The Under-16s Strathmore Sharks were in action on Sunday, hosting Crieff and Strathearn in their first home game of the season.
Crieff travelled with only 10 players after losing players to injury after their season opener.
So, to allow the game to go ahead the Sharks gifted Crieff with players to allow a 12-a-side game to be played.
As the sun shone on Inchmacoble and the crowd gathered, the players took to the field (Strathmore in their new Canterbury kit) and the game kicked off.
The Sharks, after a hard-fought loss to Carnoustie last week, sprang into action and made their presence felt on the pitch.
The home side capitalised on the fact that there was plenty of space on the pitch and attacked the wings.
In the first eight minutes the Sharks crossed the line four times and converted two of the tries.
Crieff fought hard to contain the Sharks’ attack but allowed them to crash over the line once more before the end of the first third. Score 29-0.
The players who kindly played for Crieff from the Sharks returned to the Strathmore ranks, and three more Sharks dawned the yellow, blue and maroon of Crieff.
Crieff did not give up and came out fighting, putting pressure on the Sharks’ attack and defence.
Errors in handling from the Sharks cost them valuable possession and a loose defence allowed Crieff to break through and score a converted try.
This was closely followed by a second try and a third which was converted, the Sharks leading 29-19.
The attack was only reduced by the Sharks’ solid scrum and improved defence. The first tackle percentage shot up and Crieff’s attacking presence was dampened.
An error and poor discipline from the Sharks allowed Crieff to go through the gears again and score a fantastic breakaway try.
The Sharks fought hard and managed to secure five points before the end of the second third with another try. They went into the last break leading 34-24.
The last third saw the Sharks dominate from start to finish. They won ball against the head in the scrums, drove the Crieff scrum back, made every tackle count, contested the rucks well and played as a team. This was rewarded with four tries and one conversion. The Sharks were comfortable winners in the end, running out 72-24 ahead. The Sharks will hit the road next week to face Glenrothes.