Strathmore 1st XV welcomed Glenrothes RFC along to Inchmacoble on Saturday for their final game of the season looking to maintain their 100% home record in the league. Glenrothes still had this game and another next Saturday versus Alloa to play all with an eye on looking to finish 3rd in the league, one place behind Strathmore. This give both teams something to play for at a beautiful sun drenched Inchmacoble Park.
Strathie who had started well in the majority of their home games this season couldn’t quite settle into their usual pattern of play meaning it was a frantic opening 10 minutes of play from both teams where mistakes were a plenty or the final pass didn’t quite find the intended target. It took a little bit of magic from centre James Lockhart to settle the increasing nerves of the home support on 11 minutes to score the first try of the game.
The Glens attack play was testing and pushing the Strathmore defence back nearer their try line but were awarded a kickable penalty on 26mins and chose to kick for goal successfully rather than go for a line out nearer the try line. 5-3. This little bit of defensive pressure seemed to awaken the sleeping giant within the Strathie attack and it was almost instantly back to the style of Rugby the Inchmacoble supporters had become used it. Despite this fast flowing rugby from the home team the best they could get was a kickable penalty themselves as the Glenrothes defence stood strong. Lee Alexander scoring the 3 points. Only 3 minutes later on 36 minutes winger Darren Slasher Bell finally managed to break through the Glens defence finishing off a move with some slick hands from the Strathie backs. Halftime 13-3.
The second half kicked off with Strathie showing their intent on winning this game and Dave Vernon was next to score a try for the Men in Black with Lee Alexander adding the extras 20-3 after 47 minutes. Injuries were forcing Strathie to make changes all over the park and it wasn’t long before Glens took the opportunity to run in two tries in quick succession. Both the converted tries bringing the scoreline to be much closer than the home team wanted with 20 minutes still to play 20-17.
Man of match Glenn Feighan did his best to ease the worries and protect the 100% home record with adding another try to his impressive tally for the season on 70 minutes which Lee Alexander duly converted easing Strathie in front 27-17. However Glens were far from finished and came back at Strathie time and time again scoring a converted try on 74 minutes and shocked the home support by taking the lead on 76 minutes.
Rallying cries from Captain Dave Smith drove the Men in Black on and with the final play of the game in the Glenrothes half Strathie had possession. The forwards played a couple of great phases getting the correct position before scrum half Dave Vernon shipped the ball out wide through the backs and with a 4 on 3 attack it was all to come back to the opening 10 minutes where the final pass didn’t quite reach its target. The ball flew into touch bringing the game to an end and the referee blowing his whistle for time up. Fulltime 27-31.
Head Coach Stewart Ross commented “Not the result we wanted today but in terms of the bigger picture we are very pleased with our season finishing 2nd to a strong Caithness team. Strathmore and Proud!”