Howe of Fife do their bit in race for promotion

Howe fullback Gregor Smith scoring the side's first try of six. Pic by Chris Reekie PhotographyHowe fullback Gregor Smith scoring the side's first try of six. Pic by Chris Reekie Photography
Howe fullback Gregor Smith scoring the side's first try of six. Pic by Chris Reekie Photography
Murrayfield Wand’……...31Howe of Fife………...…....42

The last league game of the season for Howe was against Murrayfield Wanderers, played in the shadow of BT Murrayfield.

It was a must win if the promotion challenge was to be maintained, with results elsewhere having a bearing on the final outcome.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jake Douglas started on the flank with youngster Ryan Powles on the injury list.

Rory Johnstone started at prop and Duncan McIntyre came in from the wing to his favoured centre berth.

Two new wingers were started in Euan Muir and Rory Wardrop while on the bench was the welcome sight of Will Howley.

Howe went ahead in under three minutes when a kick chase from Jack Todd led to a Howe lineout.

The ball went along the line to fullback Gregor Smith.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His timely incision and strong running put Howe seven points ahead with the successful kick from Ian Aitken.

Howe continued to make most of the attacking with accuracy of passing and lack of link play letting them down.

The lead was stretched in 17 minutes, though, when Jake Douglas raced under the posts.

Aitken converted.

As in home fixture a fortnight ago, Wanderers scored through their robust forwards, rolling off a lineout and Howe’s lead was reduced to seven.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As the break loomed closer, Howe once more gained the ascendancy.

Aitken won a penalty, jackling the ball in front of the home posts.

A quick tap from Brad O’Hanlon saw the number eight bullock his way across the line.

Again Aitken converted.

Wanderer’s riposte was immediate and from a penalty they scored through another lineout and forward drive.

At the whistle for half-time, Howe led by nine points.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

James Lawrie was replaced by James Stockwell for the start of the second half.

Not long into the second period came an injury to Dave Thomas saw the perennial Steven Player replace him.

Then Jack Todd was injured as he stretched to score Howe’s fourth try which Aitken converted.

In a topsy turvy match, the home side struck back again to score an unconverted try.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Then from a loose Wanderer’s clearing kick, Andy Harley retrieved the ball and sped off up the pitch.

He linked with Gregor Smith and in a replica to his early try, Wanderer’s had no answer to Smith’s quick footwork and strength.

Aitken converted. Shortly after this Stockwell received a yellow card for what the referee deemed blocking.

With nothing to lose, Wanderer’s scored as the Howe defence ran out of numbers. With the successful conversion, Howe led by eleven points.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

From a penalty, Douglas tapped the ball, catching Wanderers off guard to score Howe’s converted sixth try.

In the closing stages the home side ended the match with another score. Howe ended with the five points required to stay in the promotion race.

Berwick, who have played four games less than the Howe of Fife, are their main threat.

Related topics: