Grangemouth Stags beat champions Orkney

Grangemouth Stags put in a memorable performance last Saturday to beat Tennent’s Caledonia Division 1 champions Orkney 32-31.

By Ben Kearney
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 7:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 7:48 pm

Still without a head coach since the departure of Chris Lawson, the Glensburgh side were able to field a strong side for their first home match since February, with Sloan, Anderson, Grant and Wieczorek back in the starting line-up.

On a perfect day for rugby, the home side had the advantage of the strong breeze in the first half and were on the scoreboard after just two minutes. Orkney knocked on at the kick off and gave away a quick couple of penalties.

Skelton kicked to the corner and, from the resulting lineout, the pack drove over, with Harvey getting the touchdown. Skelton was unable to add the extras. Five minutes later, the Stags increased their lead. Harvey picked up and had the strength to crash over for his second score.

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Grangemouth Stags players in action against Orkney (Stock picture: Scott Louden)

This time, Skelton landed the difficult conversion. Grangemouth continued to dominate and a turnover in their own half allowed the home side to kick downfield. Forsyth and Anderson followed up to prevent the visitors from clearing their lines. The Stags secured a scrum 15 metres from the Orkney line. Harvey again picked up and, this time, he released Gemmell with a perfect offload for an unconverted score.

As the game entered the second quarter, Orkney finally began to use their forwards to gain territory. After a spell of pressure in the home 22, they were unlucky not to score when they were over the line but the referee decided the ball was held up.

On 30 minutes, Grangemouth extended their lead with a Skelton penalty. A few minutes later, the Stags secured the bonus point score. Forsyth scampered under the sticks for the score. Skelton added the conversion.

The second half started well for the home side, as full-back Gemmell ran in for his second score. Skelton was unable to add the extras. The closing 30 minutes belonged to Orkney as they showed why they were worthy champions as they roared back into the contest as the Stags faded.

However, they held on to claim a narrow but impressive victory against the side that will be promoted.

The final game of the season is on Saturday, May 7 when Ellon make the trip south to Glensburgh.