1 week ago
By Ryan Townsley
First XV victorious whilst Second XV draw level
Saturday’s two rugby matches at Carleton Park could not have been more different with one game boasting 13 tries and 92 points and the other ending up with that rarest of rugby results a no-score draw.
On the big pitch, the 1st XV faced their counterparts from Grangemouth hoping to repeat last week’s bonus point win and featuring a strong line up. However it was the visitors who had the chance to open the scoring but Thomas Skelton’s penalty attempt flew wide of the right hand upright. From the drop out Grangemouth continued to exert pressure but Cammy Goodall intercepted a pass and followed this with a 75m sprint to score near the posts. Kain Duguid converted.
A line out for Grangemouth in the Glens 22m area was squint and at the second time of asking, Glenrothes scrum ball was moved to Stevie Dean in midfield. He hoisted a high ball toward the right wing which Shaun Gray fielded cleanly. Gray passed to Callum Kennedy who strode deep into the enemy 22m area before he was downed. The ball broke free and Gray, following up well, scooped it up and touched down between the posts. Duguid’s conversion made the score 14-0.
The visitors struck back almost immediately with right winger Kyle Forsyth sprinting down his line before flipping the ball inside to Graeme Gemmell to score between corner flag and posts. Thomas Skelton added the extra two points with a good conversion kick.
The Glens regained their 14 point advantage when they took advantage of sloppy handling by the Stags and moved the ball through hand out to the left wing. Rhys Bryce was stopped short of the line but he released the ball to Dean. The centre, later voted man of the match, is difficult to stop at short range and crashed over the line. Duguid continued his excellent kicking form with a conversion close to the touch line.
Glens next target was a try scoring bonus and this looked likely to arrive from a typical Gray break but Grangemouth have quick defenders and he was halted on the 22m line. Referee Chris Williams awarded a penalty to Glenrothes from the subsequent ruck which Gray put into the corner. Chris Docherty took the ball cleanly in the lineout and the pack mauled the ball toward the goal line. Michael Delorey joined the back of the maul and when he received the ball, he broke off and dived over in the right corner. Duguid then demonstrated his ability to kick goals from near both touch lines.
Grangemouth struck back quickly. Glenrothes tidied up the restart but a horrendous pass from captain Ross Hutchison was picked off by the opposition and when Skelton got the ball he evaded three or four poor tackle attempts to run in and score from the 10m line. He then converted his own try.
Bryce scored the Reds fifth try, and their best of the first half. Gavin Emerson picked up from the base of a scrum on halfway. The ball zipped across the park from Emerson to Delorey to Duguid to Dean and to Goodall. He drew the last defender before freeing Bryce for a long run to the corner. Duguid converted.
On the stroke of half time, Gemmell grabbed his second try as the Reds conceded two penalties in quick succession deep in their own territory. From the latest of these, prop forward John Poland barged his way up to the line and, though he was stopped, his offload allowed Gemmell in and Skelton’s conversion rounded off the half with a score of 35-21 in Glenrothes favour.
With eight tries in the first half, it was unlikely that the second period could match this. There were however plenty of talking points starting with a concerted spell of Grangemouth pressure being halted on the Glens goal line. Visiting lock Jordan Sloan was over aggressive in his efforts to free the ball and saw red from Mr Williams. The home team’s Docherty was awarded a yellow card for his reaction to Sloan’s over robust rucking. Playing 14 a side gave a little more room on the pitch and when Grangemouth moved the ball to their left wing, Stuart Allan took full advantage of this room and some ineffective attempts at tackling to score behind the posts. Skelton brought the visitors to within seven points of their hosts.
Before Docherty could rejoin the fray, Goodall joined him pitchside, yellow carded as a tackle slipped up and was deemed to be high. Duguid calmed the Glens nerves with a penalty from the 10 m line using up time on the yellow cards and, more importantly, stretching the lead beyond a converted try.
Callum Kennedy extended the margin with a jinking run from 30m out, leaving defenders floundering in his wake for the sort of try that the Glens fans have become accustomed to seeing from the youngster this season. With Duguid having been replaced at stand off by Ryan Venters, Gray took over kicking duties and slotted the conversion.
Gray brought up the half century when a scrum on half way yielded ball which was moved across the back line with Kennedy providing the final pass for the full back. Gray converted his own try.
Timmy Kennedy had joined his twin brother on the pitch in time to score the Reds final try. With a move which has earned the Reds innumerable tries over the years, Emerson picked up at the base of a scrum 5m from the Grangemouth line, went blind before passing to Delorey who slipped the ball to the replacement winger to cross in the corner. Brother Callum was given the chance to convert but showed why his forte is scoring tries rather than goals.
Despite trailing for the whole game, the Stags were dangerous to the end and they had the satisfaction of registering the final points as number 8, Graeme McNiff crashed over from close range. Skelton’s fifth conversion of the day heralded the final whistle.
Glens coach Gavin Emerson will be happy with a try scoring bonus win which just about keeps the Glens in touch with the two leading teams Strathmore and Dunfermline and, despite two yellow cards, the improved discipline. He will be disappointed however in some of the missed tackles which allowed Grangemouth to get a bonus point of their own. Yet again the scorers were all backs with Callum Kennedy grabbing his 12th try of the season in his final game before heading to Australian team Wests Bulldogs. Everyone at Glenrothes wishes him well for the latest adventure in his rugby career.
The blank score on the other pitch was unexpected after the 2nds 92 point haul last week but was a result of strong defence by both teams. David Hogg’s red card for an uncharacteristic overreaction to a fierce hand off was the most noteworthy event of the game and Ewan Arthur was adjudged to be the man of the match.
Updated 18:58 - 5 Nov 2018 by Ryan Townsley