Kirkcaldy up to second in table despite red card in Falkirk

Kirkcaldy captain Josh Laird shrugs off the Falkirk tackler as he makes his way to the try line. Pic: Scott Louden
Kirkcaldy captain Josh Laird shrugs off the Falkirk tackler as he makes his way to the try line. Pic: Scott Louden

Falkirk 25 Kirkcaldy 41

The Blues completed the first half of their National 2 campaign with a competent five-try bonus point winning performance which saw Quintan Sanft's side rise to second place in the table.

Falkirk's Sunnyside ground hardly lived up to its name with the game being played in heavy rain driven by a brisk chilling breeze.

Kirkcaldy's strength lay in a dominant forward performance which continued after the loss of lock Connor Wood who received a red card for an alleged facial retaliation.

Even in the closing ten minutes with the Blues down to 13 men they comfortably held out against a pack looking for a fourth bonus point try.

The sides swapped penalties in the opening minutes, Fionn Call for the Sunnyside team and Craig Letham for the visitors, before the Blues went behind to a try from Falkirk's Graham Gilliland.

The Kirkcaldy team showed no signs of buckling against this setback and they had their game back on line with a two smartly taken tries from Sean McKervall and Dayle Turner, the latter

making his long delayed return following surgery in the summer.

Craig Letham converted both giving the Blues a 17-11 lead.

Between these tries Call had another Falkirk penalty and ten minutes from the break the home side regained the lead with a second Gilliland score converted by Call.

Falkirk now led 18-17 which proved to be the final time they were in front.

The Blues regained the advantage just before half time with a sensational effort from Owen Bonner.

The winger gathered a loose ball deep in his own 22 before running straight through the first line of defence, swerving around others before chipping ahead, regathering and racing to the

posts for what may well be the try of the season.

Any jitters the Kirkcaldy support may have had were quickly dispelled in the early part of the second half with a brace of tries.

Captain Josh Laird who was making an outstanding contribution to the ultimate victory had the first before Letham dummied his way to the line for a try which he converted as he did with

Laird's counter.

The Blues now had a comfortable lead of 38-18 with over a quarter of the game left but Wood's dismissal made their task that bit more difficult.

A third converted Falkirk try on 67 minutes gave encouragement to the home team.

However, Laird directed his side to a big defensive effort for most of the remaining time, disrupted only by the time he spent in the bin taking a yellow card for his team's misdemeanours in defence.

This was the seventh consecutive Kirkcaldy win which has driven the side up the league table.

It did have its inconsistencies against a side in the lower part of the league but real character was shown in the closing stages when reduced to 13 players when the the opposition were battling for a fourth try bonus point.

Kirkcaldy: F Smith, C Littlejohn, S McKervall, j Laird, O Bonner, Letham, G McKenzie, D Jennings, C Hamilton, M Salt, C Wood, G Shields, K Mitchell, D Turner, S Milne. Replacements: G Wallace, G Queen, D Guthrie, A Brooks.

Fife Trophy Centre Star Check: 3 Josh Laird, 2 Steve Milne, 1 Owen Bonner.

Cumulative: 11 Jacob Ramsay; 10 Thomas Glendinning; 8 Connor Wood; 7 Rhys Bonner; 5 Danny Jennings, Marcus Salt, Steve Milne; 3 Timmy Kennedy, Stuart Porter; 2 Chris Mann, Owen Bonner; 1 Seb Evans, Sean McKervall, Craig Letham.