Alloa 22 Grangemouth Stags 38: Patchy performance but win nonetheless
Grangemouth know they will have to be much sharper in attack and defence when they play some tougher teams in the next few weeks, but the Stags prevailed despite a patchy performance from Craig Deacons’ team in Alloa.
Grangemouth made three changes to the starting XV from the previous week with starts for Gordon, Manson and Gemmell. There were also positional changes for Hugh, Dempsey and Skelton.
Alloa dominated the territory at the start of the match as the Stags tried to play too much rugby in or around their 22 and failed to clear their lines. However the home side were unable to convert pressure into points and the scoreboard remained blank for the opening quarter. On 20 minutes, and in their first visit to the Alloa 22 , the Stags took the lead.
The home side were penalised deep in their 22 for an offence at the breakdown. Grangemouth opted for the scrum and Harvey picked up before slipping the pass to Stangoe to crash over for the score. Skelton added the extras. Grangemouth failed to kick on from this and allowed Alloa back into the game. They gave away a number of penalties around their own 22.
Alloa had several drives close to the line before a kick through saw the home winger win the race for the touchdown. The conversion attempt was wide. Grangemouth kicked long from the restart and the home side failed to clear their lines. From another scrum deep in the Alloa 22 Harvey and Dempsey combined to drive close to the line. The ball was recycled and moved wide where Kerry was on hand to flop over for the try. Skelton was on target with the conversion.
HT Alloa 5 Stags 14
Alloa struck first at the start of the second half with a simple penalty. The Stags responded a couple of minutes later when Skelton kicked a penalty after the visitors were caught offside. The lead was increased further straight from the kick off. Skelton made the initial break before feeding Allan. The winger made good ground up the touchline before his kick infield was collected by Dempsey who dived over for the try with Skelton adding the extra two points.
However Grangemouth were immediately pegged back as Alloa intercepted on halfway and raced upfield. Petrie did well to get back to make the covering tackle but the Stags were penalised at the breakdown. Alloa took a quick tap penalty to crash over for a converted score.
As the game approached the hour mark the Stags added the bonus point score. From an attacking lineout Harvey had a drive close to the line. When the ball was recycled Dempsey darted blind and crashed over from short range. Skelton was again on target with the kick. Soon after Grangemouth extended their lead. From a scrum on halfway Dempsey had an initial snipe before feeding Allan to run in for a simple score. Skelton maintained his 100% record with the conversion. The closing 10 minutes saw more mistaked by both sides. Alloa did collect another try after a break from their own half and quick ball from the breakdown saw the centre stroll in under the posts.
This was a patchy performance by the Stags. In difficult conditions there was poor game management as they tried to play far too much rugby in and around their 22 rather than clear their lines.
There are no scheduled games until November 9 as the Caley leagues take a break for the conclusion of the World Cup. The next fixture is against Dunfermline at Glensburgh on November 9 with KO 2pm.
The seconds maintained their winning start to the season with a 29 - 22 victory at home against
Montrose. Try scorers included Shaw and Shannon. The 2s are now top of the table having
secured bonus point victories in all 4 games so far. They also have a break over the next few
weeks before also taking on Dunfermline at home on ( November with KO 2pm.
The ladies are also top of their league and remain unbeaten as they secured a narrow 17 - 14
win over Livingston. Try scorers were Innes, Isaac and Acheson. This Sunday the ladies take on
second place Kelso at Glensburgh with KO 2pm