In the final quarter the Blues hard working forwards won enough ball to get them back into the game but slow delivery left their backs with little space to work in. Then as the final minutes ticked away Wanderers conceded a penalty 35 metres, out, seemingly within Jamie Moffat’s range but his side chose to tap and go only to be devoured by a hungry defence. Had this kick gone over there at least would have been a losing bonus point.
Wanderers had made the more positive start to the match, the only one in the division to escape the bad weather. Early pressure forced the Kirkcaldy backs into an offside position and Beattie kicked the first three points of the day.
The Blues responded well to this set back and within another five minutes had gone ahead. A well placed penalty kick to the Murrayfield 22 produced a line-out. Smart handling by George Mangalo and Willie Gray unleashed the former who was unstoppable from 20 metres Moffat kicked an excellent conversion from well out.
This set back for Wanderers was compounded by the loss of prop Michael Fletcher to the bin but nevertheless Wanderers looked much the more fluent side. While his side was shorthanded home winger Barry Turnbull dodged his way past some feeble tackles for a fine solo try converted by Beattie, so restoring the Murrayfield lead…
A long range Moffat penalty tied the scores again but soon after, a second Murrayfield try from full back Chris Rhodes again illustrated the difference in pace and reaction between the teams. . A second Murrayfield card for No 8 Chris Hill a minute from half time allowed Kirkcaldy to narrow their deficit to 15-13.
The Blues re-started promisingly and their best passage of continuity between backs and forwards ended with Dayle Turner scoring and Moffat adding the extra points. Although Murrayfield pressed Kirkcaldy generally defended soundly and even the loss of another Beattie penalty didn’t upset them too much.
However the disaster of the reversed penalty which gave Murrayfield a 21-20 lead proved to be the critical point of the game with McFarlane’s seven pointer following. Although there was still a lot of individual Kirkcaldy enthusiasm remaining the team’s shape gradually fell apart with ill timed passes and wrong decisions
With their greater vitality and ambition Murrayfield deserved their win while Kirkcaldy regained some pride, if not points. Forwards Shaun Orr, Greg Wallace and, before he was injured, Dayle Turner stood out and in the backs, youngster Josh Laird had a promising debut on the wing
C Rhodes, B Turnbull, A Cox, C Hardie, A Godsmark, C Beattie, S Gray, M Fletcher, N Hart, A Chambers, A Gillies, J Lyons, P Anderson, R Simms, C Hill
Replacements:- R Anderson, S Fraser, A McFarlane, S Young.
K Litteljohn, C Littlejohn, J Moffat, M Wallace, J Laird, C Harvey, G McKenzie, W Gray, G Wallace, G Mangalo, S Orr, S Porter, D Turner, R van Rensberg, L Neilson
Replacements:- R Girdler, G Shields, C Mann, A Raeside
N Kearns (ERRS)
3 S Orr,
2 G Wallace
1 D Turner
14 M Wallace
5 Porter, G Wallace
3 Mann, Littlejohn, Gray,
2 Fisher, Girdler, Thomson, Brooksbank, Guthrie
1 Oliver, Harper, Wilson, McKenzie,. Mangalo, Welsh