Grangemouth continue to canter towards title

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Grangemouth made the short trip to Stirling last Saturday to take on Uni students in the league.

The Stags made four changes with Kyle Risk and Mike Gowdy returning in the backs and starts in the forwards for James Craig and Graham McNiff.

Stirling played with the breeze in the first half and dominated the opening 10 minutes. They missed an early penalty attempt as the Stags struggled to get into the game.

Everything changed after 12 minutes when the Stirling centre sustained a fracture and dislocation of his ankle and the game was held up for 45 minutes as the player was treated on the park before being taken to hospital.

The break seemed to kick start the Grangemouth performance. From the restart Stirling dropped the ball in midfield and Gary Dempsey and Gowdy combined to hack the ball into the students 22.

From the resulting scrum the forwards had a couple of drives before the ball was moved to Craig Sangster who dummied his opposite number to stroll in under the posts.

The stand-off added the conversion himself.

Grangemouth were now beginning to dominate possession and territory. After 20 minutes the Stirling backs were offside and McInally stepped up to kick the penalty.

Soon after Stuart Allan chased a kick downfield and the Stags were able to turnover the ball. Colin McInally and Aubrey Mncube took play into the Stirling 22.

Grangemouth won the scrum and simple hands in the backs allowed fullback Parsons to join the line and score wide out.

Stags continued to press and Mncube and Craig linked to take the play up to the Stirling line where Dempsey was on hand to score from short range.

With half time approaching Grangemouth added the bonus point try. Craig had another run from halfway and quickly recycled ball allowed David Jamieson to float a pass out wide to Allan to score in the corner.

Grangemouth continued to dominate the opening period of the second half. McPherson nicked a loose scrum heel from the students and after a couple of drives, Sangster was on hand to repeat his dummy and stroll to the line.

Once again he converted his own score. Grangemouth should have added try number six soon after. Another run by Mncube took play up to the Stirling 22 and Randalls drove on but was held up just short.

The game became very loose in the last quarter and this allowed Stirling to come back into the game. Mncube made a fine tackle to deny one score but Stirling did score soon after when their centre cut back to crash through for a converted score.

However Grangemouth did manage to score the last try when McFarlane had the initial run and Sangster popped up to run in from 30 metres to score at the posts. Once again he kicked the conversion for a 7–39 win.

It meant another important bonus point win for the Stags, which maintains their two point lead in the league.

There were some very good periods of play but the coaches will be slightly concerned by the looseness that crept into the game in the last quarter.