The Blue and Golds welcomed Carnoustie to Braidhaugh last Saturday in the re-arranged league fixture. With the match again being doubtful after the Friday night snow it turned out to be perfect conditions though a little wet underfoot.

Carnoustie won their home leg of this fixture and the Blue and Golds were determined to balance the score. Crieff and Strathearn won the start and opted to kick into the wind. Both teams started well with each side probing the others defences and for a while no team was in the ascendency.

“Eventually, the Blue and Gold forwards set a platform for a clinical first try. Stirling Fenton shipped the ball out to Skipper Stuart Guntley who passed inside to Gavin Tainsh. His powerful angular run split the Carnoustie defence to score possibly one of the best try’s of the season.

Carnoustie powered back into the game and won penalty after penalty but rather than take the points they opted to kick to the corners and attempt to win try’s. However the Crieff defence held firm and repulsed the visitors. Indeed the local side capitalised from a loose pass from Carnoustie. Ryan Flett picked up the ball and charged up the pitch. The Carnoustie backs closed him down but Flett managed to pass the ball to Ian Prentice to score between the posts.  A great first half from Crieff and Strathearn and coach Webster commented after the game that it was the best the team has played this season.

Carnoustie started the second half with a try to put pressure on the local side. Crieff were determined not to let their lead slip and pressured the Carnoustie try line. Their backs got into a fangle and the Blue and Gold Kiwi, Mike Kjestrup picked up a way word pass to score in the corner.

Then with untypical French flair, Pierre Leger found himself on the wing with the ball in hand and only 10metres to cover to score. Maybe due to the wet conditions the hugely experienced prop managed to spill the ball forward and the chance and glory were gone.

Finally it was left to Man of the Match, Ryan Flett, to clinch the bonus point with a good try in the last play of the game for a final score of 24-5 to Crieff & Strathearn.

This was an excellent performance from the local side and shows great promise for the future. With only two league games left the Blue and Golds are second in the league, however the competition has games in hand. If the local side doesn’t get promotion this season but keeps the side together then next season should be more promising.

Scottish Rugby Union president Ian Rankin watched the game on Saturday. Ian started his rugby career at Crieff and Strathearn and was delighted to see his old club is still in good hands.

He said: “Could you please pass on my thanks to everyone at Crieff who made me so welcome today and also to the coach and players for such a positive performance and result.

“Crieff Rugby Club was the first Club I turned out for while I was still at school and was very much in its infancy, and it was a great trip down memory lane to come back today as SRU Vice President and find the Club in such good heart.  I did a session at the Club a number of years ago when I was Edinburgh Coach and came away with the same feeling that our game was in very good hands at Braidhaugh. Good luck to the club for the rest of the season and beyond.”