Blues unable to turn try tally into victory

Kirkcaldy 27 Peebles 34

Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 7:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:55 pm
Kirkcaldys Danny Jennings tries to force his way to the try line. Pic: Michael Booth
Kirkcaldys Danny Jennings tries to force his way to the try line. Pic: Michael Booth

In a game full of running Peebles stayed the course much better and, unlike the earlier game between the teams last November, were in charge in the closing stages and deserved their win.

The game opened at a fast pace in perfect conditions with Kirkcaldy just having territorial advantage. Opportunities came at both ends before home prop Danny Jennings crashed over in the 10th minute after two earlier chances hadn’t been taken. The fairly straight forward conversion was off target.

A Raeburn penalty narrowed Peebles’ deficit but minutes later they had a blow when lock Callum Leckey went off with a serious looking leg injury. The pendulum was swinging Kirkcaldy’s way with a series of serious attacks spear headed by Josh Laird.

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However they fell to a sucker punch. A mini break by lock Ross Brown fed centre Callum Anderson who went all the way and with Raeburn converting Peebles were now ahead.

The attack minded Kirkcaldy team quickly responded to this set back and after some impressive running, centre Kurt Littlejohn touched down for another unconverted try tying the scores at 10-10 after 22 minutes of play.

Two minutes later Kirkcaldy produced their try of the season to regain the lead. Winger Finlay Bruce swept up the ball in his own half, nearly 60 metres out. With changes of pace and direction, shrugging off several tackles, he ran in for a spectacular score. Jamie Moffat added the conversion points.

Following another Raeburn penalty, Peebles produced their own gem. Steven Hamilton deceived several Kirkcaldy defenders and raced away for a try near the posts.

With the referee playing added time before the interval, the Blues won the bonus point try with Michael Harper getting the touch after a driving maul had taken the ball over the line. Again the try remained unconverted but the Blues led 22-20 at the break.

Seven minutes into the second half a searing break from Laird paved the way for a second Littlejohn try which extended the Kirkcaldy lead to 27-20.

The final quarter belonged to Peebles as the earlier Kirkcaldy intensity fell away. Penalties were squandered and tackles came short as the chances of a home win receded. Peebles replacement Euan Jacksont touched down at the posts following a lost Kirkcaldy line-out and another Raeburn conversion tied the scores.

Kirkcaldy were by no means out of things in the closing quarter but the game was there for Peebles to lose and after a long build up Brown scored the decisive try.

The Blues huffed their way through the closing stages but Peebles had taken charge and were in no mood to let the game slip.

Kirkcaldy: J Moffat, O Bonner, K Littlejohn, J Laird, F Bruce,Q Sanft, G McKenzie, D Jennings, Jack Pow, R Girdler, C Wood, M Harper, R Bonner, R Brown, James Pow. Replacements: M Salt, S McLean, C McConnell, C Littlejohn.

Referee: M Todd (BRRS)

Fife Trophy Centre Star Check: 3 Finlay Bruce, 2 Josh Laird, 1 Michael Harper

Current standings: 16 Rhys Bonner, Michael Harper; 15 Connor Wood; 14 Greg Wallace; 10 James Pow; 9 Kurt Littlejohn; 8 Finlay Bruce; 6 Liam Neilson, Craig Letham; 5 Owen Bonner, Josh Laird; 4 Gavin McKenzie, Finlay Smith; 3 Conar Littlejohn, Steve Mitchell, Stuart McLean; 2 Jack Pow; 1 George Mangalo, Danny Jennings, Rory Brown.