Blues return to winning ways with eight try haul

Rhys Bonner scores his first try of the game. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Rhys Bonner scores his first try of the game. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

The Blues had a welcome return to winning ways at Beveridge Park last Saturday, scoring eight tries against a Haddington team which refused to lie down.

After four consecutive defeats, Kirkcaldy were anxious to halt the downward drift in the table but, facing an awkward swirling wind, they didn’t help themselves with some over-ambitious handling in the early stages and relied on good touch finders from Quintan Sanft and Craig Letham to find worthwhile field positions.

Growing territorial superiority eventually paid off as flanker Dayle Turner crossed in the corner for a 5-0 lead.

Haddington responded aggressively while Kirkcaldy could not win any degree ofcontrol, allowing proceedings to drift aimlessly.

The introduction from the bench in the 21st minute of Steve Mitchell and Rhys Bonner quickly paid dividends with the latter crashing over for the second try, converted by Letham.

Bonner added to this effort after collecting an untidy line out ball at half way and racing away unchallenged.

Everything was now going Kirkcaldy’s way in their best portion of the game, leaving Haddington little more than spectators.

The bonus point try arrived just before the interval and, again, it was the all-action Turner who outstripped flagging defenders from 40 metres, shrugging off a series of tackles.

With another successful Letham conversion, the score stood at 26-0 at the break.

Bonner had his hat-­trick try three minutes into the second half as he rounded off a strong forward surge.

With another accurate Letham conversion, it was now 33-0.

In spite of being on the back foot for nearly half an hour, Haddington continued to compete and made the most of a series of penalties awarded against the Blues for persistent offending.

They recycled the ball well before centre Armandt Prior crossed well out for their first try.

The Blues had a further set back when prop Mark Thomson went to the bin for ruck infringement, but still managed to ring up their sixth try through winger Chris Mann in the 59th minute.

For much of the remainder of the game, Kirkcaldy lost the cohesion displayed in the second quarter.

Scrappy passing and frequent loss of territory allowed Haddington to maintain an interest in proceedings, with replacement Jock Mackay securing a second try .

Just as the game seemed to be petering out, and spectators were thinking of the warmth of the clubhouse, two late tries gave the game an unexpected positive twist from a Kirkcaldy point of view, with quickfire tries from Mann and full back Kurt Littlejohn.

This was a substantial and well-deserved Kirkcaldy win but coach Quintan Sanft would be far from satisfied from the lack of concentration in the final quarter of the game.

Stronger opposition would have exacted a heavier toll for this lassitude.

Kirkcaldy: K Littlejohn, J Moffat, Q Sanft, M Wallace, C Mann, C Letham, G McKenzie, M Thomson, Jack Pow, G Wallace, James Pow, C Wood, S Milne, D Turner, L Neilson.

Replacements:­ M Salt, S Mitchell, R Bonner, G Neilson

Haddington: E Chalmers, A Watt, G Dykes, A Prior, R McLuckie, A Ferguson, K Adams, G Cockburn, R Watt, P Smith, B Laing, G Stewart, C Munro, M McAlpine, C Stuart.

Replacements:­ K Munro, J Mackay, N Lindberg

Referee: G Whitecross (RAF Lossiemouth)