DUNFERMLINE Rugby Club’s men’s first XV are through to the third round of the National Shield competition after a narrow victory at Grangemouth Stags last Saturday.

The two Tennent’s Caledonia Region League Division One rivals went head-to-head in their bid to keep alive their hopes of playing at Murrayfield in the final, and it was the visitors who managed to do so.

Gavin Emerson’s side found themselves 10-0 up at the half-time interval but, despite that advantage, came under pressure from their opponents throughout the second 40 minutes.

Holding on to a narrow lead late in the match, the concession of a penalty – a theme throughout that the head coach pointed out was something for his players to work on – handed the Stags a chance to snatch victory but, thankfully for Dunfermline, it was off-target as the McKane Park side claimed a one-point win.

“We made a bit of a meal of it to be honest,” Emerson told Press Sport.

“We should have lost the game, and I said that to their coach at full-time.

“We were 10-0 up at half-time. We scored two tries and missed the conversions. After the second half kicked off, Grangemouth came out of the blocks.

“We gave away some silly penalties and didn’t exit very well, which allowed them to build pressure. We scored another try, and missed the conversion, but they just kept the pressure on. We were giving away penalties in the scrum and we didn’t contest the line-outs very well. The big thing I’ve taken away is our game management; when to play and when not to play.

“We’ve got a good defence and we need to trust it a bit more.”

With players in his squad carrying knocks, Emerson was pleased to come through the contest, which has handed Dunfermline a home tie with Moray on November 26.

“We could be three games away from possibly playing at Murrayfield,” he added.

“We’ve been lucky to be drawn at home but they beat Ellon, who beat us (in the league). We’re into the last 32 now, which is quite exciting for the boys.”

After a free Saturday, with Scotland playing Fiji in their latest autumn international, Dunfermline return to Tennent's Caledonia Region League, Division One, action at home to Hillfoots this Saturday, with kick off at 2pm.

Meanwhile, Rosyth Sharks were also in knockout cup action last weekend when they took on Harris Academy in the Caledonia Midlands Bowl.

The visitors, who are one division above the Sharks, were 15-0 up at the break but, despite a second-half rally that saw the home side score 14 unanswered points, the Harley Street side lost out.

“It was a very close game,” head coach Mark Love said.

“It was a lot better, in terms of performance, than what we had the week before up at Perth. We had a bit more intensity and want about us than we had the week before. We were maybe trying too hard, making wrong decisions and silly mistakes at key points.”

This Saturday, the Sharks entertain Strathmore second XV in Caledonia Midlands Region League, Division Three, with kick off at 2pm.