In an opening quarter marred by countless errors, neither side could establish any sort of supremacy with most of play carried on between the two 22 metre lines. Kirkcaldy did have a chance to open the scoring in the first minute but Craig Letham’s kick sailed past the posts. The Duffus Park crowd had to wait until the 26th minute for their first taste of excitement. A broken down Kirkcaldy attack gave them the ball in their own 22 and they made the most of this good fortune. Smart handling took them into the Kirkcaldy half and another Blue error gave them the ball back again. This produced a swinging movement with the ball moving one direction then the other before centre Graham Thomson was released for the opening try converted by Dominic Martin.
A second Howe try wasn’t long delayed. Slack Kirkcaldy marking on the wing let full back Euan Jack race downfield to score an unconverted try This could have ended the game as a contest but in stepped the Kirkcaldy pack to control the scrummages. Just before half time heavy pressure in the Howe 22 saw the Cupar side concede a series of penalties culminating in the referee running to the posts to indicate a penalty try converted by Letham.
Now just 12-7 behind the Blues stared the second half in positive enough mood but were unfortunate to have flanker Liam Neilson yellow carded. While he was in the bin Howe scored their third try against the run of play by winger Graeme Imrie Just before Neilson returned Howe lost Chris Mason to the bin and this signalled another Kirkcaldy scrummaging onslaught. They should have narrowed the leeway on the hour mark with a reasonable penalty but chose to go for touch, only to lose the ball at the line-out.
Their pressure paid off in the 74th minute with a try by Rab van Rensberg converted by Letham which eft them only four points in arrears. Howe nerves were steadied three minutes with a Martin penalty.
In an extended period of added time the Blues almost snatched victory when full back Kurt Littlejohn broke away. dancing around a series of defenders only to fall at the last hurdle.
Howe of Fife
E Jack, G Johncock, G Thomson, A Guthrie, G Imrie, D Martin, C Dow, Sr, M Keeble, G Steadman, B Runciman, D Wallace, A Steven, A Wilson, R Drummond
Replacements:- E Bisset, J Aitcheson, C Mason, F Clark
Kirkcaldy:- K Littlejohn, G Welsh, M Wallace, C Mann, R Hancock, C Letham, G McKenzie, M Thomson, G Wallace, W Gray, S Orr, G Brooksbank, L Neilson, R van Rensberg, M Harvey
Replacements:- G Mangalo, S Oliver, D Guthrie, A Raeside
REFEREE:- D McClement (WSSRS)
3 Matt Harvey
2 Liam Neilson
1 Mark Thomson
11 M Wallace
3 Mann, Littlejohn, G Wallace
2 Letham, Fisher, Girdler, Orr
1 Oliver, Harper, Wilson, McKenzie, Gray. Mangalo, Thomson