Sunday afternoon saw Dunfermline U-16 visit Union Park. The Dunfermline team had been playing in the cross border league and had taken 36 points off local neighbours Carnoustie, so this wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon for the boys in green.
From the kick-off, the Montrose players were clearly up for the contest, tackles were going in with conviction and they were looking to develop fast ball from the breakdown through text book rucking.
Despite the light drizzle, both teams were looking to pass the ball and play fast, running rugby.
After around 15 minutes of play, the Montrose forwards secured ball from a ruck at the half way line.
Hill, playing scrum half, fed out to the backs and as Docherty took the ball at pace, he spotted a gap, he passed his opposite number and then the winger and ran to score in the left hand corner.
During a period of scrappy play, Montrose blind side spotted the ball fly out of the back of a ruck, on the opposition side, and with great skill and pace, he secured the ball and broke three tackles to burst through and score. Montrose maintained the intensity to go in at half time at 10 – 0.
From the restart, it was clear that the second half was going to be another 30 minutes of high tempo rugby.
Both teams developed excellent phases of play involving both forwards and backs.
Dunfermline finally broke down the Montrose defence with strong forward play. Shortly after, some sloppy tackling resulted in two yellow cards for Montrose.
This really tested the metal of the remaining players and they dug deep, defending with all of their might.
In fact they almost ran over for a try during the period where Dunfermline had the advantage. Just before the players returned to the field of play, Dunfermline’s persistence paid off and they levelled the score at 10 – 10.
With 10 minutes to go, both teams were back to full strength and it was all to play for. Neither team gave an inch and it looked like neither would break the deadlock.
The Montrose backline continued to look for space out wide and Docherty again started a mazy run on the half way line.
He passed Dunfermline tacklers with the reassurance of support from his players, breaking free on the 22 he ran to the corner, scoring another try to give Montrose the lead.
When the final whistle went, there was a cheer from all of the Montrose players and supporters to celebrate a hard-fought 15 – 10 victory.
Hugh Dennis, U16s coach, said: “I am delighted with the attitude and commitment from our players, they all contributed to this excellent win and they should be proud of how they played.
“Our players have been working hard at training and their efforts paid-off today.”
Next week, Mimros, P4/5s, P6/7s and S1/2s, head to Forfar to take on Strathmore, while the U16s and U18 continue their league fixtures at Kirkcaldy.
In support of their tour to Ireland next March, the U16s and U18s rugby players did a bag pack at Tesco on Saturday. The efforts of the players raised another £1,000 for the tour funds.
On Sunday morning, Angus Rugby Development Officer Stewart Ross took a session for the club coaches. The theme was attack, and Stewart worked with players to show different drills and techniques.
Montrose U18 were scheduled to take on Falkirk, but unfortunately, Falkirk were unable to raise a team so conceded the fixture.