Gritty performance doesnt stop Dunfermline Win
By Dominic Ward
Dominant Dunfermline dispose of injury ravaged Stags
It was back to league action for the Stags last Saturday as they made the short trip across the Forth to take on Dunfermline. With a lengthy injury list and several others unavailable coach Deacons had to delve deep into his squad to select a side for the fixture. There were starts for Love, Weir, Polland, Hind, Denny, Rutherford and Christie with a further 2 positional changes from the previous week. 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. On 10 minutes Dunfermline collected a clearing kick in midfield. They ran the ball back and good handling created the overlap for a score in the corner. The conversion attempt was wide. The home side continued to attack and it was no surprise when they collected their second score 5 minutes later. Once again good handling by the forwards with several offloads resulted in space for the home centre to cut back inside the cover and score under the posts. This time the conversion was on target. As the game entered the second quarter the Stags started to have some possession and worked their way up to the home 22. However with limited attacking options they were unable to break down the solid Dunfermline defence. 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. First they opted to kick a penalty after the Stags backs were caught offside. Then with the final play of the half they added another unconverted score after a spell of pressure on the Grangemouth line. HT Dunfermline 20 Stags 0
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. Shannon was unable to add the extras. 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 later a quick tap penalty on halfway saw the Dunfermline winger run in from 50 metres. The final 10 minutes saw Dunfermline add 2 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. FT Dunfermline 46 Stags 5.
Despite the scoreline this was a gritty performance from a makeshift Stags side against a good Dunfermline outfit. All the 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. 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