KIRKCALDY 27 PRESTON LODGE 0
Before the game the Blues would probably have settled for a four try bonus point win as well as denying the opposition even a single scoring point. They achieved this target without ever exciting the crowd after an easily forgettable performance but which nevertheless left them as leaders of the National 2 table.
Director of Rugby Mark Henderson agreed there had been a flatness about the game, adding “Their pack performed as well as any we have faced this season but we eventually came out on top in most aspects of the forward exchanges. Our defence did its work too, denying them any real try scoring chances. Overall not too much separated the teams but we had that extra edge which always kept us in front”.
By the time home full back Finlay Smith opened the scoring with a penalty in the 17th minute, neither side had established any sort of ascendancy with much of the play contained between the two 22 metre lines. There followed a brief spell of attack from PL, easily swept up by Kirkcaldy defenders.
As the second quarter of the game moved along the Blues grew as an attacking force but lacked a killer touch as the whitewash neared. There was a lot of huffing and puffing in the Kirkcaldy ranks in this period with a lot of hard work being put in without any impact on the scoreboard. On the half hour mark flanker Rhys Bonner had to be assisted from the field although he was to return later in the second half.
The visiting forwards always competed well, probably surprising Quintan Sanft's men with their continuing resistance. As the half time break neared they suffered a blow with an injury to hooker Kyle Scott which meant he played no further part in the game. The reorganised PL pack then had to face an attacking Kirkcaldy 5 metre scrum which produced a try for lock Connor Wood converted by Smith taking the score to 10-0 when the half time whistle blew.
The game resumed uneventfully with mistakes galore and the Kirkcaldy lead looking anything like comfortable. Ten minutes on, the proceedings took on a more positive look with a second try from winger Sean McKervaill who dotted down following a well-rehearsed move following a line-out and a scrummage. There was no conversion.
Even with a fifteen point lead Kirkcaldy just could not really subdue their opposition who held up well at the scrummages. Nevertheless they had the better of proceedings territorially and almost by force of circumstances a third try arrived from Dayle Turner after a strong 5 metre scrum. Smith nailed the extra points this time.
It was only in the closing minutes that the Blues could claim to have subdued PL. Replacement scrum half Scott Anderson nipped in for the bonus point try in the 77th minute preceding a wave of Kirkcaldy attacks. The game ended with the Blues camped in the red zone but just unable to score a fifth try which would have been an injustice to a brave Preston Lodge team.
Kirkcaldy:- F Smith, S McKervaill, I Gillies, O Bonner, J Barclay, C Letham, G McKenzie, D Jennings, G Wallace, M Salt, S Barclay, R Brown, R Bonner, D Turner
Replacements:- G Mangalo, M Harper, M Hadoke, S Anderson
Preston Lodge:- J Brash, P Glynn, A Penrose, B Robertson, C Pallister, R Griffin, D Gordon, P Dixon, K Scott, C Anderson, B Cowan, J Sked, J Gordon, C Dixon, J Riley
Replacements:- L Reynolds, J Clipstone, S Dixon, G Hillhouse
R Downing (SRU)
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 Dayle Turner
2 Connor Wood
1 Iain Gillies
14 Connor Wood
10 Dayle Turner
6 Rhys Bonner
5 Finlay Smith
3 Scott Anderson
2 Marcus Salt, Danny Jennings Owen Bonner
1 Craig Letham, Matt Harvey, Iain Gillies