Close Encounter at JJ Coupar Park
Saturday 07 Jan 12saw a return to competitive rugby for the Blairgowrie senior squad with a hastily re-arranged home RBS Caledonia League Div II tie against Alloa RFC at the JJ Coupar Park. With a number of first XV regulars unavailable for selection Blairgowrie just managed to field a team with former player Russell Waddell making a welcome return to the Blairgowrie team. In cold dry conditions Blairgowrie opted to play with the strong westerly wind in the first half pinning the visitors back in their own 22 metre area for the first fifteen minutes of the match. Despite this early pressure good defensive play by Alloa prevented the home side from breaching the try line with the only score coming from a Stephen Souter penalty having just missed with two attempts earlier in the game. As the game progressed Alloa came more into the game with Craig Thoms, Neil MacRae and Peter Duncan putting in some important tackles to prevent the visitors from scoring. With the first half drawing to a close Blairgowrie were unlucky not to score after Fraser Maxwell had chipped the ball over the Alloa defence only to be narrowly beaten to the ball by the Alloa winger. Half time Blairgowrie 3 Alloa 0.
From the restart it was Blairgowrie who once again started the stronger with good driving runs by Ewan Constable, Timmy Watson and Liam McLaren but once again the Alloa defence held strong. Blairgowrie were then temporarily reduced to 14 players when a player was sin binned for allegedly interfering with the ball while on the ground. This gave the visitors the advantage allowing them to score two converted tries but Blairgowrie continued to battle on and were rewarded with a well deserved try by Mark Reddin in the dying minutes of the game after a good break by young Ben MacDonald. Final score: Blairgowrie 8 Alloa 17.
This was a gutsy performance by a depleted Blairgowrie squad and had they managed to put more points on the board in the first half with the wind behind their backs the outcome may have been different but credit to Alloa for some good defensive play.
Team: James Buchanan, Timmy Watson, Ewan Constable, Peter Duncan, Mark Reddin, Ryan Walker, Ben MacDonald, Neil MacRae, Gavin Wynd, Stephen Souter, Fraser Maxwell, Michael Black, Craig Thoms, Liam McLaren, Ally Crerar, Al Guild, Russell Waddell.
Following the match captain for the day Neil MacRae thanked Alloa for a good game and Clem Isbister and Michael Black for manning the bar with the Man of the Match points being awarded as follows: Timmy Watson and Ewan Constable – 1 point each, Liam McLaren – 2 points and Fraser Maxwell – 3 points and Man of the Match.
This Saturday (14th) sees Carnoustie travelling to Blairgowrie which once again promises to be a keenly contested match with Carnoustie narrowly winning a cup tie at the J J Coupar Park earlier this season.
All those intending to go on the club tour to Ireland at the end of the season are reminded that their tour deposit money must be paid this weekend to allow tour jerseys to be ordered in time for delivery.