DUNDEE HSFP 36 KIRKCALDY 29
In a weekend of stunning rugby reverses Kirkcaldy made their own contribution when they surrendered a thirty-fifth minute 22-0 lead to go under thanks to a last minute converted Dundee try.
An impressive Kirkcaldy start brought immediate success. Mauling their way down the left touchline it was lock Struan Robertson who worked his way over for the try. Almost before the Dundonians could regather, a solo Greg Wallace effort from 40 metres out doubled the Blues' score. Finlay Smith's conversion took the score to 12-0 in Kirkcaldy's favour and the full back then added a penalty.
At the half hour mark only the direst Kirkcaldy pessimist would have expected the Blues to be on the losing side, especially after a third counter from Rhys Bonner again converted by Smith.
In the final ten minutes of this first half Dundee appeared to have an energy injection as they held on to passes and for the first time pressurised the Kirkcaldy line with much improved support play. This was to lay the foundations for a Dundee transformation and eventual victory
There was obvious disappointment in the Kirkcaldy camp at this loss but forwards coach Kenny Fraser strongly pointed out “We may have lost this game in disappointing circumstances but you have to remember that we took two points from this game and it is a long time since we took anything from Mayfield. Also losing Greg Wallace to injury just before half time was a bit of a blow. Greg had been outstanding up to that point and his influence and general leadership was sadly missed”
The first Dundee try could not have come at a better time for the Mayfield men. Stemming the tide was as much as they could have expected at that point and it would have given them some sort of psychological succour. This was duly realised in the first minute of the second period. Retaining possession from the restart the home pack recycled the ball down their left touchline before releasing for full back Kieran Scoular to touch down, doubling his side's tally.
The Blues could hardly put a hand on the ball in these early stages of the second half and with the noise level in the stand markedly rising a third Dundee try duly arrived when flanker Niall Hall forced his way over near the posts leaving Scoular with an easy conversion.
With the hour mark approaching Dundee finally removed their deficit. Their backs were now moving with a freedom not seen in the first half and the fleet-footed Ross Aitken constantly pierced the Kirkcaldy defence. From of one of Aitken's breaks his half back partner Josh Rutnagur weaved his way to the line.
The first real Kirkcaldy attack of the second half started to build up on the hour mark. From a penalty kicked to touch the Blues regained the forward power they had in the first half resulting in a Connor Wood try. A Smith conversion put the visitors 29-22 with the try securing a bonus point.
While Dundee momentum continued to grow, Kirkcaldy errors, especially in tactical kicking increased, often returning hard earned possession to the home team. The Kirkcaldy 29-22 lead looked more and more shaky as time went on and almost inevitably another Dundee try from Angus Thomson, converted by Scoular tied the scores once more. Then with one minute left in regulation time centre Duncan McIntyre made the most of line-out possession to go in for the winning try.
In stoppage time the Blues had to defend desperately to hold on to the losing bonus point which along with the four try bonus kept them above their hosts in National 1 table with a game in hand.
Dundee High:- K Scoular, K Death, D McIntyre, A Hamilton, D McGinn, R Aitken, J Rutnagur, S Doig, C Mathieson, H Meadows, N Turnbull, A Thomson, N Hall, A Farquhar, S Barlow
Replacements:- L McLean, C Stewart, A Clarkson, R Hood, S Gould
Kirkcaldy:- F Smith, J Moffatt, J Laird. A Wood, O Bonner, G McKenzie, S Anderson, D Jennings, G Wallace, M Salt. C Wood, S Robertson, M Harvey, R Bonner, J Pow
Replacements:- W Beattie, C Hamilton, S Laing, T Muir, E Henderson
C Clark (SRU)
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 Greg Wallace
2 Josh Laird
1 Rhys Bonner
9 Connor Wood
8 Josh Laird
6 Struan Robertson, Rhys Bonner
5 Jack Pow
4 Finlay Smith
3 Matthew Harvey, Dayle Turner, Greg Wallace
2 Conar Littlejohn, Alex Black
1 Michael Harper, Jack Denton