Howe are ruthless in win over Strath

Jake Douglas breaks the Strathmore defence for his second try. Picture by Chris ReekieJake Douglas breaks the Strathmore defence for his second try. Picture by Chris Reekie
Jake Douglas breaks the Strathmore defence for his second try. Picture by Chris Reekie
Howe of Fife………….…....71Strathmore………………...24

A large crowd gathered on a wet and cold afternoon in Cupar.

It was not long before Howe were into their stride, winning a dominant scrum inside their own half after a Strathmore knock on.

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A clever loop with Aitken and Graham Thomson saw the ball slipped to winger Sean Murray. An energised Murray weaved his way between the defence to score. Aitken converted.

Strathmore applied pressure through their forwards but Howe’s defence was in a defiant mood. The ball came to Murray again after a dominant Howe tackle. Once more he outstripped the flailing tackles for a second score. Aitken again converted to put the Howe 14 points in front.

Strathmore continued to use their forwards off the rucks and through the middle of the field.

After a few phases of possession they chipped to the corner and Thomson at fullback had no option but to run the ball into touch. From the resulting line out the visitors barged over to score and convert.

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Howe’s defence was operating well though, none more so than Fraser Allan.

He ripped the ball from Strathmore player, the ball transferred across the Howe back line to Murray popping up on the left wing to score his second hat-trick of the season, converted by Aitken.

Strathmore came back into the game again, getting good width on the ball and direct running from the forwards to score and convert.

This did not deter Howe.

From a scrum inside the visitors 22-metre area, Harley broke blind, linked with Murray, the hat-trick try scorer turned provider, passing to Ian Aitken to score. Before half-time Strathmore responded with a penalty.

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After the break, Howe turned into the wind, playing up the Duffus slope. Straight from the kick-off, Howe scored through Jake Douglas, converted by Aitken. Almost immediately, belying the difficult conditions, Howe produced a sparkling score. The interplay and support passing created space for that man Douglas again to score his second. Aitken converted.

Strathmore were awarded a penalty, giving them field position in Howe’s territory.

They used their forwards again to good effect, rumbling in for a third converted try.

Howe using tactical replacements, switched players around. Gregor Smith had been quiet on the wing. Now at fullback he made one of his now trademark runs through the middle of the opposition. Jack Todd was the recipient of Smith’s pass to score under the post for a converted try.

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Aggressive defence by Howe pressured Strathmore into dropping a pass. Smith picked up the ball with a clear route to the try line to score a converted effort. Strathmore spilled the ball again and Murray and Harley enjoyed a kick and chase, Strathmore scrambling back to carry the ball over their own try line. From the scrum five, Allan now out of the hooker berth and at number 8, powered through a despairing defence to score.

Allan released replacement Cameron Walker to slip past the defence and score beneath the posts. Aitken converting. Walker completed the scoring with a converted try for Howe.

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