KIRKCALDY 60 ABERDEENSHIRE 0
In recent seasons Kirkcaldy have taken some serious beatings by Aberdeenshire but on Saturday at Beveridge Park they took ample revenge with a nine try win which put them to the top of National 2.
Back in a Kirkcaldy jersey after a season at Dundee, Number 8 Dayle Turner created a new club record with six of these tries. He was aided by fellow back row man Rhys Bonner who scored the other three.
Aberdeenshire have been amongst the promotion contenders from National 2 in each of the last three seasons but after a club re-organisation and a new relationship with Aberdeen Grammar they have made a disastrous start to the present campaign, now having lost all their games so far. Their players for this game seemed ill prepared and lacked the pace and intent Kirkcaldy showed from the start.
Signs of things to come appeared in the first scrummage of the game with Kirkcaldy forward dominance all too obvious. The Blues made all the early running and had come close before Rhys Bonner opened the scoring in the fourth minute. A penalty to touch gave Quintan Sanft’s team a clean take with a Turner break feeding Bonner who carved his way through several defenders to score near the posts, with Craig Letham converting.
The Aberdonians had a chance to claw back three points but skipper Paul Paxton’s 30 metre kick was well off target This proved to be an isolated chance as Kirkcaldy held the upper hand in all aspects of the contest. An indication of the pressure the visitors were under was the high penalty county against them. From a scrummage infringement Letham extended the Kirkcaldy lead to 10-0.
A second Bonner try originated in a run out of defence by full back Finlay Smith. Winger Finlay Bruce continued the move setting up the flanker for another power score, converted by Letham for a 17-0 lead . Almost immediately Turner struck for the first time again from line-out possession.
For a brief spell the Blues seemed to relax, giving Aberdeenshire their only bout of sustained possession which made the home defence look to their laurels. However they applied themselves and ‘Shire remained scoreless.
Repelling this pressure Kirkcaldy again returned to the offensive. In the centre Owen Bonner is growing into the position after his switch from the wing and his strong running from his own half paved the way for a second Turner try, and earned his side a four try bonus point.
Just before the half time interval the visitors’ Number 8 Dominic Wallen went to the bin for persistent infringement then within a minute he was joined there by Owen Bonner for an untidy piece of footwork.
A couple of minutes into the second period the ‘Shire centres were penalised for crossing and with Letham placed the ball for a line-out 10 metres out. There was no stopping Turner as he raced in for his third and his side’s fifth try.
The Kirkcaldy front row was exerting huge pressure on their opposite numbers and with the home driving maul well in control there was an inevitability as to how the second half would materialise The home side were now scrummaging most close-in penalties and these brought tries four and five for Turner with the latter equalling the club record held by Craig Wilson.
Before Turner’s sixth counter Rhys Bonner capped a first class performance with his third try which with Finlay Smith’s conversion took the Blues’ tally to an impressive sixty.
Stiffer opposition will face Kirkcaldy in the weeks to come but this side is an improving one with younger players rapidly maturing. A big test awaits them at Dumfries next Saturday.
Kirkcaldy:- F Smith. J Barclay. C Littlejohn, O Bonner, F Bruce, C Letham, G McKenzie, D Jennings, G Wallace, G Mangalo, C Wood, S Barclay, R Bonner, R Brown, D Turner
Replacements:- R Girdler, M Salt, S Anderson
Aberdeenshire:- C Shepherd, M MacLugash,P Paxton, T Watson, R Greig, B Walsh, C Neilson, C Sangster, L Emslie, C Robertson, J Mills, E Murray, J Burton, D Wallen
Replacement:- L Reid, L Buchan, Q Macdonald
D Ramsay (WSRRS)
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 Dayle Turner
2 Rhys Bonner
1 Finlay Smith
9 Connor Wood
7 Dayle Turner
3 Rhys Bonner
2 Marcus Salt
1 Craig Letham, Finlay Smith, Matt Harvey