ARDROSSAN ACCIES 34 KIRKCALDY 57
The Blues ended their league season in some style at a windy Memorial Field last Saturday running in nine tries and playing with a confidence often missing this season. Credit however must also go to the already relegated Ayrshire side who refused to lie down against a torrent of scoring and had three tries of their own in the space of five minutes in the closing stages.
Kirkcaldy skipper Gavin McKenzie booked the first use of a stiff end to end chill breeze blowing off the sea at the coin toss and it was hardly surprising that his side had the better of early play. It was no shock when McKenzie himself opened the scoring with a smartly taken tapped penalty in the 6th minute with Craig Letham adding the extra points for a 7-0 Kirkcaldy lead.
Not tor the first time this season Kirkcaldy stood back to admire their own handiwork and allowedAccies winger Calum McKechnie to round off incisive running with an unconverted try.
A dreary passage of play ensued with neither team able to master the most basic of skills. Kirkcaldy appeared to be be playing too much rugby in their own half instead of making use of the wind and a series of errors followed. It took a powerful tackle breaking run from centre Josh Laird from another tapped penalty to add to their tally and restore some order to the team.. Letham had another successful conversion increasing the Kirkcaldy lead to 14-5.
The Blues conceded a second try after a misplaced chip kick was pocketed by Ruaridh Jackson and handled keenly to set up McKechnie's second try, again unconverted.
By half time Kirkcaldy led 28-10 with a brace by the always impressive James Pow, the first from another tapped penalty and the other directly from an attacking line-out.
The third quarter saw virtual Kirkcaldy forward ascendancy and further scores followed. The Blues had another three tries on the board before their defence was breached again. Finlay Bruce had work to do for his score before the fast feet of Kurt Littlejohn took him away from the last lines of defence twice in quick succession. Letham had two conversions in this passage of play and with half an hour left the Blues had forty seven points on the board.
At this stage the me looked won and lost but Ardrossan were unwilling to throw in the towel, aided by some excellent line kicking from half back found space in Kirkcaldy territory and this effort had reward in a converted try from No 8 Milan Marinkovic and a conversion from Jack Anderson
James Pow completed his hat trick with the eighth Kirkcaldy try and the returning Alex Brooks just made it in the corner to take the Kirkcaldy score to fifty seven and a forty point lead. Little did they think that with eight minutes left their lead would be dramatically whittled with McKechnie and Marinkovic dotting down again and flanker Scott Campbell having his side's sixth try.
In the time remaining the Blues held together to secure a deserved win and complete a season in which they showed at times a competency well above that of a side in ninth place in the table but will rue their concession time and time again of soft tries
These end of season games have allowed coach Quintan Sanft to blood several young players who will have gained enormously from their varied experience which will stand them in good stead in future seasons
Ardrossan Acads:- A Duncan, C McKechnie, R Anderson, R Hunter, G Lewis, J Anderson, S Lewis, B Hamilton, I Totic, S Docherty, E Thomson, S Lamont, S Campbell, J Thomson, M Marinkovic
Replacements:- I Lamont, J Paterson, R Grayston, B Hunter
Kirkcaldy:- K Littlejohn, F Bruce, S McKervell, J Laird, O Bonner, C Letham, G McKenzie, D Jennings, Jack Pow, G Queen C Wood, M Harper, R Bonner, R Brown, James Pow
Replacements:- M Salt, S McLean A Brooks, B Robertson
Lee Fish (ERRS)
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 James Pow
2 Kurt Littlejohn
1 Michael Harper
20 Michael Harper
19 Rhys Bonner
18 Connor Wood
16 James Pow
14 Greg Wallace
11 Kurt Littlejohn
8 Finlay Bruce
6 Liam Neilson, Craig Letham
5 Owen Bonner, Josh Laird
4 Gavin McKenzie, Finlay Smith
3 Conar Littlejohn, Steve Mitchell, Stuart McLean
2 Jack Pow
1 George Mangalo, Danny Jennings, Rory Brown