Glenrothes claim Christmas no.1 spot with Ellon demolition job

Hat-trick scorer Rhys Bryce
Hat-trick scorer Rhys Bryce

Glenrothes 61, Ellon 0

A glut of tries sent the Carleton Park fans home with a smile on their faces as they enjoy the festive season on top of BT Caledonia League 1.

Glernrothes kicked off uphill and an Ellon player knocked the ball on giving the reds a scrum on the 10m line. Daryl Warrender broke from the base of the scrum, backed up by the returning Ryan Douglas and when the ball came back from the forwards the ball was moved through the hands to the right wing where Shaun Gray hit the line at pace and raced up the side line to score to the right of the posts.

Gray’s conversion attempt flew to the left of the target.

A second score was not long delayed when Warrender touched down.

Another missed conversion gave a score of 10-0 early in the contest.

The next 10 minutes or so were evenly contested before the spectators were treated to an outstanding individual try from Barry Crookston.

Good tackling by Glenrothes set up the bonus point try when an Ellon attack was halted inside Glenrothes territory and the ball ripped free.

Stewart Hainey moved the ball quickly to Gray and he in turn set Ryan Venters free.

Venters made ground quickly finding himself with only one defender between him and the line.

Others may have gone for glory but Venters unselfishly drew his man and then passed inside to the supporting Gray who scored his second try of the day, quickly followed by his second conversion.

There was still time for one more try before half time when Rhys Bryce scored in the right corner.

Stewart made a darting run in the 22m area to score to the left of the posts though out of range for the conversion attempt.

Scott Morrison was next on the score sheet.

Crookston was all over the park and recovered a tap back by Ellon who thought they had stolen a Glenrothes lineout for the second time in the game.

The forwards were quick to back him up and then the backs shifted the ball quickly out to Gray on the left wing. Hitting the line at pace he is usually deadly and Ellon did well to stop him short of the line, albeit at the expense of a penalty.

The expected score was however only delayed as a quick tap was taken on by the forwards with Douglas twice going close before captain Kenny Christie touched down to the right of the uprights. Ryan Venters had taken over kicking duties and he converted Christie’s try.

An Ellon lineout on their 10m line was the precursor to the next Glens score when despite winning the throw in the visitors had the ball stolen in midfield. The backs passed the ball out to Gray on the right and he surprised everybody by then passing out to Bryce who crossed in the corner, pirouetted and ran nearer the posts before touching down. Despite this the conversion again went wide.

The home team were in no mood to ease up and continued to press their opponents. After a handling movement involving forwards and backs, Cammy Goodall slipped when closing in on the line but the ball was recycled and Christie was on hand to take advantage with his second try, again unconverted.

Crookston came close from the restart, fielding the kick and making to kick down field. He pulled the ball back, wrong footing the chasing players before taking off as if wearing rocket powered boots. With only one player to beat Crookston passed out to Jordan Grubb who knocked the ball on with the line beckoning leaving the flanker to wonder if he would have been better going himself.

The eleventh, and final, try of the day gave Bryce his hat trick. An attack down the right wing was halted short of the line but The Reds’ forwards were quickly on hand to recycle the ball and provide Bryce with an easy finish in the corner.

Ellon competed well in the set scrum and line out but were outplayed in almost every other aspect of the game.

Both senior teams have home fixtures on January 10 against Strathmore.