Kirkcaldy have the Blues as Jed-Forest too strong

Travelling short of full strength, little was expected of Kirkcaldy at Riverside Park last Saturday and by half time the Blues had done exactly that, trailing 19--0.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 12:49 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 12:58 pm
Kirkcaldy's Flanker Jack Denton grapples for the loose ball against Jed-Forest (Pic by Bill McBurnie)

Apart from a flurry in the opening minutes Kirkcaldy spent most of the first half chasing shadows as the Borderers ran the show.

To make matters worse two of Kirkcaldy’s relegation rivals, Cartha QP and Dundee High were ahead with the latter racing into a 17-0 lead in the first quarter against Kelso.

Throughout a much more competitive second period, Kirkcaldy battled for every ball and against all expectations secured a four try bonus point which is probably as much as the most sanguine Kirkcaldy supporter could have expected.

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As was the case when the teams met at Beveridge Park last November, Jed-Forest had a clear physical advantage and soon showed they had much greater pace about the field.

The home team was seriously tested in the opening minutes. With Kirkcaldy’s kick -off ball going well into the Jed 22 there was an attacking opportunity and for almost five minutes the Blues buzzed around the Jed red zone without scoring a point.

Ten minutes had gone before Jed showed their attacking potential as they made the best use of an untidy kick gathered by full back

Lewis Young who raced past several defenders before setting up Gregor Young for a score converted by Gary Munro.

Ninety seconds later Jed-Forest added another try with Lewis Young making made the most of penalty advantage to touch down at the posts.

With a quarter of the game gone Jed had advanced to 19-0 with a third try from Callum Young converted again by Munro.

It was one way traffic now and it just seemed a matter of Jed building up a cricket score.

Making matters worse at this stage, news of the Blues’ rivals’ positive scores percolated through before flanker Dayle Turner went to the bin.

Jed errors however meant that they fluffed several possible scoring chances and the scoreboard failed to move until half time.

Within seconds of the restart the Jed game clicked again with their bonus point try from Gregor Young.

Now 24-0 behind Kirkcaldy at last made a positive impact on the game with the excellent Josh Laird dotting down and Finlay Smith converting.

This putative Kirkcaldy comeback quickly stalled with yet another ill directed kick set off Lewis Young on another jinking run before feeding scorer Callum Young.

Jed suffered from the loss of a series of penalties and from one of them the Blues kicked to touch before prop Marcus Salt smuggled the ball over for a second Kirkcaldy try making the score 31-12.

The Riverside men had a sixth try on the board by the time the Blues hit back again. Their passing broke down unexpectedly and Kirkcaldy winger Timmy Kennedy snapped up the ball to go in at the posts with Smith converting.

With eleven minutes left Kirkcaldy achieved one of their aims in gaining the fourth try from replacement Alex Brooks following a period of heavy pressure and desperate defence by the home team.

This seemed like a minor triumph for Kirkcaldy at the time but was possibly put into perspective when the other scores arrived from Glasgow and Dundee.

Its real value will be revealed on the next two Saturdays at Beveridge Park.

Maybe there was some relaxation in the Kirkcaldy effort in the closing minutes to allow Jed in for two more tries giving them a double score win at 48-24 and to maintain their championship challenge

Jed-Forest: L Young, C Young, G Young, M Mitchell, R Marshall, R Yourston, G Munro, D Gillespie, D Grieve, G Law, C Skelson, J Szkudro, P Ferreira, C Mackay, G Paxton. Replacements: J Northwood, J Oliver, D Wardrope, J McGough, R Shirra-Gibb

Kirkcaldy: C Letham, J Barcclay, J Moffatt, J Laird, TR Kennedy, F Smith, G McKenzie, D Jennings, C Hamilton, M Salt, S Evans, S Robertson, J Benton, R Brown, J Pow. Replacements: G Queen, G Clunas, D Guthrie, D Turner, A Brooks

Referee: T Boyle.