After being triumphant in two home cliffhangers, in their one point deciders again Highland and Glasgow Accies, it was Falkirk’s turn to sample the bitter taste of defeat as Preston Lodge converted a late injury time penalty to seal victory in a match full of controversy and drama at Horne Park last Saturday afternoon.
Falkirk got off to a great start when Scrum-Half Fionn Call converted a fifth minute penalty and their efforts were rewarded further at the end of the first quarter in spectacular fashion.
Taking advantage of broken play on the half way line, Lock-Forward Gregor Dodd, son of former President Matt, snapped up the loose ball and showed a clean pair of heels by outstripping P.L.’s defenders as he raced in under the posts unopposed.
Maintaining the pressure, Falkirk went further ahead in the 28th minute when Stand-Off Simon Rolleston broke clear from a five metre scrum and sent Inside-Centre Graham Gilliland over for the home side’s third touchdown, with Call slotting over two conversions.
With Falkirk now seemingly in control at 17-0 ahead, P.L.countered three minutes later when their hooker Kyle Scott crashed over for an unconverted try from a five metre ruck near the corner flag.
The visitors broke Falkirk’s line in the 45th minute when their Blind-side Flanker Jack Gordon strove to get the ball down in the corner, but there was a good deal of controversy as he was grounded short of the line, with the referee clearly unsighted.
Call opened the second period of play with a converted penalty for Falkirk in the first minute but P.L.’s Left-Winger Gus Hillhouse replied not long afterwards as both sides attempted to get the upper hand.
In a very tense and closely contested ending, the visitors narrowed the score to 20-18 when Prop-Forward Darren Eales crashed over from close quarters in the 76th minute, and when Falkirk conceded a penalty right in front of their posts deep into injury time Hillhouse gleefully converted to win the match by a point.