Kirkcaldy 0 Strathmore 37
It was déjà vu all over again as Kirkcaldy hosted Strathmore for the second time in two weeks. On this occasion it was for the quarter final of the Caley Bowl competition and the conditions were challenging; cold and very wet underfoot. The game saw debuts from Jo Collins and Stuart Greens who made very encouraging starts to their Kirkcaldy careers.
The match was a full blooded affair and was very tight for much of the first half. The pattern that was set was of Strathmore attacking strongly and meeting determined defence from Kirkcaldy. A promising attack from the visitors was snuffed out when Harry put in a try-saving tackle on the big Strathmore No. 8. Strathmore were edging things in the loose but this was balanced by Kirkcaldy’s dominance in the set scrum. The wet conditions caused handling errors by both sides and inevitably the deadlock was broken by penalties. Kirkcaldy were penalised in the loose and 3 times the Strathmore kicker smacked the ball cleanly between the uprights to give his side a 9 point advantage. It was testament to the Kirkcaldy defence that the opposition opted to kick these penalties.
The Blues responded well and put together their best attack of the half, driving right up to the opposition try-line. They won a penalty and Angus charged through, only to be held up a metre short. In the ensuing ruck the ball was turned over and Strathmore kicked downfield. A catalogue of handling errors by Kirkcaldy led to the ball going the length of the pitch and produced, ultimately, the first try of the day. The score as the teams changed ends was 16-0 to Strathmore, which didn’t really do justice to the effort the Kirkcaldy team had put in.
In the second half, the Blues rang the changes – some enforced by injury – others to make sure everyone had a chance to contribute to the match. This half remained evenly contested, the main difference being that Strathmore capitalised on their chances – scoring 3 more tries. The last try came from an unlucky bounce in the last move of the game and was particularly harsh on the home side. It was also a shame that the Kirkcaldy team’s efforts weren’t rewarded with a score. The dominance in the scrum continued in the second half and the team intelligently opted for scrums when awarded penalties close to the opposition try line. They came desperately close to scoring from these with first Matt and then Austin held up tantalisingly close. Ultimately, it was the side’s tendency to target the biggest players in the opposition and not to provide close enough support that cost them the scores.
Once again, the team performed well against older and bigger opposition. However, it is essential that the lads cut out basic errors and ensure ball retention. A win for this team is well overdue, let’s hope it comes soon.
Man of the Match: Mitch Rigby
Squad:, Ross Aitken, Josh Barclay, Josh Bremner, Jo Collins, Matt Collins, Joe Finnie, Dave Fleming, Austin Glass, Stuart Greens, Max Hadoke, Richard Jones, Owen Laing, Robin Mackenzie, Angus Moyes, James Pow, Ben Ramsay, Mitch Rigby, Alex Schroeder-Smith, Harry Scott, Benjamin Simpson, Ross Sinclair, Greg Stewart, Connor Wallace, Ryan Wallace, Aidan Wiseman.