With the expulsion of Aberdeenshire from National 2 Kirkcaldy were the odd team out in last Saturday's fixture schedule. Rather unexpectedly, with a negative weather forecast, a full programme of games in the national divisions went ahead meaning that the Blues promotion rivals were all back in action giving them an opportunity to shake off any lethargy resulting from a four week break.
To compensate for this lack of competitive game time the Blues management arranged a friendly at Beveridge Park against Dunfermline who are now in the Caledonia regional league which does not resume for another week. The final score of 68-19 in favour of Kirkcaldy was much less important than the chance to shake of festive rustiness as well as giving some fringe players some game time at a higher level then that which they are accustomed to.
Head coach Quintan Sanft had no doubt as to the importance of this game. “We have been off for four weeks and have possibly our most important game of the season looming up this Saturday. Match practice was absolutely esential and we were delighted that Dunfermline agreed to take on the game. A few players are coming back from injury and it also gave us a chance to look at some players who have been doing well in the second team”
It was a measure of Sanft's focus on this game that he was unable to quote the final score in the game at full time. Being out on the pitch was obviously more important than the outcome.
News of second placed Dumfries Saints thumping win against strong going Lasswade quickly arrived at Beveridge Park on Saturday afternoon with the 33-0 score line noted Saints are the Blues nearest challengers and also this week's visitors to Beveridge Park. (kick of 3pm) The Dumfries side had a 31-24 win when the Blues visited Park Farm in September and have possibly the best back line in the division. It may not be a title decider at this stage in the season but the winners can nevertheless harbour some slight thoughts about promotion.
One of the pluses of having the Dunfermline fixture was it gave a chance for centre Josh Laird an opportunity to have an outing after being out since the Howe of Fife cup game at the end of August. He came though unscathed and will most certainly wear the No 12 jersey against Dumfries. On the negative side prop George Mangalo is still having knee trouble and looks to be out for some time to come
Kirkcaldy second fifteen also resume fixtures this week with an away game at Kinross (Kick-off 2pm)