Howe of Fife...........................7
After two warm up games against Melrose and Aberdeen Grammar FPs, it was down to National League Cup business away to fellow League team Lasswade.
Very much rebuilding, the Howe team contained a fresh crop of young lads. Rory Johnstone at 2, Sam Rowlands at 10, Gregor Smith at 13 and Finlay Laird at 15, and on the bench, winger Cammy Walker, twins, Callum and Timmy Kennedy, along with new prop recruit, Scott Tesiter.
In the first half Howe accounted for themselves well against a weightier side.
The defence systems worked, preventing Lasswade gaining any quick or useful ball.
Howe’s back row was very prominent. Following a Howe defence turnover and accurate inter passing, Andy Steven was released on the stand side, regathering having been tapped tackled to put Andy Harley in for a very decent try under the posts.
Converted by Sam Rowlands, giving the lead to Howe 0-7.
Howe showed they can cut open defences through the backs, with Sam Rowlands and Gregor Smith in particular, stepping and accelerating into space.
Lasswade responded with a concerted effort, using some of their heavy brigade to create forward ball in the middle of the park. Following one repulse of an attack, Fraser Allan became trapped at the bottom of a ruck, with one of said heavy brigade landing on his ankle.
Chris Mann cam on into the second row with Jake Douglas taking up the back-row berth vacated by Allan. Who was later diagnosed with a broken ankle.
Shortly before half time Lasswade scored out wide but were unable to convert.
Early promising attacks in the second period by Howe were undone by a lack of accuracy and when in potential strike positions from lineouts, again the good work was undone through poor throws.
Lasswade continued to play through the middle with the heavy brigade and it was two lapses in the Howe defence, which had been solid, which led to two scores between the posts, for the home side to lead 19-7.
An injury to Sam Rowlands and general changes to bring on the bench players, certainly created an urgency in play form the Howe.
The old head Graham Thomson orchestrating from 10.
Chris Mann began to influence some much needed go forward ball, creating attacking opportunities, which with a little more precision could have changed the score-line in favour of the Duffus side.
It was not to be, and the final score remained 19-7.
Next up is Falkirk at home in the first league game of our second season in National 2.