Whitecraigs 43 Kirkcaldy 12
Kirkcaldy’s miserable run continued last Saturday as they stumbled to a seven tries to two defeat by mid table Whitecraigs, the third consecutive game in which they have shipped in excess of 40 points.
The Blues must be glad now they took points off the three teams at the bottom of the table otherwise danger signals would be sounding.
Unable to control the kick-off ball, Kirkcaldy again conceded a try almost straight from the start and were five points behind before they caught breath.
The closest Kirkcaldy came to getting on the scoreboard in the early exchanges was a penalty just off target from Craig Letham.
Whitecraigs generally moved the ball much more fluently than their guests whose handling attempts generally floundered.
Too much play behind the gain line gave them little opportunity to break out of a stranglehold that the Glasgow side created.
A second home try seemed almost inevitable as Kirkcaldy regularly coughed up their own possession. Eventually the score arrived after an extended passing movement stretched the Kirkcaldy defence beyond redemption and scrum half John Fingers touched down with full back Louis Senter converting for 12-0.
Just as it seemed that this score would remain until the break two quick fire tries in the space of three minutes brought the bonus point.
Again it was a case of lost Kirkcaldy possession and two smart passes gave Senter the third counter. The fourth quickly followed and this time it was superior Whitecraigs pace which did the damage. With a 24-0 half time lead Whitecraigs had the win in the bag.
The Blues restarted with a greater sense of purpose, taking the game to the opposition, and more importantly, retaining possession. Reward came with a Gavin Neilson try. Kirkcaldy came close with other chances and for most of the third quarter Whitecraigs seemed content to sit on their lead.
However they stirred themselves on the hour mark and after a couple of tackles had been broken winger Ross Andrews raced down the touchline for his side’s fifth try.
The Kirkcaldy scrummage had creaked its way through the first half but with a succession of injuries they were under severe pressure as the second period progressed.
A quick heel in the home 22 saw the ball dispatched to the other end with a try from Ross Andrews converted by Senter. Worse was to follow a few minutes later as the Blues tried to open up well behind the gain line deep in their own half only to see a telegraphed pass intercepted with an easy for Charlie Winton under the bar.
In the closing minutes Kirkcaldy salvaged a second try from the wreckage of this game as Kurt Littlejohn touched down but in the next minute Andrews completed the rout with his side’s seventh try.
This was another day for Kirkcaldy to forget but if the season is not to end disastrously urgent rethinking of strategy is needed.
KIRKCALDY: K Littlejohn, C Littlejohn, Q Sanft, M Wallace, J Moffat, C Letham, G McKenzie, M Thomson, Jack Pow, M Salt. James Pow, C Wood, G Neilson, D Turner, L Neilson. Replacements: G Wallace, M Henderson, M Brooks
REFEREE: N Muir (ERRS)
STAR CHECK: 3 Connor Wood, 2 Mark Thomson, 1 Gavin Neilson.
Current standings: 16 Turner; 10 L Neilson, M Wallace; 8 Milne, Wood; 7 Mann, Pow; 6 Thomson; 5 Mitchell; 3 Bonner; 1 Smith, G Wallace, McKenzie, C Littlejohn, G Neilson.