2 weeks ago
By Ryan Townsley
Glenrothes first xv vs Harris
Having had no game last weekend, Glenrothes 1st XV entertained Harris FP RFC on Saturday keen to bounce back from two narrow defeats to Dunfermline. The team showed a few changes with Rhys Bryce moving from the three quarter line to flanker and Duncan Robertson coming in at hooker. Michael Delorey was on the bench and with Russell Grieve available next week this will increase competition for the crucial number 9 shirt.
The Glens got off to the best possible start, winning a Harris lineout on the left hand side of the pitch and the majority of the team handled the ball as it moved across the pitch and then back again where Robertson and captain Ross Hutchison barged through the defence before slipping the ball to Shaun Gray who crashed over the line to the left of the posts. Kain Duguid converted.
The next twenty minutes or so saw both sides probing with the Glens looking more dangerous but unable to cross the whitewash. One attack broke down when having created an overlap on the left an attempted miss pass went horribly wrong when the simpler pass would have been more productive. Callum Kennedy eventually scored two tries to extend the lead. His first benefitted from a Gray break, as the full back returned a Harris clearance from half way to deep in opposition territory before offloading to the supporting winger. Kennedy’s second try came when the ball was moved to his wing after a scrum and he ran back across the park, spotted a gap and outpaced the Harris defence. Duguid converted the first of these tries from the right hand side of the pitch but had been yellow carded for a no-arms tackle before Kennedy’s second.
Glenrothes ensured their try scoring bonus after winning a scrum against the head. Gavin Emerson picked up, passed to Derek Mitchell who slipped the ball to Steven Varney and he did very well to squeeze the ball down in the left corner.
On the stroke of half time, Harris scored what was to prove their only points of the afternoon. Referee James Fraser awarded a penalty deep in the Glens’ 22m area and a quickly taken tap put full back Corey Dicks, making his Harris debut, in for a score beside the posts with the Glens defence at sixes and sevens. Graeme Hopkins converted.
Kennedy was heavily involved in the opening try of the second period, fielding a clearance near half way on his right wing before dancing infield up to the 22m line. The ball was recycled and two passes later Kennedy who had stayed in midfield again received the ball. He was tackled but offloaded to Cammy Goodall who raced on to the ball and through for a try near the posts. Gray converted.
Goodall then rounded off a good attack up the left wing, involving forwards and backs, with a try in the corner. The conversion attempt missed.
With about 15minutes to play, Daryl Warrender received a yellow card, again for a tackled deemed to be dangerous but possibly coloured by the fact that this was the third time that Mr Fraser had had to speak to him. Harris looked to take advantage of their numerical superiority but a promising attack was broken up by a Gray interception and the forwards demonstrated that even a man down they had more than enough in the scrum to wear down their opponents.
Once Warrender was returned to the fray, Glenrothes increased the pressure on their opponents and eventually got their reward. Hutchison, Warrender, Delorey, Ryan Venters and Kennedy all had hands on the ball before Gray was set free to sprint down the right wing and, after crossing the line, run nearer the posts before dotting the ball down. Duguid converted.
Warrender was again involved in the final try of the contest breaking powerfully towards the line following a ruck. His offload allowed man of the match Goodall to complete his hat trick and Duguid’s conversion brought up the half century to give a final score of 50-7.
TEAM Kaylan Dewar, Duncan Robertson, Ross Hutchison, Daryl Warrender, Dean Wight, Rhys Bryce, Chris Docherty, Gavin Emerson, Derek Mitchell, Kain Duguid, Steven Varney, Callum May, Cameron Goodall, Callum Kennedy, Shaun Gray Replacements Alec Thomson, Gavin Turnbull, Michael Delorey, Ryan Venters
This was a solid enough performance but, against stronger opposition, indiscipline could have been more costly with 21 penalties awarded against the Glens not to mention the two yellow cards. Many of these penalties were due to support for the ball carrier being slow to clear out the opposition. The line out was a bit of a lottery but the set scrum was on top for much of the game and the supply of ball they gave resulted in all eight tries coming from the backs. As long as the forwards continue to win ball, these Glenrothes backs will score points against any opponents and with Strathmore on top of the league next Saturday’s game at Forfar could have an important bearing on the rest of the season.
Meanwhile the 2nds were also in action at Carleton Park where league leaders Dunfermline 2nds were the opposition. After an opening spell where the visitors scored three converted tries, the Glens put up a much better display than in their previous game. They scored two tries before half time through man of the match Aaron Campbell and a penalty try forced by the same player to trail 12-28 at the interval. A second Glens’ try from Scott Morrison contributed to a final score of 17-42. With next week’s visitors Bo’ness having lost both of the games played so far and failing to fulfil a third it is reasonable to expect a less demanding game for the 2nds and an opportunity to build on their season opening two, bonus point, victories.
Updated 20:02 - 5 Oct 2018 by Sheila Beare