Second half collapse leads Howe to heavy loss at ‘Burgh

Howe were unable to build on Angus Guthrie's early points and slipped to defeat.
Howe were unable to build on Angus Guthrie's early points and slipped to defeat.

Musselburgh......................42

Howe of Fife.........................8

Another match, another inability to compete led to another heavy defeat for Howe and the possibility of relegation looming.

Howe kicked off towards the town end in fine conditions but despite having most of the play in the first 10 minutes all they could manage was a penalty which Angus Guthrie goaled from close range.

Danny Owenson, the Musselburgh scrum half, soon levelled matters with a penalty, also inside the 25, and then when Howe were penalised at a scrum near their line, he tapped and dived over. There was no conversion, and then he missed another penalty.

Half-time score was 8-3 to the homesters and Howe were still well in the hunt but Andy Steven and hooker Ross Gregor had a tremendous collision at the restart kick-off and that was the game over for both of them.

Howe conceded a pushover try, touched down by Luke Hutson which was not converted, and he was followed by second row Willie Fleming barging over from a ruck, Owenson making the conversion for 20-3.

Owenson added another penalty and Will Wardlaw was sent to the bin for a reason mystifying to the visiting players. Musselburgh tight head Will Lander was next to get on the scoresheet when he scored off a lineout drive, Owenson again missing the extras.

Wardlaw returned to the field but then wing forward Michael Maltman featured three times in a move from a scrum on the Musselburgh side of halfway, running on to score between the posts, for Owenson to convert.

The sixth and last Musselburgh try typified the dominance of the home pack, taking a scrum against the head near the line for Hutson to get his second try which Owenson again converted to take the score to 42-3.

Howe persevered and with the last move of the game they got the ball back from a scrum inside their own half, for Wardlaw to cut through, Guthrie continued and Duncan McIntyre raced over at the right corner, an example of what might have been if Howe had been stronger. Guthrie missed the conversion.