It’s was a cracker of a Cup game at Inchmacoble on Saturday with Strathie 1st XV welcoming league rivals Dunfermline RFC for the quarter final of the Caley Shield.
In a very tense affair it was Strathmore who eventually opened the scoring with a penalty almost 20 minutes in to the first half with Andrew Burgess splitting the uprights. Only minutes later Strathie extended their lead with a fantastic break away try from Ronan Joy who found a gap in the Dunfermline defensive line beautifully taking the ball at pace and out ran the chasing pack to score under the post. Andrew Burgess added the conversion 10-0.
Dunfermline looked dangerous throughout the first half but couldn’t find a way past the stubborn Strathie defence who stood strong and soaked up the pressure however the Referee spotted an infringement awarding Dunfermline a kickable penalty on the stroke of halftime.
The second half provided the same intensity of rugby as the first with neither team wanting to give an inch in the scrum or in contact but it was Dunfermline who looked stronger and they were beginning to stretch the home defence more and more.
In a quick exchange of points Dunfermline added a converted try and Strathie slotted another penalty although did also miss a second penalty before winger Darren Bell scored a well executed try out wide leaving Andrew Burgess a difficult conversion kick. With bated breath the Inchmacoble faithful watched in horror as the well struck kick came square off the post leaving the score at 18-10 with 10 minutes still to play.
It was always going to be a nervy end to the game and Dunfermline made it even worse for the home support by scoring a converted try with 5 minutes still to play bringing the score to only 1 point 18-17. Thankfully the men in black saw out the remaining time and when the referee blew for full time their was huge cheers from the packed balcony and home supporters around the pitch along with the Strathie players and coaches.
Head Coach Alan Brown was pleased to get through to the next round commenting “That was a tough game for the lads but they stuck to the game plan and we did enough. We are into the semi’s and look forward to that but back to league business with Hillfoots next week.”
This coming weekend the 1st XV stay at Inchmacoble this time welcoming Hillfoots RFC in the league meanwhile Strathie 2nd XV return to action with an away trip to League leaders Rosyth Sharks. Both games kick off at 2pm.