A late try denied Glenrothes victory as they were forced to settle for a 12-12 draw in the Tennent’s Caledonia Division One against Grangemouth.
Every time the Glens go to Glensburgh the weather seems to take a turn for the worse and Saturday was no exception ensuring a dour battle between the teams.
The first quarter of the game was played largely in the middle of the park with both sides testing out their opponents. On a rare excursion into the Stags 22m area, Glenrothes opened the scoring. Gavin Emerson was stopped close to the line and offloaded to Michael Delorey with the scrum half forcing his way over the line to touch down to the right of the posts. Kain Duguid converted.
Grangemouth struck back almost immediately, winning a scrum 5m from the Reds line. The home pack drove their visitors backwards and over the goal line for a push over try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
This spurred Grangemouth on and they spent much of the remainder of the first period in the Reds 22m area. Glenrothes defended stoutly, knocking back opponent after opponent. Johnston found reason to penalise the Glens on a number of occasions and warned captain Ross Hutchison about his team’s conduct. With the Stag’s number 8 hanging on to a scrum by his fingernails, the official penalised Emerson for not binding properly, “meerkatting” as he described it, and showed a yellow card. Grangemouth opted for a scrum from the penalty but despite their numerical superiority could not force their way over the line.
Early in the second half, Emerson rejoined the fray but his stay was short lived. Johnston may have been the only person in the ground who felt that a swinging arm had been used to halt the player and he brandished another yellow card followed by red.
Despite playing against 14 men, the home team were unable to take advantage and it was Glenrothes who increased their lead as Delorey hoisted a delightful chip into the ingoal area and Ross Anderson won the race to touch down. Duguid’s conversion attempt flew wide.
The game looked to be inching towards a narrow Glenrothes victory until the home number 8 picked up at the base of a scrum 22m from the Glens line and fed his scrum half. He scampered through the defence to score near the uprights and the ensuing conversion tied the scores at 12-12. Glenrothes’ final game of the season is against Hillfoots at Carleton Park in two weeks’ time.