Craig Wilson scores the first of four Kirkcaldy tries
JED-FOREST 16 KIRKCALDY 32Kirkcaldy have been visiting Riverside Park intermittently for nearly forty years without ever sniffing a win. Following two bad losses to GHA and Biggar this bonus point success, backed up by some enterprising rugby, made Hallowe'en a day to remember.
Early play hardly suggested that this Premier 2 game would eventually cough up forty-eight points. The opening quarter passed by with the scoreboard not moving and indeed neither try line came close to being breached. Quintan Sanft had two penalty shots at goal but uncharacteristically neither came close to the target.
Read the Jed-Forest report
Both teams had shown a willingness to attack early on but there were few routes through solid defences. However Kirkcaldy had shown glimpses of scrummaging power in the first twenty minutes but could rarely exert it until Jed found themselves shorthanded with prop Gary Holborn yellow carded. A twice re-set scrum deep in the Jed 22 gve the chance of a pushover, which No 8 Craig Wilson gratefully accepted with Sanft adding the conversion.
In the second quarter the game opened up and twice Jed had try chances but managed to spill the ball close to the line. Eventually they forced a penalty kicked by Ewan Scott to reduce their deficit to 7-3. No sooner had Holborn returned than Kirkcaldy lost a player to the bin with Greg Wallace yellow carded for a dangerous tackle. This now gave Kirkcaldy supporters their first chance to see Thulani Siphamandle Ngigi, newly arrived from Natal Sharks Academy, who came on at tight head.
Deep in stoppage time Scott kicked a long range Jed penalty making the score 7-6 for Kirkcaldy at half time.
The home team resumed in determined fashion and pressurised Kirkcaldy into conceding a 44th minute try mauled over by lock Ali Hall. The home supporters now scented a win with their side ahead for the first time. However their optimism soon disappeared with a second Wilson push over try converted by Sanft in the 55th minute. The Samoan added a penalty two minutes later.
Mark Wallace runs through the Jed-Forest defence after good work by McConnell...
Sanft's teasing tactical kicks caused a whole series of problems for the Jed backs who were into hurried kicks and passes by aggressive Kirkcaldy defence. The Blues let three points slip away at a ruck straight from the re-start conceding Scott's third successful penalty. Despite this set back they still looked to have the winning of the game in their own hands with some and imaginative running and accurate passing. Another Sanft penalty then gave them back a four point lead.
The Blues produced the most telling score in the 68th minute. Chris McConnell, isolated in his own half, looked to have lost control of the rolling ball before he snatched it and spun around two Jed players before darting over half way unchallenged. Mark Wallace carried on from McConnell before offloading to Colin Harvey at pace allowing the full back to steam in for a try converted by Sanft.
Sanft contined to fire the ball around the field, always making it difficult for Jed to counterattack and they could barely get out of their own 22. With the game into stoppage time Sanft tapped a free kick 30 metres out to send Gavin Neilson on his way for the bonus point.
... before captain Colin Harvey runs in to score under the posts
This was a day when the Blues stuck rigidly to their game plan and despite falling behind in the second half showed character and skill to come back to finish with a winning flourish.
Jed-Forest:- J McCraw, L Young, G Young, G Hill, R Hogg, E Scott, J Hogg, R Ferguson, M Weekley, G Holborn, G Stewart, A Hall, D Grrieve, P Pringle, D Gillespie
Replacements:- G Nagle, J Henderson, J Cunningham, E Fowler
Kirkcaldy:- C Harvey, C McConnell, C Goodall, I Gillies, J Webster, Q Sanft, G McKenzie, M Thomson, W Gray, G Wallace, S Porter, K Fraser, M Harvey, R van Rensberg, C Wilson
Replacements:- T Ngidi, L Neilson, G Neilson, M Wallace
R McHenry (Dumfries)
FFP STAR CHECK
3 C. Harvey
2 C McConnell1 C Wilson