The Stags travelled to Glenrothes last Saturday for their first away match of the season. Grangemouth were forced into a couple of changes with Weir in at prop and Lowry back at centre. The Stags had the advantage of the strong breeze and the Carleton Park slope in the first half and made a good start. After just 2 minutes the home backs were caught offside and Skelton slotted the penalty .A few minutes later Grangemouth increased their lead with their opening try. From a lineout on halfway the ball was moved to the midfield where McNiff made a clean break to take play up to the 22. When he was tackled Dempsey was on hand to pick up and bounce off several attempted tackles and drive over under the posts. Skelton added the simple conversion. On 13 minutes Skelton added another penalty as Glens were penalised at the breakdown. Grangemouth continued to dominate and Gemmell and Allan combined well to take play back inside the home 22 but the Glenrothes defence was able to scramble back to prevent the score. As the game entered the second quarter the Stags extended their lead. Christie found a huge gap in the Glens fringe defence to make a 20 metre burst upfield. When he was stopped the ball was quickly recycled and Manson fired a wide pass to outflank the defence and allow Allan a run in for the score. Skelton added the extras. At this point Grangemouth seemed to switch off and this allowed Glens back into the game. A break up the left wing almost produced a score but Dempsey made good ground to cover in the corner. Then from the resulting scrum the home number 8 was driven back by some solid tackling by Nesbitt and McNiff and the Stags were able to clear upfield. Glenrothes were reduced to 14 as their wing forward was given a yellow card for stamping. However Grangemouth failed to clear their lines despite the extra man and further pressure from the home side saw their winger squeeze in at the corner for an unconverted score. HT Glens 5 Stags 20
The home side were back on the attack at the start of he second period. They kicked a penalty to reduce the lead. A few minutes later Hugh was given a yellow card for a late tackle. Glens took advantage to pin the Stags in the corner. The home side drove a lineout close to the line and when the ball was released their flanker crashed over for a converted score.With the Stags still down a man another missed tackle in midfield allowed the Glenrothes centre to run through under the posts for the try. The simple conversion took Glens into the lead for the first time. As the game entered the final quarter Grangemouth lost the ball on halfway and Glens broke upfield. Nesbitt made a great covering tackle but the home side retained possession and moved the ball wide for the winger to run in near the corner The conversion attempt was wide. Having given away 27 unanswered points the Stags finally responded. Dempsey darted blind from a scrum 40 metres out before stepping round the covering player to score near the corner. Skelton was unable to add the conversion. Glenrothes extended their lead soon after with another penalty. Grangemouth then attacked from a scrum deep inside their 22. The ball was moved out to Gemmell who took play to halfway before passing to Allan. The winger passed back to Gemmell and the fullback linked with Petrie who ran in for a very good score. Skelton was unable to add the extras and the game was tied. At this point much to the confusion of both benches and all the crowd the referee blew for full time despite there being 10 minutes to play. After speaking to both coaches and checking his spare watch he realised his mistake and the game resumed. Grangemouth reclaimed the ball from the kick off and were driving upfield. The referee then decided that prop forward Black had stood on a Glens player when clearing the breakdown and awarded a penalty to Glens and to everyones surprise red carded the Stags player. The Glens full back was successful with the kick. The closing minutes saw a Stags attack down the right wing and Allan raced upfield. He was tackled but seemed to have passed inside to his support but the touch judge decided he had put a foot in touch before releasing the ball. This bad tempered game finished with another skirmish between the players.
FT Glens 33 Stags 30
This was a bizarre game and a very disappointing result for the Stags. The coaches were left scratching their heads as to how a side can dominate for 20 minutes and then switch off for 30 minutes to give away 27 unanswered points. There were numerous penalties in the game with some strange decisions from the match official. Grangemouth will have to improve their fringe defence as they once again missed far too many tackles. This week the Stags are back at home as they face Aberdeen Wanderers with KO 3pm
The seconds made in 2 wins from 2 with a comprehensive 46 -17 home victory over Perthshire 2nds. Try scorers included Taylor (2), Johnston and Spence while there was a welcome return to action for ex skipper McInally. This week the 2nds are back on the road as they take on Dundee Morgan
The ladies also made it 3 wins from 3 with a 50-12 home win against Lismore. Try scorers were Ferguson-Ward (5), Cram,Welshman and Connolly. This Sunday the ladies are away to Kirkcaldy with KO 2pm