Dunfermline 46 Grangemouth 5: Stags gritty in defeat

Grangemouth Stags. Picture Michael Gillen.
Grangemouth Stags. Picture Michael Gillen.

It was back to league action for the Stags last Saturday as they made the short trip across the Forth to take on Dunfermline.

Despite the heavy defeat this was a gritty performance from a makeshift Stags side against a good outfit. Grangemouth players put in a great shift especially in defence while the scrum was on top throughout.

However the attacking options were limited with players out of position in the back row and in midfield owing to a lengthy injury list.

Coach Deacons had to delve deep into his squad to select a side for the fixture.

A heavy rain shower greeted the sides as the game kicked off making handling tricky. The home side dominated from the start and only some last gasp tackling by the Stags prevented an early score.

The first score for the home side came on ten minutes and another followed five minutes later.

With limited attacking options the Stags were unable to break down the solid Dunfermline defence and to make matters worse on 25 minutes Grangemouth lost centre James Denny to a bad head knock with young Tom Chapman coming on for his first appearance of the season. Dunfermline finished the half strongly and the sides went into the break with the home side 20-0 up.

The start of the second period saw the Stags put some pressure on the Dunfermline line. The Grangemouth scrum had been on top throughout and on 46 minutes they finally turned this dominance into points. The pack shunted the home scrum backwards and Hind picked up before being tackled just short of the line. Hugh followed up to scoop the ball up and dive over from short range.

Despite their obvious limitations in attack Grangemouth continued to push for further scores and remained on top in the third quarter. However on 65 minutes a Grangemouth attack was intercepted by the home centre who ran in from 60 metres for an opportunistic score. A few minutes latewr a quick tap penalty on halfway saw the Dunfermline winger run in from 50 metres. The final 10 minutes saw Dunfermline add two further scores against a tiring Stags defence. First they were awarded a penalty try after a deliberate knock on and then good support play resulted in an unconverted score to complete the scoring.

The coaches will be hoping to have a few more players available for selection this week when they face Glenrothes at Glensburgh with KO 3pm.