Gala showed their intent from the start as they collected the kick off ball and almost unchallenged took the ball to within a couple of metres of the Blues line, a move only halted by a forward pass. The visitors had wind advantage in this first half and Quintan Sanft made the most of it forcing the play into Gala territory. At this stage there was little between the packs and the Blues quickly set the scoreboard in motion with a 3rd minute Sanft penalty. This lead was to be short lived as a fine solo effort by home stand off Bruce Dick, profiting from a lack of attention amongst the Kirkcaldy players, easily opened up the defence to score near the posts for try converted by Lee Millar.
Gala centre Alan Emond incurred the referee’s displeasure, receiving the first of the game’s three yellow cards and by the time he returned in the 25th minute, another two Sanft penalties had given Kirkcaldy a surprising 9-7 lead. The stand off had two other shots at goal could not increase his side’s tally.
The voluble Gala support was becoming restless as the half hour mark passed and their side was still behind. In a rare Gala attack Kirkcaldy flanker Rab van Rensberg was adjudged to have high tackled and he too went to the bin in the 34th minute. The resulting penalty was placed in touch near the Kirkcaldy line and after a couple of failed attempts to score home No 8 Euan Dods found a space to dot down under the bar giving Millar another easy conversion. Four minutes later Millar increased his side’s lead to 17-9 with a penalty.
Kirkcaldy misery was compounded in first half stoppage time. Winger Ross Livingston took advantage of some shoddy defending to score an unconverted try which gave his side a 22-9 lead at the break.
Gala had the wind behind them in the second half and this helped them to put a stranglehold in the game. They had the bonus point try in the 50th minute as Millar fielded a stray Sanft penalty to touch and ran it back again to find himself facing a crumbling edifice. His pass enabled Emond’s pace to breach the last remnants of Kirkcaldy defence to score and Millar converted to make the score at that point 29-9.
The game descended into a really scrappy affair in the last half hour. Kirkcaldy always under pressure, lost Willie Gray to the bin and continued to give away far too many penalties for their own good. From one in the 70th minute kicked to the corner, Dods smashed his way through from the line-out for his second score of the day.
After standing up to a considerable battering in the closing stages Kirkcaldy waited until the 78th minute before producing their crumb of comfort of the day. A Cameron Goodall break carried him through the Gala mid field and he was stopped inches from the line before the ball popped up for replacement Simon Cairns to score in the corner.
After showing so much early promise Kirkcaldy descended into a pit of mediocrity relieved only by some brave defensive work by the forwards and that late try. Their post match depression could only have been worsened when they heard the GHA result.
Gala:-L Millar, G Young, M Walton, A Emond, R Livingston, B Dick, George Graham, A Johnston, L Roden, L Pettie, D Marshall, Gary Graham , G Haura, S Cairns, E Dods
Replacements: - E McQuillen, T Weir, P Stewart, I Ross
Kirkcaldy:- I Gillies, A Tasker, C Goodall, M Wallace, G McKenzie, Q Sanft, C Harvey, J Brown, G Wallace, G Mangalo, S Orr, W Gray, M Harvey, R van Rensberg, C Wilson
Replacements: - R Girdler, R McNab, M Graham, S Cairns
T Foley (RFU)
FFP STAR CHECK
3 Craig Wilson
2 Matt Harvey
1 Cameron Goodall