Howe of Fife hit the ground running on their return

Howe of Fife……….….....40Perthshire………………...15

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 11:11 am
Jack Todd races away from Perthshire defence to set up Cameron Walker's try. Pic by Chris Reekie Photography

After a two week break for international rugby, it was back to league duty for Howe at home to Perthshire.

The early exchanges were very predictable, Perthshire playing short passes to their heavy forwards and Howe making use of the speed out in the backs.

A forward pass from Perthshire gave Howe a scrum. Despite pressure on their scrum, Howe forwards created forward momentum, before the electric Todd sprinted through the defence to score with Ian Aitken converting.

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Aitken then delivered a reverse pass to the supporting Ryan Powles to score. Aitken converted.

Howe remained camped in their opponent’s half, unfortunately they could not capitalise on their dominant field position. There were also a few scuffles between the sides and some advice on the laws to the Perthshire captain form the referee. Just before the break, Aitken kicked a penalty to the corner. From the lineout, Powles delivered a short ball to the for Jake Douglas at the front to catch Perthshire off guard, to score. Aitken knocked over a long conversion. Both teams sought the heat of the dressing room at half time!

The restart saw very little change in the play from both sides. Howe always the more adventurous. From a lineout on the Howe 22, the Howe forwards made ground with strong carries. Sean Murray ran into space, turning the visitors defence inside out, before releasing the strong running Gregor Smith. The full back outpaced the stragglers to score Howe’s fourth and crucially their bonus point. Aitken converted.

Both sides were reduced to 14 after a yellow for Perthshire and a red for Howe, for what seemed just a small stramash. The visitors appeared galvanised by the confrontation and secured their first score, unconverted.

Perthshire lost the ball in the tackle; it was kicked ahead by Howe. Todd collected the loose ball, then offloaded to Murray. The winger was tackled, then popped the ball off to his opposite winger Cammy Walker to run in Howe’s fifth score of the afternoon. Aitken missed the conversion.

Back up to fifteen, Perthshire used their numerical advantage to score a try from a penalty lineout and forward drive, Howe gifted Perthshire the next score. Todd passed the ball behind his winger Walker. Perthshire latched onto the loose ball to score.

As in the first half another Howe score inexplicably was thrown away. The ever present and reliable Andy Harley, clear in space with a clear run in, managed to let the ball slip from his grasp. Howe’s final try, of the afternoon, was a very individual solo effort. Fullback Smith collected the ball from a deep kick inside the 22. Smith accelerated away, handed off a couple of defenders to outrun the flailing defence to score. Aitken converted.

Next week a tricky fixture, away to West of Scotland. West have moved into second spot in the league. one point in front of Howe, who remain fourth. This despite Howe recording an 82-10 win in their early season encounter.​​​​​​​