday, optimistic that they could add to their league total.
For the first 20 minutes that optimism seemed completely justified but eventually the Glens had to rely on a late try to scrape home with a bonus point victory.
Glenrothes started with a bang forcing their hosts deep into their own 22m area. A quickly recycled ball was chipped by Michael Delorey into the right corner and Callum Kennedy beat the defence to the touch down. Kain Duguid converted to take an early seven-point lead.
This didn’t last as the kick-off was knocked on and handled by a Glens player in front of the ball. Ross Greig’s shot at goal narrowed the margin.
The Reds forwards were enjoying every scrum and won two in quick succession against the head. From the second of these, Kennedy got his second try after Callum Calderwood’s slick flip played him in. Duguid’s unsuccessful conversion attempt was his first miss of the season.
Ellon struck back and after nearly scoring a try had to accept only a penalty score when an offside decision on the Glens 22m line allowed Greig to double the home team’s total.
At the other end, Kennedy grabbed his hat-trick after another scrum was won against the head, Gavin Emerson picked up, passed to Delorey who again freed the winger and he stepped inside two defenders to touch down. Duguid converted.
At 6-19 up Glenrothes supporters were looking forward to a comfortable win but the players lost their way.
Not only were balls knocked on, misdirected or kicked forward by forwards entering rucks, but discipline was a problem.
A penalty led to Ellon scoring shortly before the interval with a quickly taken tap in the Glens 22m area being taken on by Nicky Fraser who drove over the Glens line. Greig converted to make the half time score 13-19.
Ellon started the second half on the attack and Glenrothes conceded a penalty which Greig slotted to take Ellon to within three points of their visitors. Chris Docherty was yellow carded part way through the half for remonstrating with an opponent about a unsportsmanlike trip.
As Docherty’s isolation was drawing to a close, player coach Gavin Emerson joined him in the sin bin.
Despite their numerical superiority the home team were unable to add to their score with their most promising move petering out.
Kennedy added a late fourth try to seal victory.