Panmure too strong for Arbroath in opening league clash

Arbroath 5, Panmure 42

ARBROATH RFC kicked off the 2011/12 RBS Midlands League season against Panmure at the High School pitches on Saturday buoyed by a promising victory in the cup competition the previous week.

Unfortunately they were to be brought back down to earth with a bump by the experienced and impressive visitors.

The home side was asleep for the first 15 minutes of the game with Panmure dominating the early possession and territory. The game was shaping up to be a hard physical contest and the visitors capitalised on their early dominance by scoring a couple of tries to go 10-0 up.

Stirred into action, Arbroath came back into the game and upped the aggression levels. Irving was bringing big runners Gibson and Ainars into play and they were making headway when they got hit by a sucker punch counter-attack try to slip 15-0 down. Keillor had to leave the pitch with a neck injury which caused a significant delay before the half-time whistle.

Reinforced by Cowan appearing in the front row, Arbroath began the second half on the front foot, having much the better of the first 10 minutes and catching the Forthill men off-guard. Nice phase play saw the home side grinding up the field and the move was finished off nicely by Lewis to make the score 15-5.

Just when it appeared that the home side may be inching back into the game, the visitors re-asserted themselves and stepped up the pace. The relentless physicality of the game began taking its toll on the Arbroath players. Some poor refereeing decisions made the task even harder, when Lewis and Gibson were forced to leave the pitch after injury then the writing was on the wall and Panmure ran out convincing 42-5 winners.

Although the scoreline was unflattering the game was closer than it would suggest. The team is moving in the right direction and there is plenty to work on at training which continues at RM Condor 6.15 p.m. on Thursday. All standards are welcome. For more details visit www.arbroathrfc.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/arbroathrfc/

Team: Oliver, Smith, Lewis, Gibson, McIntosh, Anderson, Neish, Crowe, Irving, Ainars, Collins, Williams, Keillor, Bedwell, Garwood, Cowan and Henderson.