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1st XV - Match centre

Grangemouth Stags RFC
Ellon Rugby
Sat 1 Dec 14:00 - Caledonia Region - Tennent's Caledonia League Division 1 Full time

Stags lose out in last play of game


Ellon emerge winners in close encounter at Glensburgh

The Stags were back at home last Saturday as they welcomed Ellon to Glensburgh for the last league match of 2018. Once again Grangemouth made a host of changes with starts for McNab, Love, Binnie, Nesbitt, McGregor, Gemmell, Dempsey and McLay. Conditions were difficult with a very soft pitch after all the rain during the week. After a tight opening few minutes it was the Stags who were first to score on 8 minutes. Gemmell kicked ahead and looked likely to win the chase for the ball before being illegally blocked just short of the line. The Stags opted for a scrum and from this the ball was moved to the left to allow Skelton to slip a well timed pass to Dempsey to run in under the posts. Skelton added the extras. Ellon hit back and tied the game after 15 minutes. The initial attack was halted by a solid tackle just outside the home 22. From the breakdown the Ellon skipper picked up and burst through a huge gap in the Grangemouth defence to run in under the posts for a converted score. The game remained tight with both sides making numerous handling errors before Grangemouth restored their lead with a penalty from Skelton. On the half hour mark it was Ellon who scored next with their second try. Good ball retention allowed the vsitors to recycle the ball through several phases. With the home defence sucked in the ball was moved to midfield for another simple run in for the try The conversion was on target. Ellon were then penalised at the kick off and this allowed the Stags to kick for touch inside the 22. A clean catch at the lineout saw Grangemouth set up a driving maul with McNab in control at the base. The maul was driven over the line with the hooker claiming the touchdown. Skelton landed the conversion. HT Stags 17 Ellon 14

Grangemouth made a couple of changes at the interval and started the second period on the front foot. On 45 minutes Forsyth darted blind before passing to McNiff who in turn found Shannon in support to slide in near the corner. Skelton was unable to add the extras. The bright start faded quickly as the game became bogged down in the middle of the park as both sides strugglrd for any continuity. As the game entered the final quarter Ellon pinned the Stags back in their 22 and after a spell of pressure on the line they were rewarded with with an unconverted score from a forward drive close to the line. With 5 minutes to go Skelton landed his second penalty to increase the lead to 6 points. However this week the Stags were unable to close out the game as Ellon laid siege to the Grangemouth line in the closing minutes. Numerous drives were halted and even when they were over the line the ball was held up. Then with the final play one last drive resulted in the score which was close enough to the posts to allow the conversion to win the game at the death. FT Stags 25 Ellon 26

This was a very disappointing end to a below par performance from the Stags. Once again Grangemouth made far too many mistakes with missed tackles,handling errors, losing the ball in contact and numerous penalties conceded. The Stags have no game this weekend. The next match is the Caledonai Shield semi final tie against Blairgowrie at Glensburgh on 15 December with a 1.30pm KO

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Tennent's Caledonia League Division 1 results

Hillfoots RFC


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Strathmore RFC 16 78
2. Dunfermline RFC 16 68
3. Glenrothes RFC 16 58
4. Grangemouth Stags RFC 16 48
5. Ellon Rugby 16 39
6. Hillfoots RFC 16 30
7. Aberdeen Wanderers RFC 16 22

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