Stags continue to set pace in title race

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Grangemouth extended their lead at the top of the table with a comprehensive 0-57 win against Panmure.

It was an excellent performance in Broughty Ferry considering the game was played in very testing conditions.

Stevie Neill was outstanding in the first half while Gary Dempsey and David John Innes continued to impress in attack and defence.

The Stags increased their lead at the top of the RBS Midlands League as nearest rivals Glenrothes had their match postponed due to the weather.

After a run of four successive home fixtures the Stags made the trip to Tayside in confident mood following their 90-0 win against Fife Southern the previous week.

Grangemouth made a number of changes with Carrie and McNab starting in the front row, Curran moving into the second row, Aspinall in the back row and Scott and Serafini in the backs.

The game was played in bitterly cold conditions with a biting easterly wind and frequent snow flurries.

The opening kick off from the home side was out on the full and Grangemouth took advantage from the midfield scrum. McFarlane picked up and made 10 metres. The move was carried on by Jamieson before Dempsey set up a ruck

on the 22. The ball was switched back to the blindside where Neill burst through the initial line of defence before using his pace to beat the full back for the opening score. Innes kicked the simple conversion.

A few minutes later the Stags added try number two. The forwards won a scrum against the head and Innes had the initial run. Jamieson carried the ball on further before the ball was moved out for Curran to stretch out for the try. Once again Innes added the extra two points.

Try number three arrived on 15 minutes. An impressive lineout drive took play 20 metres up field and when the ball was moved out stand off Johnstone sliced through the defence to score under the posts. Again the conversion from Innes was on target.

The bonus point was secured five minutes later. McFarlane drove on from a lineout in midfield and again Jamieson carried the ball on. Quick recycling saw Neill burst through the defence and outpace the cover to score from 30 metres. Innes kept his 100 per cent record with the conversion from in front of the posts. Grangemouth continued to dominate and added their next try on 32 minutes.

Forwards and backs combined to take play up to the home 22 before the ball was moved wide for McFarlane to crash over in the corner. This time the difficult conversion was missed. Just on half time the Stags should have increased their lead but managed to butcher a clear overlap and the ball was knocked on.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw Panmure use the wind to dominate territory. However the Stags defence was solid and it was the visitors who increased their lead after 50 minutes. They ran a tap penalty from deep and good handling involving Innes (twice) and Serafini took play 50 metres into the home 22. The ball was recycled and again Johnstone darted through the defence to score. The conversion attempt from wide out was unsuccessful.

Another scrum take against the head saw Ward feed Dempsey. The centre bounced off tacklers like a pinball before somehow finding his way to the line for an unlikely score. Again the difficult kick was missed.

Grangemouth finished the match with two scores in the closing 10 minutes. First a tap penalty on the Panmure 22 was switched to the blind for Innes to skip round his man for the try which he duly converted. Then another flowing move from deep saw Curran collect the scoring pass to score under the posts. Substitute Crossan added the conversion.

This weekend, Grangemouth turn their attention back to the cup as they play Kinloss Eagles at Glensburgh in the semi-final of the National Bowl. Kick-off is 3 p.m. and all supporters are welcome for this crucial game.

A trip to Murrayfield on April 20 awaits the winners.