Lasswade 43 Kirkcaldy 26
The Blues celebrated their 140th anniversary in October with a close and hard fought 17-10 victory over Lasswade, and looked for a similar result to cement themselves in sixth place in the RBS Championship B table.
Alas it was not to be as the home forwards dominated the visiting pack to secure an unassailable half time lead and no matter how much the second half performance was improved, Kirkcaldy returned home disappointed.
The Blues preparation was yet again affected by misfortune when Gav MacKenzie had to withdraw from the starting line up due to illness, and the ever youthful and capable head coach Quintin Sanft started at no.9.
As ever, the Blues conceded the first points of the game – playing against a blustery breeze the first exchanges were pretty even but the home side were first to score. That said, Connor Littlejohn was unlucky not to collect an interception try as both sides probed each others defensive capabilities.
With the wind at their backs the home side used their more experienced and heavier pack to score two tries from driving mauls and then a well worked backs move saw them score a third try to lead 17-0.
Captain Liam Neilson barged over as Kirkcaldy finally woke up but the optimism was short lived when we conceded another try cheaply which was well converted to see the home side lead 24-5 at half time.
The half time oranges and a few strong words from the coaching staff appeared to shake some life into the Blues at the start of the second half, and Craig Letham burst through to score and then convert but once again the good work was undone when another maul was driven over to maintain the home lead.
This was extended further when the Blues defence slipped from poor to embarrassing to concede another try and the score went to 36-12.
Returning from a world tour, club captain Mark Wallace emphasised what the team has been missing with a good score and then Stevie Milne raised the home captain’s blood pressure with a bursting run to score and narrow the gap to 10 points.
He wasn’t upset for long though as he went over after the Blues defence again struggled against a driving maul and the home side saw out time to secure a deserved victory.
This was a tale of missed opportunities and individual errors being punished by a more experienced side who have obviously sold themselves short over the season and as a result find themselves going down a division next year.
Kirkcaldy will return to action in three weeks against a Howe who could win promotion at Beveridge Park if results elsewhere go their way.
Star Check: 3 Craig Letham, 2 Kurt Littlejohn, 1 Liam Neilson.