Blues perform a Houdini escape act

Haddington RFC v Kirkcaldy RFC,'Match 4, BT National League Division 2,'27th September 2014.'Photo: Michael Booth
Haddington RFC v Kirkcaldy RFC,'Match 4, BT National League Division 2,'27th September 2014.'Photo: Michael Booth

Houdini returned to Neilson Park in the form of Kirkcaldy Rugby who over turned a 19 point deficit to win by a single point.

Haddington had first half wind advantage forcing the Blues into their 22.

A strong looking back line appeared to tear holes in flimsy defence almost at will.

Defensive disorganisation coupled with thin tackling made Haddington look anything but a team moored in the basement.

Full back James Ferguson scorer of three unanswered Haddington tries proved almost unstoppable in the first half hour.

Kirkcaldy were surrendering hard earned ball and they had no response to the strong running East Lothian
side.

With 32 minutes played Kirkcaldy secured a fortuitous penalty with a Haddington player wandering yards offside.

Quickly tapped it released dynamic Dayle Turner who exploded into vacant territory before outstripping a lagging defence.

Although the conversion failed at least the Blues had stemmed the flood of
reverses.

After a slow start the Kirkcaldy pack gained ascendancy with powerful rolling mauls, however they had a stroke of fortune when the binning of home flanker Armandt Prior just before the break.

The pack forced play into the home 22 allowing scrum half Gavin McKenzie to dash away for the second Kirkcaldy try converted by Finlay Smith which left the scoreboard reading 19-12.

Kirkcaldy continued to exert pressure and three minutes into the second period Smith put over a penalty.

Then almost from the restart Kirkcaldy took an unlikely lead with Turner again to the fore. Smith’s conversion placed his side 19-22 in front.

Haddington refused to submit, punishing Kirkcaldy’s slumbers with a neat move on the left wing which brought a try for winger Kyle Adams. However, this lead was short lived thanks to another Smith penalty.

Any thoughts Kirkcaldy might have had of victory were quickly dispelled when a Haddington back movement appeared to run out of steam letting stand off Paul Hendry launch a high cross kick, safely gathered by Calum
Cockburn.

There were still 15 minutes left this stage but the Kirkcaldy scrummage was now dominant and after a spell of battering away at the Haddington line, they dispatched the ball left and Chris Mann collected to score the winning try.

The Blues controlled the time left, not allowing Haddington out of their 22 and earned themselves a victory, not really unexpected but achieved in a manner few could have predicted.

Haddington: J Ferguson, R McLuckie, C Cockburn, E Herkes, K Adams, P Hendry, D Crichton, P Smith, G Cockburn, K Harper, H Hamilton, M Fairgrieve, A Prior, D McKenzie. Replacements: R Watt, C McLean, B Laing, C Hamilton.

Kirkcaldy: F Smith, G Neilson, C Mann, M Wallace, A Brooks, J Moffat, G McKenzie, M Thomson, J Pow, G Wallace, S Porter, R Bonner, S Milne, D Turner, L Neilson. Replacements: M Henderson, R van Rensberg, Q Sanft.

Star Check: 3 Dayle Turner, 2 Liam Neilson, 1 Greg Wallace.