Bannockburn 7 Kirkcaldy 2XV 28
Not only was this the first game for the Blues 2s in the new split of the leagues, it was also their first competitive match since 10 November 2012.
Even with a couple of no shows the 2s still managed to head for their own battle of Bannockburn with a squad of 21. The youthful squad, which consisted of 7 colts making their senior debuts, set about the task knowing a 4 try win would take them top.
The 2s kicked off deep into Bannockburn's half. Far too many errors kept the scores at a stalemate in the first 10mins and although the 2s controlled possession they had not capitalised on the field position. With the long lay off rustiness was a key factor.
A couple minutes later the 2s should have been ahead. From an early engagement at the scrum, R. Castle-Smith quickly tapped the freekick and from 5 yards looked certain to score, had it not been for an outstanding tackle to hold him up over the line. Nothing came from the resulting scrum and Bannockburn cleared their lines once again.
The first score went to the 2s around the 20min mark. A spilled ball was quickly passed to R. Bonnar, who hit a great line and he rampaged from half way to score near the posts, F. Smith converting 7-0.
The 2s had their fair share of defending to do with Bannockburn utilising their big guys, picking and going. After managing to hold off this attack the second score of the day and for R. Bonnar came. Another strong run saw him muscle his way over the line and under the posts, again converted by F. Smith 14 - 0.
Losing out at ruck time saw Bannockburn with a few good phases of rugby but the 2s defence appeared to hold strong, Bannockburn resorting into chipping over for R. Castle-Smith to track back and clear the line. The chase was not great and although the ball had gone out, Bannockburn took a quick throw and with the defenders all spaced out the ball was moved out for their winger to score
in the corner and well converted 14-7. A couple injuries to both sides brought the half to an end.
The second half continued without change with the importance of being better at the attacking breakdown ringing in the ears. Bannockburn probably had the better start with the 2s still struggling to retain the ball when attacking.
At the 50 minute mark with not much happening changes were made. Endless energy from the young ones combined with the experience of C. Wilson made a real difference. A break allowed C. Wilson to charge up the left wing and with support from S. Milne, playing out of position, had a strong run, sucked in the defenders and passed the ball back to C. Wilson for his first try, converted by F. Smith 21-7.
It had been a scrappy day with both sides infringing and making simple mistakes. At the 70 minute mark Walker was shown a yellow for some petulance after 'being nipped' during scrums which meant the 2s finished the game a man down. This did not seem to matter and just after C. Wilson got his 2nd try barging through a few defenders converted by F. Smith. Final score 28 - 7.
Although a scrappy performance on reflection it was a great victory considering this group have not combined and played together. A good mix of young and old with everyone playing their part and performing well. A mention to C. Wood who carried ball and got stuck in all day.
The win sees the 2s take top spot although Dundee Uni have a game in hand. Still 11 games to go before the season ends and more numbers at training will benefit the club.