Glens Suffer First Carleton Loss
Glenrothes lost 36-12 to a strong Gordonians side who now sit top of Caledonia Division 1.
Glenrothes went into Saturday’s match looking to end a 4 match losing streak with their opponents eyeing the top spot in the league which at one point had seemed a possible target for the Carleton Park team.
The first half hour of the game was an evenly contested affair with both sides spurning chances to open the scoring. Referee Steve Mellon had a busy afternoon with both sides regularly conceding penalties and the tough tackling frequently causing the ball to be knocked on. Steven Dean saw a penalty attempt drift to the left of the posts after 20 minutes but it was the visitors who opened the scoring.
With 30 minutes played, Gordonians won ball inside their own half on the right hand side of the pitch and moved the ball at pace along the backline. Full back Danny Osugo joined the line creating a two on one situation on the left wing. Wille Maxwell, making a welcome return to the team, focussed on the winger and Osugo stepped inside him, avoided another would be tackler and dotted the ball down between the posts and left hand corner flag. The conversion attempt came back off the left hand upright.
The reds struck back immediately when the restart kick was knocked into touch near the visitors’ 22m line. From the line out Glenrothes moved the ball from right to left, with a little less fluidity than their opponents had just demonstrated but the same result. Winger Steven Varney scored in the corner to tie the scores and Steven Dean conversion gave the home team a 2 point advantage.
Glenrothes were on the attack when they conceded the next points. An untidy ruck on half way meant that Michael Delorey was under pressure when he got the ball. His pass to Stewart Hainey was intercepted by Chris Simpson who scampered 50m and touched down to the right of the posts. Graeme Crawford added another two points with a successful conversion.
Gordonians were growing in confidence and as half time approached they launched another attack which Glenrothes managed to halt and to steal the ball. Unfortunately for the home supporters, the reds tried to play the ball out of their 22m area and ended up conceding a penalty for not releasing the ball after a tackle. Possibly expecting an attempt at goal, the defence switched off and when Gordonians took a tap and passed out left Craig Munro had the easiest of tasks to run in a try untouched by any home player. Crawford’s conversion gave a half time score of 7-19.
Early in the second half Gordonians managed to pinch a line out ball following a Glens’ throw. As they had done in the first half, they quickly moved the ball along the back line again outnumbering the defence and Osugo claimed his second try of the day in the right corner.
Glenrothes were still in the game and were awarded a free kick for a scrum offence just outside the visitors 22m area. Not for the first time a Gordonian player tried to advise Mr Mellon on his decision making and his team were marched back 10m. As they sought to reorganise, Michael Delorey took a quick tap, made some good ground before feeding the supporting Kenny Christie who in turn offloaded to Stewart Hainey and the stand off touched down over the goal line. Dean’s conversion went astray.
The reds went straight back down the pitch but were unable to finish off their offence. They lost possession of the ball in the shadow of the visitors’ posts. The ball was quickly shifted to the right wing where Osugo took play up to half way before dancing across the pitch and supplying Cameron Bell, on the right wing, with the ball and a clear run to the goal line. Crawford had another unsuccessful conversion attempt.
Another spell of Glens’ pressure followed with a number of penalties and scrums close to the Gordonians line yielding nothing. Another interception allowed the visitors to break out and move upfield. Glenrothes tackles slowed down the attack but too rarely brought the man down before he had the opportunity to offload. When the ball got to the left wing, full back Osugo was on hand to complete his hat trick. Crawford’s conversion completed the scoring at 12-36.
Glenrothes continued to compete and a bullocking run from man of the match Ross Hutchison set up a passing move culminating in Cammy Goodall evading three or four tackles before being hauled down near the posts. His attempted off load was intercepted and this attack like so many others stuttered to a halt.
Glenrothes had chances throughout the game to add to their tally but for some reason seem to have lost the cutting edge displayed earlier in the season. They added to their problems with some ill judged passes and, particularly for the third try, poor concentration. However this season has been successful for the Glens and they have the opportunity to close the 15 a side season next week with a victory when they face Strathmore at Carleton Park, while the development squad face Montrose and District.
Coach Tom Hainey was philosophical about Saturday’s game saying “I can’t complain about being beaten by a better team and Gordonians are the best team we have faced this season”
Team: W Maxwell, R Bryce, C Goodall, S Dean, S Varney, S Hainey, M Delorey, S Morrison, S Dick, S McAlpine, R Douglas, R Hutchison, A Campbell, K Christie, D Warrender Replacements R Venters, K Harrow, K McIntosh, A Dick