NEWTON STEWART 6 KIRKCALDY 7
In the sixth minute of added time Kirkcaldy captain Josh Laird won a vital turn over of possession a couple of metres from the visitors’ goal line. An extended Newton Stewart thrust seemed to be leading to a decisive try before this vital intervention. Seconds later the no-side whistle blew to signal a hard earned Kirkcaldy win.
Back in August at Beveridge Park the Blues ran up eighty points against the Wigtownshire club in the National League Cup. This time round in this National 2 fixture steel in abundance had been added to the Newton Stewart line-up
Both teams made a nervy start with a fair number of errors with the Blues having the better of things territorially. Kirkcaldy had enough of the ball to open the scoring but not for the first time this season carelessly conceded a couple of penalties to take the pressure off Newton Stewart.
Gradually the home team built up momentum and for much of the remainder of the first period were camped n the Kirkcaldy 22 with some impressive mauling. This pressure paid off in the twenty fourth minute with stand off David Gaw kicking a penalty. The Blues were now defending on a full time basis but fell foul of the referee just too often. A menacing maul moved towards the Kirkcaldy line when it was halted abruptly with prop Danny Jennings responsible for pulling it down. While Jennings cooled his heels in the bin, Gaw put over a second penalty extending his side’s lead to 6-0.
Newton Stewart probably had half time misgivings about their failure to cross the white wash while Quintan Sanft’s men knew they had been let off the hook and more concerted effort was needed if the win points were to return to Fife.
After the turn round a re energised Kirkcaldy took the challenge to Newton Stewart. Some impressive forward drives with lock Connor Wood at the helm and with good support from Marcus Salt and Jacob Ramsay regularly splintered the home defence. In the 49th Minute after another Blue forward thrust Wood emerged with the ball and with referee’s arm up- turned a try was being signalled. Finlay Smith kicked the conversion points putting Kirkcaldy into a 7-6 lead.
With over half an hour still to play the outcome was far from settled, Newton Stewart handled their way through some powerful counter-attacks but time and again resolute defence foiled them. Although Kirkcaldy had some chances to increase their lead, they became increasingly concerned with defence.
With the game already into stoppage time the Blues came near to closing out the game but lost control of the ball and a smart break from centre Jack Gaw severely threatened to win the game for his team.. Extensive mauling close to the Kirkcaldy line eventually ended with the turn over and a penalty tapped and kicked into touch.
Newton Stewart: R Morton,R Service, F Morton, J Gaw, D Adams, D Gaw,R McCormick, M Wallace, T MacDonald, L Brawis, J McMiken, M Craig, M McCormick, A Ferrie, C Gaw.
Replacements:- R McDonald, J Wallace, J Muir, R Campbell
Kirkcaldy: C Letham, R Bonner, S McKervall, J Laird, T Kennedy, F Smith, G McKenzie, D Jennings, C Hamilton, M Salt, C Wood, S Robertson, J Ramsay, S Milne, C Mann
Replacements: G Wallace, G Queen, G Clunas, A Brook
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 Connor Wood
2 Jacob Ramsay
1 Sean McKervall
8 Thomas Glendining
5 Josh Laird, Danny Jennings
4 Connofr Wood
3 Timmy Kennedy
2 Marcus Salt, Chris Mann
1 Seb Evans, Steve Milne, Owen Bonner, Sean McKervall