Blues reinforce table top position
Written by John Methven   
Saturday, 13 January 2018

KIRKCALDY 39 DUMFRIES SAINTS 12

A comprehensive win against their nearest challengers took the Blues six points clear at the top of the National 2 table. In the first game between the teams at Park Farm last September, Saints proved to be the most accomplished outfield that Quintan Sanft's side faced in the first half of the season. This all action performance more than made amends for that loss and it also showed that the Kirkcaldy team, even with three regular forwards absent, is now a match for anyone in the division but can more than hold their own in a higher tier.

Although this was far from a one man show the return of centre Josh Laird, off with an injury since the start of the season in August, brought an extra dimension to the back line. Quite apart from the three tries of his own his slick handling, keen positional sense and pace brought out the best in his team mates.

The Blues had far from their own way for significant portions of the game, especially in the third quarter when the Saints were still within touching distance. Strong defensive efforts by both forwards and backs kept Dumfries from adding to their two first half tries. There was a phase when the Blues were hardly out of their 22 but still kept their line intact with some telling defensive support work.

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FFP Review (due to appear in FFP on 11 Jan 2018)
Written by Norman White   
Friday, 12 January 2018

RUGBY PREVIEW

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)

 
Ladies end the year with defeat
Written by Stuart Cameron   
Sunday, 03 December 2017
Kirkcaldy Ladies 7 Garioch Ladies 22
 
Kirkcaldy Ladies welcomed Garioch to Beveridge Park for the final league match of 2017. Injuries and unavailability had again hampered the team but the assembled squad put in another hard shift.
 
The visitors started well and were on the front foot for most of the first half. This required stout defence from Kirkcaldy, with Mhairi Cockburn putting in some tremendous tackles. Garioch went ahead after 20 minutes when their winger scored a try in the corner. The team from Inverurie increased their advantage when their forwards punched over. The conversion was good, making it 0-12 at half-time.
 
Kirkcaldy kicked off to begin the second half, hoping for a good start. Unfortunately it didn’t go to plan as Garioch broke away to score their third try. However things turned around, with all but the final play of the game spent in the Garioch half as the home side finally put some phases together.
 
Ailidh McCall and Rose Dolan were running hard in the backs with Alison Massie and her forward pack beginning to get some momentum. Gairoch defended well but were finally breached when Dolan took a short pass from Linda Morrison to crash over for a try. Sandra Laird converted to make it 7-17.
 
Morrison was then unlucky not to score herself after making a break, but she was stopped short of the try line. Too many penalties let the visitors off the hook with easy outs relieving the pressure. Kirkcaldy couldn’t find the killer pass and after turnover ball, Garioch shipped it wide to score their bonus point try.
 
Blues roar back for bonus point win
Written by John Methven   
Saturday, 02 December 2017

HAMILTON 18 KIRKCALDY 24

Pre-match, this game at Laigh Bent was regarded as possibly the Blues toughest assignment of the season. Relegated last spring, the Lanarkshire side have been going well in National 2 and most observers considered them as favourites for a quick return to the higher division. The Blues would also have memories of a 98-12 hammering on their last visit to Hamilton.

There may be slicker back lines in National 2 this season with the Blues heavily dependent on an excellent pack but there is steel throughout this Kirkcaldy outfit. Post match, Director of Rugby Mark Henderson, in summing up this performance, declared “We came strong in the last quarter against a good side, again emphasising our fitness. They played some good rugby and had the better of possession but what we had in abundance was heart and it was heart that won the game for us.

Early running showed a confident home side, comfortably handling the ball and making good use of their possession. The Blues had initially defended a 10 metre line-out before the ball went out to the right with the Kirkcaldy backs drawn infield Hamilton had space out wide to give Alistair Howatson space to go in for the opening try and a 5-0 lead.

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Dominant Blues keep top spot
Written by John Methven   
Saturday, 04 November 2017

KIRKCALDY 40 BIGGAR 13

Biggar scores at either end of this National 2 game bookended an outstanding Kirkcaldy showing which keeps them at the top of the division. Although they were forced into uncontested scrums mid-way through the game a fiery performance by the home pack laid the foundations of victory. Also with much improved form by the back line this Kirkcaldy side carried threats in every department.

Forwards coach Kenny Fraser oozed satisfaction after his side's performance. He put this success down to the work the players have put in at training in recent weeks. “We are trying to play direct rugby, using our particular strengths, mainly keeping the ball tight and only going wide when the occasion is right. Everybody has bought into the game plan and the results show it is paying off”

Since they first played each other nearly thirty years ago, the south Lanarkshire have held the upper hand over the Blues for many seasons, although Quintan Sanft's men had single wins in the last two seasons. Little did any in the Beveridge Park crowd think in the opening minutes that such a handsome win would materialise. A furious Biggar start pinned the Blues into their 22 from kick-off eventually leading to a Carne Green penalty goal and a 3-0 lead.

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Kirkcaldy just make it
Written by John Methven   
Saturday, 28 October 2017

WEST OF SCOTLAND 14 KIRKCALDY 17

West came close to snatching a draw in the closing stages of this untidy encounter at Burnbrae last Saturday with the missing of a late penalty attempt. It was heavy going on a sticky pitch with errors galore and both teams failed to take advantage of good scoring chances. Territorially Kirkcady had the upper hand for large portions of the game but regularly failed to capitalise. They were also aided by a shoal of unforced West errors, particularly at the line-out where in the first half alone they had five crooked throw-ins.

When the going got difficult for the Blues in the last fifteen minutes they showed real maturity in confronting adversity, a situation in the last few seasons where they would have gone on to lose. Honours yet again went to the Kirkcaldy forwards. It may not have been an unblemished performance but when it counted they produced their best.

The game had started brightly enough for Kirkcaldy, running strongly on to the ball and making good ground. Reward came in the seventh minute with Finlay Smith kicked penalty and 3-0 lead.

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Results 23 - 33 of 45

1stXV League Table

BT National League Division 2

TeamPlPts
Kirkcaldy2088
Hamilton2077
Dumfries2074
Lasswade
2064
Biggar2062
Peebles
2061
GHK
2041
Howe of Fife20
41
Whitecraigs2028
Preston Lodge2021
West of Scotland2021
   

View full league table on scottishrugby.org

Star Check

sponsored by
FIFE TROPHY CENTRE

Match 19 v Hamilton

3 Finlay Smith
2 Greg Wallace
1 Josh Laird

See Cumulative Stats for totals

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