The Blues belied their lowly league position gaining an unexpected four try bonus point but there was little doubt that the superior side won. The Cupar team, heavy scorers all season, found their way to the try line no fewer than six times. With their strong running backs, they made scoring look easy whereas Kirkcaldy had to work extremely hard for all their points.
Making full use of rolling substitutes, coach Quintan Sanft, regularly refreshed his pack and they matched their opponents at every turn. Behind the scrum there was a clear difference in class. The Howe backs enjoyed a slick service from scrum half Marcus Black and their pacy approach often opened up the Kirkcaldy defence with some ease.
The home side began as if they wanted to exorcise the grim memories of recent defeats and controlled early play. Forward pressure soon forced a penalty, well kicked from 48 metres by stand off Craig Letham. This seventh minute lead was quickly nullified as a recurring fault came back to blight this early Kirkcaldy enterprise. The re-start ball sailed into Kirkcaldy territory only to find that no one was prepared to secure it. Howe had little difficulty in regaining possession. Moving the ball right, they encountered thin defence and Stuart Martin had an easy task to score in the corner with Dom Martin slotting the conversion.
This was a bad score lose but hooker Greg Wallace showed he had no intention of sitting back and two stirring runs softened the Howe defence before brother Mark went in for the first Kirkcaldy try following a quickly taken tapped penalty. The Blues now led 8-7 and they followed with a big forward effort to produce a try for Matt Harvey.
Mark Wallace is unstoppable at the Blues' opening try
Sanft‘s men now had a 13-7 lead but that was as good as it got for them as by half time they had conceded two more tries to the powerful running Howe back row man Rory Drummond. one of which was converted by Dom Martin leaving them trailing 19-13 at the turn round.The tempo dropped a bit at the start of the second half with both defences mopping up any threat. In the 55th minute Kirkcaldy conceded a penalty at half way for crossing and this reverse brought about some back chat with the referee advancing the kick by 10 metres, Howe placed the ball in touch a few metres from the home line and swift dispatch saw full back Matt Daly come up on the outside to score the bonus point try.
Kirkcaldy application dipped after this setback with Howe now operating in top gear. A heavy defeat looked a real prospect with further tries for Stuart Martin and Matthew Keeble opened up a 36-13 deficit.
However the game took a surprising turn in the closing stages with the Blues forcing play again through the forwards and exerting some pressure on the Howe line. Another tapped penalty sent Mark Wallace away for his second try, converted by Letham. The game ended with Kirkcaldy camped near the Howe line and after forcing several scrummages and two penalties, one of which saw Drummond yellow carded the referee awarded a penalty try again converted by Letham.
Wille Gray and Craig Letham after the final try
Kirkcaldy: K Littlejohn, G Welsh, C Harvey, M Wallace, R Hancock, C Letham, G McKenzie, R Girdler, G Wallace, W Gray, S Orr, S Oliver, L Neilson, D Turner, M Harvey
Replacements: M Thomson, R van Rensberg, G Brooksbank, A Raeside
Howe of Fife: M Daly, S Martin, G Thomson, A Guthrie, C Dow, D Martin, M Black, S Player, M Keeble, G Steedman, J Aitchison, D Wallace, R Drummond, A Steven, C Mason
Replacements: S McGowan, D McGregor, A Wilson, E Jack
G Corrie (Gala Wanderers)
3 Greg Wallace
2 Mark Wallace
1 Matt Harvey
6 M Wallace
4 , Turner
3 Mann, Littlejohn, G Wallace
2 Letham, Fisher, Girdler
1 Oliver, Harper, Wilson, McKenzie, Gray