ABERDEEN GRAMMAR 42 KIRKCALDY 12
After dominating possession and position in a wind assisted first half Kirkcaldy turned 14-7 down. Few would dispute that the Rubislaw team deserved this advantage. On limited possession they had a sense of purpose the Blues lacked and made the most of the visitors' shortcomings in defence.
The Kirkcaldy coaching team would be far from happy that their side failed to capitalise on a series of scoring chances, whether from attacking line outs or at goal. Grammar had taken a fifth minute lead with a well taken try from full back Bryn Perrot assisted by Nat Coe. The Kirkcaldy defence could have done more to stop this try as several would be tacklers were easily brushed off. Perrot added the extra points to his own try..
A quick Kirkcaldy response came to nothing after good work by the returning Rhys Bonner. Under this pressure Grammar conceded a penalty which was put into touch only for the throw in to be off target. When they did go for goal Finlay Smith was off target.
On limited rations Grammar's backs, well led by stand-off Sam Knudsen, appeared to have the edge over their opposite numbers in pace and accuracy but obdurate Kirkcaldy defending mainly kept them in check
On the half hour mark Kirkcaldy suffered a blow when the influential Bonner had to go off with a leg injury to be replaced by Jack Denton. At this stage Grammar were running well and fully deserved a second try from No 8 Greig Ryan, again converted by Perrot for a 14-0 advantage. Just as the referee was thinking of blowing the half time whistle there was a surprising score. Grammar looked to be on course for a third try when Kirkcaldy stand-off Alex Black pounced, intercepting just outside his own 22 metre line. Faced with a near 70 metre dash he made to the line to open the Kirkcaldy account. This time Smith was successful at goal.
The second half started with an amusing interlude as a startled rabbit dashed about the pitch evading would be captors until it found an escape route. Meanwhile Kirkcaldy had to find a more direct to the goal line. Their forwards were more than capable of punching big holes in the Aberdeen pack but too often slow delivery prevented further advance.
A major difference between the teams was the accuracy of their passing with the visitors' much more laboured. This led directly to the third Aberdeen try, built up from close to their line as they swooped on an inaccurate Kirkcaldy pass and Perrot finished at the other end.
The Blues showed their mettle with a rapid response as Chris Carey touched down and Smith, making the score 21-12 with ten minutes left. The Blues appeared to have sufficient left in the tank to close this gap. However they lost their way as the Aberdonians capitalised on Blues' errors, especially at breakdowns which led to speedy turn overs. Three converted tries in quick succession gave the final scoreline an unfortunate gloss from the Kirkcaldy side. However Grammar fully deserved this bonus point through a very capable performance.
Aberdeen Grammar:- B Perrot, C Ruxton, M Mitchell, T Aplin, N Coe, S Knudson, T Morrison, C Reddish, A Cook, M Schosser, A Robertson, E Stewart, C Jollands, A Dravitski, G Ryan
Replacements:- F Selbie, C Robertson, S Renfrw, S Mills, C Shepherd.
Kirkcaldy:- F Smith, J Moffat, C Littlejohn, J Laird. C Carey, A Black, G McKenzie, G Queen, G Wallace, D Jennings, C Wood, M Harper, R Bonner, D Turner, J Pow
Replacements:- R Girdler, J Denton, C Hamilton, I White
Nathan Howarth (RFU)
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 Rhys Bonner
2 Connor Wood
1 Michael Harper
8 Connor Wood
3 Josh Laird, Rhys Bonner
2 Jack Pow, Dayle Turner, Conar Littlejohn
1 Finlay Smith, Struan Robertson Alex Black, Michael Harper