Blues blast their way to first league victory

The victorious Kirkcaldy side, pictured at Hughenden on Saturday. Pic: Iain Dewar
The victorious Kirkcaldy side, pictured at Hughenden on Saturday. Pic: Iain Dewar

Hillhead/Jordanhill 7 Kirkcaldy 58

The Blues overwhelmed their hosts by a ten try to one margin at Hughenden last Saturday, surprising even the most optimistic Kirkcaldy supporter .

Almost a year ago at the same venue the Blues just survived, having seen a 25 point lead whittled down to four in the space of a few minutes, while in the cup match a few weeks later, which was subsequently abandoned, the Hills had a lead which they showed no sign of surrendering.

From the kick-off in perfect conditions, both underfoot and overhead, Kirkcaldy spotted they had a marked advantage up front.

Scrummaging any penalty within striking distance and skilfully using the touch line where lock James Pow ruled, they had the home team scrambling in defence early on.

In the sixth minute two massive forward drives saw the ball flash out to the backs to give centre Conor Littlejohn the scoring opportunity for the Blues' opening counter converted by Finlay Smith.

Kirkcaldy continued to hold the initiative in the opening quarter and further forward inflicted damage from a driven maul gave hooker Jack Pow his chance for the second Kirkcaldy try which remained unconverted.

The only sustained piece of Hillhead offence found the Blues defence in good working order. Emergency full back Alex Brooks, moved into the No 15 jersey at the last minute, coped well with all that Hills could muster and the visitors' line remained intact.

Hills pack took the brunt of Kirkcaldy's forward superiority and in quick succession two of their front row succumbed to injury and with only a hooker on the bench and no other trained prop available the referee ordered uncontested scrums for safety reasons.

Kirkcaldy were far from happy with this situation, removing one of their main attacking options. Referee George Pounder acted clearly within the championship rules as this situation crops up from time to time and is specifically dealt with in these rules.

Although they were twice marched back for some ill advised comments to Pounder, Kirkcaldy conceded far fewer penalties this week and in fact half an hour had gone before they conceded even one penalty.

By half-time Kirkcaldy had opened up a 17-0 lead with a try from James Pow and looked in total command. In these first 40 minutes Kirkcaldy had brought their backs into play much more than in previous games and they handled with assurance.

Hills woes were confirmed with the second half restart kick not going 10 metres. From the resulting scrummage possession the Blue comfortably worked their way to the line for replacement Greg Wallace to go over for the bonus point try and a Smith conversion.

Even when the Blues lost the line-out on their own throw they stripped Hills of the ball and Owen Bonner had a clear run to the line for the fifth Kirkcaldy score.

Kirkcaldy now had a confidence not seen in their earlier games this season with the backs impressing with the accuracy of their passing.

Although Hills continued to defend with great spirit they were being overwhelmed in all departments and other Kirkcaldy scores quickly followed from Liam Neilson and Matt Harvey.

Although neither of these tries was converted the Blues now led 58-0 with about ten minutes left.

The game lost much of its earlier shape in the time remaining the main feature of which was a runaway try from Hills winger Rory Harte converted by James Reekie.

There will be much tougher opposition for Kirkcaldy in the weeks to come but this outing has given the side renewed confidence which will stand them in good stead.

Hillhead/Jordanhill: J Reekie, R Harte, S Halliday, S Busby, D Vallance,C Tranier, R Thomson, C Celsis, H Perston, G Stephenson, C Stove, A Jackson, S Whiteford, R Reilly, O Gemmell. Replacements:- H Singh, C Tulloch, J Griffith

Kirkcaldy: A Brooks, O Bonner, C Littlejohn, Q Sanft, C Carey, F Smith, G McKenzie, D Jennings, Jack Pow, G Mangalo, James Pow, M Harper, R Bonner, S Milne, L Neilson. Replacements:- G Wallace, M Henderson, C Wood, M Harvey

Referee: G Pounder (CRRS)

Star Check: 3 Conor Littlejohn, 2 Owen Bonner, 1 James Pow

Cumulative: 6 Rhys Bonner, Liam Neilson; 3 Finlay Smith, Conor Littlejohn, James Pow, Owen Bonner.