Alloa RFC 1st XV................................... 12
Grangemouth RFC 1st XV........................7

BT Caledonia Shield, semi final

ALLOA progressed to the final of the BT Caledonia Shield by virtue of a gritty win over near neighbours Grangemouth.

The tricky diagonal wind and heavy underfoot conditions dictated that Alloa would never be able to play the fast offloading game that saw them register over 50 points last time Grangemouth visited on a dry September pitch. However, they still had the firepower to create the most clear-cut chances in this fixture.

Grangemouth started the match strongly with a pick and drive game ideally suited to the conditions and their powerful looking pack.

Alloa defended solidly during a difficult opening quarter and then cut loose when Matt Pope took a great angle and shrugged off some ineffective tackling en route to a try under the posts. Lee Cairney slotted the conversion.

Pope almost doubled his tally with another scintillating line break but was hauled down inside the Grangemouth 22 and just failed to find his support runners.

Alloa were not to be denied much longer though as Graham Lindsay made an initial break and after quick ruck ball the Alloa backs whipped the ball out wide to Daniel Murrell who skidded over in the corner.

Grangemouth had some more pressure before the break but Alloa held firm to ensure a half time scoreline of 12-0.

Facing the elements, Alloa knew they had to up their game and they did just that, dominating the third quarter.

They had several spells of pressure that really should have yielded what would have been a match winning try; however, Grangemouth defended well even when they were temporarily reduced to 14 players after one of their ranks spoke out of turn to the match official.

The game then settled into a midfield battle which suited Alloa as the clock ticked down.

However, there was to be one final twist when Grangemouth scored from a line out peel in the last minute and added a touchline conversion.

Grangemouth misjudged Lee Cairney's restart kick but then won a penalty from the resulting line-out. Their quickly taken penalty was fumbled and the referee signalled the end of proceedings.

Alloa now face league leaders Caithness in the final on March 3 with the draw for the venue being keenly awaited.

Next action at Earlsfield is on Feb 10th when Strathmore are the visitors.