Hillfoots 19-23 Glenrothes

Glenrothes rugby player Rhys Bryce received man of the match
Glenrothes rugby player Rhys Bryce received man of the match

Glenrothes’ league travels took them to Tillicoultry on Saturday to face a Hillfoots team who traditionally have a robust approach to the game.

The Reds got off to the best possible start, when Rhys Bryce touched down in the corner after Shaun Gray had offloaded the ball to the winger. Gray’s conversion was unsuccessful. Things got even better when Russell Grieve darted through the defence and ran round to score a try near the posts. Gray converted.

A series of picks and drives led to Hillfoots gaining their first try as a trio of home forwards drove over the line before the interval.

Gray though converted a penalty to give the Glens breathing space at 15-5 at the break after Warrender and May were both stopped on the line.

Hillfoots opened the second half with a try from their first attack. They earned a lineout 5m from the goal line, set up a maul and when this stalled, flanker Mark Hunter took the ball and dived over in the right corner. Euan Jamieson converted.

Having closed to within three points of the Glens, Hillfoots piled on the pressure and forced a penalty near the Glens uprights and opted for a scrum. At the first time of asking the Red forwards managed to get a bit of a nudge on, but the scrum wheeled and was reset. This time the home forwards did their job and as the scrum marched towards the Glens line, a defender dived into the scrum giving referee Murray little option but to award a penalty try, putting the Tillicoultry men in the lead for the first time in the game.

The lead should have been extended when a Glens attack ground to a halt and Rhys Bryce was isolated fielding the clearance kick. Hillfoots attackers were quickly round Bryce but knocked on with the line beckoning. Then a clever kick by Jamieson into the left corner looked to present winger Ross Kinnear with an easy run-in but unfortunately for the hosts he had strayed offside before the ball was kicked.

After these let-offs, it was perhaps inevitable that Glenrothes would regain the lead and Bryce was the man to do so when he charged down a clearance deep in opposition territory. He reacted quickest to the bouncing ball and dived over in the left corner.

A one point lead was stretched to four when a penalty was conceded for not rolling away after a tackle on the Hillfoots 22m line. Gray made no mistake with the kick and the Glens held on until the final whistle to record a hard fought 19-23 victory.