Stags at home in bowl semi-final

Gordon Crossan is urging his side to book a pace at Murrayfield
Gordon Crossan is urging his side to book a pace at Murrayfield
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Grangemouth might have agonisingly lost out on one trophy in recent weeks but they still have a real chance of finishing this season on a high as cup winners.

The Stags were cruelly denied winning the Caledonia Midlands League after slipping to defeat away to St Andrews University on March 17.

They had topped the table for almost the entire season but defeat to their co-challengers was enough to hand the title to the students.

Now Stags director of rugby Gordon Crossan is urging his players to dust themselves down and book themselves a cup final date at Murrayfield.

Grangemouth take on Helensburgh at home this Saturday in the semi-final of the SRU Bowl.

“The guys are just going to have to pick themselves up,” Crossan told Heraldsport.

“We were all very disappointed at missing out on the league, but this is the perfect opportunity to move on and a chance of winning another trophy.”

Helensburgh play in the western division of the same league as Grangemouth, and have enjoyed a remarkably similar campaign - losing just one league game.

“It’s going to be tough,” admitted Crossan.

“We’ve had them watched twice, and they play a very tight game.

“We’ll need to be at our best if we’re to beat them. We like to play an expansive game of rugby, moving the ball quickly to our wingers, and I’ll be telling the guys that’s what’s needed on Saturday.”

Grangemouth travelled north to Carnoustie last weekend to fulfil their final league match of the season, and emerged 36-10 winners.

Having all but lost the league the weekend before, the result might have seemed academic, but it provided Crossan a welcome opportunity to test some of his younger players.

“We had six under-19s in the team, they did very well,” added Crossan.

“They’ll be in contention for Saturday’s game now.”

The Stags coach also welcomes back several senior players who missed the Carnoustie match through injury or unavailability.

It means Grangemouth are essentially at full-strength as they gear up for the game that will make or break their season.

Kick-off at Glensburgh is 3 p.m.