Bonner hat-trick sets Kirkcaldy on way to first win of the season

Owen Bonner touches down for one of his three tries in Kirkcaldy's win over Whitecraigs. Pic: Michael Booth
Owen Bonner touches down for one of his three tries in Kirkcaldy's win over Whitecraigs. Pic: Michael Booth

Kirkcaldy 48 Whitecraigs 13

Kirkcaldy could not have had a better start as they looked for their first league win of the season.

The Whitecraigs kick-off ball failed to travel 10 metres and this was gobbled up by the home pack.

Good retention allowed stand off Finlay Smith to create space on the left into which winger Owen Bonner latched onto the scoring pass for the game's first try in the fourth minute and well converted by Cameron Palmer.

Whitecraigs dominated territory and possession for almost ten minutes after that early set back with the Blues hardly touching the ball.

However, all the Glasgow side had to show for their efforts was a penalty from Graham Murchie.

An untidy phase followed with frequent injury stoppages and lectures to the players from the referee.

The crowd's slumber in the warm autumn sunshine abruptly ended in the 28th minute.

From scrummage ball won in the visitors' 22, Kirkcaldy blazed upfield, the ball sizzling through half a dozen pairs of hands before it reached lock Jacob Ramsay who bull dozed his way through the Whitecraigs defence to set up Bonner for the winger's second try.

Whitecraigs hit back quickly and through slick ball retention winger Gary Emans touched down. Controversially the referee overruled the touch judges who indicated a successful conversion leaving the score at 12-8.

This four point Kirkcaldy lead looked shaky at times but as the interval neared they reasserted themselves.

A penalty to touch deep into the Whitecraigs 22 produced several forward drives before Bonner shot through for his hat-trick, and a third Kirkcaldy try.

At the restart Whitecraigs' kick failed to travel the required ten metres once more. Fast ball from the resulting scrummage sent the home backs away.

Skipper Josh Laird ghosted past several failed tackles to touch down close to the posts, giving Pilmer an easy conversion and a 24-8 Kirkcaldy lead.

The game resumed on a low key note with neither side looking to do much with ball and with the referee constantly blowing up for technical offences.

It took almost 15 minutes of the game to come to life again. After a Whitecraigs penalty miss the Blues swooped on the drop out ball to regain possession.

This ended with No 8 Chris Mann .going over at the other end to put Kirkcaldy into a 29-8 lead.

With 20 minutes left the game had gone beyond Whitecraigs with this latest reverse and their cause was hardly helped with the binning of winger James Baxendale.

They had sufficient fight left, however, for Emans to brush away a series of tackles for his side's second try.

Meanwhile, Ramsay again showed his worth to Kirkcaldy as another strong run from the lock followed a scrummaged penalty extending the Blues lead to 34-8.

By the time Baxendale returned to the game his side were all but out conceding two late tries, another from Ramsay, converted by Palmer, who also added the extras after Laird touched down for his second counter.

This Kirkcaldy win was not without its blemishes but at least against a team likely to flounder in the relegation zone they showed they could make their possession pay off.

Stiffer opposition lies in wait and head coach Quintan Sanft will want to iron out the inconsistencies from this game.

Kirkcaldy: C Palmer, O Bonner, T Dependingly, J Laird, A Brooks, F Smith, G McKenzie, D Jenningss, C Hamilton, M Salt, C Wood, J Ramsay, G Clunas, S Milne, C Mann.

Replacements: G Wallace, G Queen, S Robertson, S McKervall.

Whitecraigs:- L McWhinnie, G Emans, S Murchie, L Barbour, J Baxendale, G Murchie, D McCormick, A Livingston, J Ramage, S Atwell, C Duncan, S Fisher, L Ramage, M Christine, S Pollock. Replacements:- C Porteous, D McKelvie, R O'Neill, R Cunningham.

Referee: G Stephen

Fife Trophy Centre Star Check: 3 Josh Laird, 2 Jacob Ramsay, 1 Owen Bonner

Current standings: 7 Jacob Ramsay; 4 Josh Laird; 3 Timmy Kennedy, Thomas Glendinning; 2 Marcus Salt; 1 Seb Evans, Steve Milne Chris Mann, Owen Bonner.