Grangemouth Stags defeated by Carnoustie

Stags scrum half Roddy McPherson releases the ball from a ruck. Picture Robert Perry 18th Oct 2014
Stags scrum half Roddy McPherson releases the ball from a ruck. Picture Robert Perry 18th Oct 2014

Extra time was required to separate Grangemouth and Carnoustie at Glensburgh - but it was the visitors who progress in the Midland Bowl.

The Stags had recorded a narrow victory with a late penalty in the previous encounter and everything pointed to another close game this time.

Grangemouth were missing several of their usual players especially in the tight five but they were still able to welcome back Stirling, Aspinall and Denny to the starting line up. On another good day for running rugby the visitors had the advantage of the wind in the first half and were immediately on the attack. They missed an early penalty and in fact it was the home side who opened the scoring after 5 minutes. The forwards secured good lineout ball and drove the Carnoustie pack back 20 metres.

Rutherford drove on into the 22 and quick ball was moved along the backs with a miss pass creating the space for Herron to round his man and score near the posts. Innes was successful with the conversion.

Grangemouth failed to hold on to the ball from the kick off but Rutherford was able to steal the ball back and Herron made good ground into the opposition half before being bundled into touch. The visitors did reduce the lead on 12 minutes with a simple penalty after the home side were caught offside. Carnoustie were dominating possession as the Grangemouth scrum was under pressure and the lineout was very scrappy. On the half hour mark a speculative kick from the Carnoustie stand off bounced perfectly for the chasing backs.

A try looked certain in the corner but a superb covering tackle by Pedyo knocked the Carnoustie winger into touch 5 metres from the line. The Grangemouth pack then managed to defend a series of scrums close to their line as the visitors pressed for the lead.

The defence remained solid and with the last play of the half a clearing kick from young Chapman was charged down and Parsons had to scramble back to prevent the score. HT Stags 7 Carnoustie 3.

The second half started with Carnoustie trying to run the ball from deep. The move was halted by a tackle from Pedyo and when the ball was spilled it was the young winger who kicked ahead and win the race for the touchdown in the corner. Innes hit the post with the conversion attempt.

The visitors hit back and five minutes later thought they had scored in the corner but the try was disallowed for a forward pass. They did score soon after as the forwards drove over after a tap penalty for a converted score. With 15 minutes to go the Stags restored their nine point lead. Innes spotted the space in behind the Carnoustie defence. He followed up his own chip kick to beat the cover and score near the posts. He duly added the conversion.

The Stags were hanging on in the closing minutes as the visitors attacked at every opportunity. They narrowed the gap on 72 minutes as they broke up the touchline before spinning the ball along the back line to squeeze in at the corner. With the game entering injury time it looked as if Carnoustie had snatched the game at the death as their right winger cut back off his wing for a converted score under the posts. There was just enough time for the kick off. Innes reclaimed his own kick and the visitors were subsequently penalised at the breakdown. Innes stepped up to slot home the penalty to take the game into extra time. FT Stags 22 Carnoustie 22

The extra 20 minutes proved to be a step too far for the home side. Grangemouth conceded an early try as they lost the ball 30 metres from their line and the visitors were able to score in the corner. Soon after the Carnoustie pack drove over the line from a lineout to increase their lead. Innes was wide with a penalty with the last kick of the first period of extra time. Carnoustie made the game safe with another try at the start of the second period before Innes claimed his second try as he drove over after a tap penalty. Final score Stags 27 Carnoustie 39

This was a disappointing result in the end for the home side after a very hard fought encounter. There is still much work to be down especially with scrum and lineout but the coaches were pleased with the effort and commitment of the entire squad.

This week Grangemouth travel to Blairgowrie for a league match. KO is 3pm