Blues crushed by Howe

Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy - RUGBY -'Kirkcaldy RFC v Howe of Fife RFC'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy - RUGBY -'Kirkcaldy RFC v Howe of Fife RFC'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

This RBS Caledonia Cup match emphasised the gap that has grown between Kirkcaldy and Howe of Fife.

The Howe side were physically stronger, quicker and more aware of how to take chances than the Beveridge Park men.

Howe had little trouble against Kirkcaldy. Picture by Walter Neilson.

Howe had little trouble against Kirkcaldy. Picture by Walter Neilson.

If Kirkcaldy are to compete with the Cupar club then they must start to look at their conditioning, physical strength and approach to training.

As with last week the Kirkcaldy side seemed disjointed and disorganised compared to their opponents.

Howe kicked off towards the pond end on a clear bright day, albeit windy. After three minutes of constant pressure Kirkcaldy were penalised for breaking off from the scrum and Howe’s Dominic Martin slotted the penalty to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.

The game was being played in the Kirkcaldy half and in the 11th minute the Blues were penalised for not releasing and again Martin converted to increase Howe’s lead to 6-0.

Kirkcaldy were not in the match at this stage and after 20 minutes the referee allowed advantage following a Kirkcaldy knock-on and Howe kept the ball alive with Matt Keeble going over for the first try of the afternoon. Martin converted to put Howe in a commanding 11-0 lead.

The game went into a bit of a stupor with some unremarkable rugby. In the 37th minute Kirkcaldy were pressing on the Howe line but after some loose passing the ball was dropped and Howe’s speedy and strong Rory Drummond went through three poor attempts at tackles to score.

The conversion was missed but this try brought the half-time score to 16-0 in Howe’s favour.

The second half started off in the same fashion with Drummond scoring his second try in the corner and Martin’s conversion was awarded despite seeming to go wide, leading to howls of protest from the home supporters. Nonetheless the score now stood at 23-0 for Howe.

Kirkcaldy now showed a bit more composure and after various advantages in which the referee missed a forward pass, Josh Laird made a break which gave Gavin McKenzie the chance to go over for Kirkcaldy’s only points of the match to bring the score to 23-5.

The remainder of the second half was a procession of Howe tries with Drummond scoring a further three tries in the 62nd, 65th minute and 69th minute to bring the score to 40-5.

In the final minute Howe’s Graham Thompson completed the route and Martin converted to bring the final score to 47-5.

The days when Kirkcaldy were beating the Howe by 99-0 seem a long way off and Blues fans must now be wondering when they will return

Kirkcaldy: Littlejohn, Welsh, Laird, Moffat, Mann, Letham, Mckenzie, Neilson, Bonner, Turner, Wood, Orr, Queen, Pow, Girdler. Replacements: Mitchell, Milne, Thomson, Smith.

Howe of Fife: Ellison, Thompson, Imrie, Guthrie, Calcutt, Martin, Lethangie, Mason, Wilson, Drummond, Turpie, Wallace, Henderson, Keeble, Fenton. Replacements: Stout, Steven, Potter, Mitchell.

Star Check: 3 Craig Letham, 2 Gavin McKenzie, 1 Conor Wood.

Current standings: 16 McKenzie; 12 Porter; 9 Turner, Mann, Wood; 8 Orr; 5 Letham; 4 R Bonner, Mitchell; 3 M Harvey, Gillies, G Wallace, K Littlejohn, Girdler; 2 M Wallace, L Neilson; 1 Gray, Van Rensberg.