Rugby: Glens flit to Buckhaven to claim victory

Man of the match Daryl Warrender rises high to claim a line out ball
Man of the match Daryl Warrender rises high to claim a line out ball

Glenrothes 36, Mackie Academy FP 12

With Carleton Park unplayable, Glenrothes and Mackie headed to Buckhaven for their third meeting of the season.

Glenrothes, in their change strip of dark blue, played uphill in the first half, into the howling and bitterly cold wind.

The visitors drew first blood as centre Ross Gray forced his way over the line and touched down beside the left hand goal post. Callum Reddish converted the try.

Glenrothes launched a series of assaults on the visitors’ line and, when awarded a penalty close to the goal line, opted for a scrum.

Briefly, it looked as if Mackie were winning a ball against the head but then the home pack exerted their authority, pushed the opposition off the ball and over the line allowing Daryl Warrender to touch the ball down. Shaun Gray’s conversion tied the game at 7-7.

Mackie struck back immediately when they were allowed to recover their restart kick. The backs slickly moved the ball from left to right and Ross Gray grabbed his second try near the corner flag. Reddish was unable to convert.

For the remaining minutes of the first half, Glenrothes enjoyed most of the possession but were unable to add to their points tally.

Playing downhill, with the wind at their backs, the second half was always likely to be more profitable for Glenrothes, and so it proved.

Barry Crookston scored the first points of the half when Warrender was stopped just short of the line. His offload to Crookston allowed the powerful flanker to crash through the defence and touch down.

Shaun Gray’s conversion gave the Glens the lead for the first time.

Club vice-captain Warrender collected the third Glenrothes try of the afternoon as they continued to pile on the pressure.

Glenrothes used all their replacements and the half backs swapped positions, as did the centres.

These changes allowed Varney to claim the only try for the backs when he finished off one of the few passing moves not spoiled by numb fingers.

The bonus point win had now been achieved but the Glens were not satisfied. Kenny Christie became the third backrower to score when a powerful run from 20m out allowed him to barge tiring tacklers out of his way and touch the ball down in the corner.

The sixth and final try was taken by man of the match Warrender and, given the display of the Glens’ scrum, it was fitting that it was a push over try that allowed him to claim his hat trick.

Shaun Gray added his third conversion of the day to complete the scoring and propel Glenrothes to the top of BT Caledonia League 1.

Coach Tom Hainey pronounced himself satisfied with the day’s work but is keeping things in perspective.

“That was a tricky game for us,” he said. “Having to play it away from Carleton is always disappointing and that strong wind guaranteed it would be a game of two halves.

“We still have lots of room for improvement, though, and we will keep working at that as the season progresses into its final third.”

Glenrothes: S Gray, R Venters, C Goodall, S Varney, R Bryce, M Delorey, S Hainey, L Fowlis, S Morrison, M Caldwell, R Douglas, R Hutchison, B Crookston, D Warrender, K Christie. Replacements: C Murphy, R Thomson, M Byers, J Grubb.

The development squad played their first game of the year but were heavily defeated at Alloa.

Despite next weekend being the start of the Six Nations tournament, Glenrothes face a tricky home game against Caithness with a 3.00 p.m kick-off providing a curtain raiser for Scotland’s game against France at 5.00 p.m.

The development squad is due to travel to Montrose.