Hit and miss Falkirk hang on

Grangemouth Stags v Madras.'Pic by Alan Murray. 15-09-12
Grangemouth Stags v Madras.'Pic by Alan Murray. 15-09-12

IN another Jekyll and Hyde performance, Falkirk stormed into a 16-3 half time lead at Dumfries last weekend, only to see it slowly but surely whittled away in a second half in which time they never ventured further than the half way line.

However it all looked so different and promising from the starting whistle as Falkirk immediately took the initiative and launched an early onslaught on Saints’ line, with winger Niall Lear coming desperately close to scoring.

Undaunted, the visitors kept the pressure up and were rewarded with consecutive penalties in the sixth and 15th minutes both converted by full-back Alex Penman.

Dumfries countered with a converted penalty not long afterwards from their stand-off Jordan Kerr, but Falkirk’s continuing perseverance earned them a well deserved try some two minutes later on.

Winning a line out near Saints’ 22-metre line open-side wing-forward Aubrey MnCube and tight-head Prop Ihipa ‘Pa’ Thompson both handled before blind-side wing-forward Matt Larson crashed over from the resultant ruck, with Alex Penman promptly adding the conversion.

Following on from that, Saints then lost the services of their tight-head prop Grant Duffy for ten minutes when he was yellow-carded by referee Tom McNicol and Penman wasted no time at all in slotting over the ensuing penalty conversion.

Continuing to pepper Dumfries’ line, Falkirk strove to put pressure into points but they failed to add to their tally, and just to show how fortunes can quickly change, with Falkirk right on the home side’s try line and looking a certainty to score, the referee then yellow-carded Pa Thompson for over zealous rucking bang on half time with the score on Dumfries Saints 3 Falkirk 16.

The transformation after the break was remarkable, and the boot was firmly on the other foot, as Saints commenced to launch everything but the kitchen sink at their opposites.

Nevertheless Falkirk defended extremely admirably until the closing ten minutes or so when Saints’ dogged determination bore fruit for them in the 69th minute when Full-Back Andrew Wilson raced over for a well deserved try on pressure applied, and Jordan Kerr presently added the difficult conversion.

To say that the remaining minutes were a torrid time for Falkirk’s overstretched defence would not be complete understatement, and at times they came perilously close to losing the match at the death, but they held on for an all important league away win.