Kirkcaldy spurn scoring opportunities in defeat to Stewart's Melville

There was disappointment for Kirkcaldy at Stewarts Melville on Saturday. Pic: Michael Booth (stock image).
There was disappointment for Kirkcaldy at Stewarts Melville on Saturday. Pic: Michael Booth (stock image).

Stewart's Melville 19 Kirkcaldy 13

Kirkcaldy may yet rue taking only a losing bonus point from a match they dominated territorially.

Early in the game the Blues appeared to have the advantage in the set scrums and milked that for all they could.

They won a host of penalties for scrummage offences but declined to kick for goal, choosing to go for seven pointers, instead choosing to re-scrummage the ball.

The Inverleith defence held tight and the Blues did not add a try between Marcus Salt's 15th minute effort and a counter in the last play from Thomas Glendinning.

The Kirkcaldy game management has a lot to answer for this loss.

With the constant calling for balls to be re-scrummaged or go for touch they threw away possibly half a dozen chances to kick easy goals which at the end meant the difference between a W and an L in the results column.

Stew Mel began explosively with a torrent of possession piling on the pressure on the Kirkcaldy line which held tight with some spirited covering and tackling.

A penalty for non-release gave the Blues an entry in home territory and a further award took them within striking distance on the home line.

Several try attempts were rebuffed before prop Marcus Salt went over for a try that remained unconverted.

The Blues looked comfortable in this lead until a gross lack of concentration let the home side back into the game.

Quintan Sanft's men conceded a penalty in the Stew Mel the half. Expecting a kick to touch, they retreated with their backs to the ball.

Spotting this inattention Stew Mel took a quick tap to release winger Sean Murchie who raced 60 metres to touch down at the posts, giving Euan Morrison an easy conversion and a

7-5 lead for his side.

Kirkcaldy used the first of their replacements when lock Stuart Porter went off with hamstring trouble to bring on Jack Pow for his 100th appearance in a Kirkcaldy league game where he joined Connor Wood also playing in his 100th game.

For the remaining 15 minutes of the first half neither defence looked in trouble and the half time whistle blew with Stew Mel two points ahead.

Kirkcaldy dominated possession and field position for most of the third quarter but continued to butcher scoring chances and scorn kicks at goal.

They were shocked in the 62nd minute as Stew Mel lifted the siege and surged upfield to touch down for their second try from Charlie Simmonds and converted by Morrison once more.

When the Blues at last decided to kick at goal Finlay Smith's penalty reduced his side's deficit to six points with the prospect at least of a losing bonus point.

Even this morsel appeared to have gone five minutes from the end as another home breakaway led to an unconverted Matt Sanderson try.

Then in the final play Kirkcaldy did what they had failed to do for over an hour – score a try.

Seventeen-year-old centre Thomas Gledinning capped a fine display when he found himself on the outside to go in for the losing bonus point try.

Two defeats in their first two games is not what Blues' supporters expected but these were games in which the results could easily have been so different.

There is plenty match winning potential in the team which hopefully will surface when Whitecraigs visit Beveridge Park next Saturday.