Having suffered defeat at Dunfermline in the Caley Shield two weeks ago, Glenrothes travelled to McKane Park on Saturday seeking revenge in the league fixture. Chris Docherty had been forced to withdraw due to injury so Scott Morrison moved from hooker to flanker where he was joined by Barry Crookston making his season’s debut. For their part, Dunfermline had introduced big Fijian centre Manoa Satala in direct opposition to Stevie Dean who had made so much ground in the last game.
Both sides spent the early part of the game sizing up their opponents and while each team had a scrum 5m from the opposition goal line they were unable to cross the whitewash. Dunfermline opened the scoring with a penalty awarded for the Glens centres being offside from a lineout 22m from the line. Adam Fraser scored with a cleanly struck kick.
Glenrothes struck back quickly with Barry Crookston winning a line out on the left of the pitch. The ball was moved infield to Stevie Dean who was chopped down as he got into his stride but the ball was recycled and moved further to the right ending up with Callum Kennedy. He danced through three or four would be tackles and cut infield to score under the posts. Kain Duguid converted.
From the restart, Dunfermline knocked on but referee Bryan Johnson penalised Derek Mitchell for a squint feed at the scrum, then advanced 10 m as someone made an injudicious remark and when Dunfermline opted for a scrum penalised the Reds for not pushing straight. Fraser’s attempt at goal fell short and Crookston fielded the ball and raced up to the 22m line before being tackled. Mr Johnson penalised the big flanker for not releasing and this time Fraser sent his kick over the bar to make the score 6-7.
Again the Glens replied almost immediately with Shaun Gray being stopped on the goal line, the ball being freed and passed to Cammy Goodall near the right wing. He was halted but stayed on his feet and the ball was slipped to Kennedy to score his second try, crossing in the corner. Duguid’s conversion attempt limped over the bar.
There was time for Dunfermline to score another penalty with the Glenrothes backs again penalised for being offside at a set piece. This made the score at the interval 9-14 in Glenrothes’ favour.
Early in the second half, Kennedy completed his hat trick, intercepting a slack pass from a home forward and sprinting 75m to touch down. Duguid’s conversion was again a little scruffy but managed to sneak between the uprights.
Glenrothes continued to be heavily penalised by Mr Johnson with Crookston bearing the brunt of his displeasure. When the flanker said something to a team mate after being penalised yet again, the official appeared to listen to the crowd who advocated a yellow card which was duly brandished. With the Glens a man down, Dunfermline chose to scrummage from the penalty, resulting in another penalty for not pushing straight. Another scrum was followed by another penalty as the home team looked for a penalty try. The next scrum advanced towards the goal line and the ball was slipped quickly to left winger Ryan Vidler who scored the 5 pointer. Fraser converted.
Dunfermline continued to take advantage of their numerical; superiority and in his only run of note in the game Satala broke through the defence from 30m out with Fraser adding another conversion. Shortly after this, the Fijian was shown a yellow card for taking Shaun Gray out while the full back was in the air.
Fraser was to go on to add another 6 points to his personal tally before the game ended with another penalty awarded for a high tackle and a drop goal to win the game with Mr Johnson playing an advantage.
Between these goals, Kennedy added a fourth try, finishing off a passing move along the back line with Duguid looping to create the extra man. Duguid converted but the Glens were unable to add to their tally going down 29-28 following Fraser’s late drop goal.
The Reds finished the game with two bonus points but having outscored their hosts by four tries to two felt that they deserved more. Discipline is clearly an area of concern with at least three penalties being marched forward for rash comments and 12 of Dunfermline’s points coming directly from penalties. Callum Kennedy’s four try performance unsurprisingly earned him the man of the match plaudits.
Team L Fowlis, A Thomson, K Dewar, C Calderwood, R Hutchison, B Crookston, S Morrison, G Emerson, D Mitchell, K Duguid, R Anderson, S Dean, C Goodall, C Kennedy, S Gray Replacements G Denholm, M Simpson, R Venters, C May
The Glens second string enjoyed a more profitable time at Carleton Park when they beat Bannockburn St Modans 22-20 in a closely fought encounter. The Glens points came from tries by Lee Gartshore, Connor Young (2) and Andy Dick with Kyle McIntosh adding a conversion. This marks a perfect start to the season with two bonus point wins for the 2nds. Young’s performance in particular was described as outstanding as he was named man of the match.
Updated 09:51 - 12 Sep 2018 by Sheila Beare
Next week the 2nds are away at Montrose while the 1st XV have a free weekend.