Strathie lose out in pre-season opener

Strathmore Rugby Club against Linlithgow.

Strathmore Rugby Club against Linlithgow.

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Strathmore welcomed Linlithgow to Inchmacoble on Saturday for the club’s opening game of pre-season.

The Strathie boys were looking forward to this game after the hard work they’d put into pre season training and it was a great opportunity for the squad to go out and impress Head Coach Stewart Ross.

With a number of key players missing due to work and holidays coach Stewart Ross fielded a youthful side to start with, but it was a side packed with experience.

Paul McGregor made his debut for the seniors having moved up from the U18s last season.

The visitors dominated the early stages of the game recycling the ball quickly from the tackle, they created space out wide and opened the scoring with a very well worked try to take an early lead 5-0.

This kickstarted the home team and within minutes The Blacks were level - speedster James Kiely broke through the centre and his weaving run created an overlap for Fraser Cameron to score in the corner to the delight of the home support.

With Strathmore on the front foot, the final 20 minutes of the first period was played in the Linlithgow 22.

With Scott Strachan and Duncan Shaw working hard at the breakdown, Strathmore began to get quick ball of their own.

Tim Malkowski was stopped inches short of the line, before the Strathie centres combined to play in Fraser McKay for his first try of the day, converted by Stewart Ross.

With both sides making changes for the latter stages, the game opened up.

The visitors moved the ball around the pitch and found gaps in the Strathie defence, and capitalised on a few missed tackles.

After a flurry of tries for the visitors it looked like there was no way back for the Blacks.

With 5 minutes to go, Linlithgow led 27 -12, the score not fully reflecting the whole game.

However Strathie were to have the final score as quick thinking from debutant Kieran Scoular set up Fraser McKay to carve through the visiting defence to bag his second try of the day.

The man of the match McKay added the conversion to the sound of the final whistle, leaving the final score 27-19.

Head Coach Stewart Ross thought it was a decent pre-season opener and is looking forward to the return game on August 23.

Stewart said: “There a few areas to work on but the guys did pretty well for the first squad game of the season.”

Strathmore are at home again this weekend before that return game with Linlithgow and take on GHK (Glasgow High Kelvinside) this Saturday with a 2 p.m. kick off.

Strathmore: Strachan, Malkowski, Dissel, Coupar, Mulac, Shaw, Craig Angus, Mitchell, Cargill, Ross (coach), Cameron, Kiely, Scoular, Collins, McKay, - McGregor, O’Brien, Mollison, Macdonald, Hart, Reid.