Kirkcaldy keep best of the season for Dumfries

Kirkcaldy completed the first round of league fixtures with a display that gave hope for the second half of the season but equally left you scratching your head as to why some earlier performances had been so lacklustre.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 3:50 pm
Kirkcaldy were too good for third-placed Dumfries (Pic: Michael Booth)

Not many Blues supporters made their way south following Storm Arwen to Dumfries but few amongst them would have realistically expected that the home side, sitting in third place in the table would be blown away with such devastating force as they were.

Clear blue skies and a bracing wind greeted kick off with Kirkcaldy facing in to the breeze.

The home team onslaught failed to materialise with the Blues mastering the conditions – kicking low into the wind, retaining possession through repeated phases of forward play and on occasion allowing the backs to stretch the home defence across the pitch.

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As with the game against GHK last week, the team sitting higher up the table were struggling with the Kirkcaldy start.

Dayle Turner opened the Blues account with a try after good forward pressure to ease Kirkcaldy into the lead - Fin Smith’s conversion struggling against the biting wind.

The home side and their noisy home crowd rallied but only managed two penalties in response before Connor Littlejohn showed the defence a clean pair of heels and scored under the posts after a great backs move.

The home side rallied again and a stramash led to a yellow card for Turner as tempers frayed. Turner took a bit of stick from the home support who were calling for the referee to show a red card - he would silence them soon enough.

The Blues held out with 14 but on the stroke of half time they scored a converted try to take the slenderest of leads at the turnaround.

Half time – Dumfries 13 – Kirkcaldy 12.

Kirkcaldy were about to school the home side in how to play the conditions to their advantage.

Camping themselves in the home 22 the home defence creaked and eventually splintered when Dayle Turner scored his second, catching them napping with a quick tap and go.

Fin Smith converted and then pinged over a couple of wind assisted penalties as the Blues smelt blood taking advantage of every opportunity for points.

Try of the day saw Kirkcaldy play several passes through the backs and forwards before Turner got his hat trick and then a fourth try which emptied the stand of his earlier critics as if there was a fire drill.

Dumfries rallied and tried, losing their scrum half to what looked like a serious leg injury but the Blues defence remained watertight and Danny Jennings rubbed salt further into their wounds by scoring late on.

Full time – Dumfries 13 - Kirkcaldy 44

It was the Blues’ best performance of the season. A game that they completely controlled at a venue that has been a hard shift for many away sides this season and in seasons past.

A vital victory, thoroughly deserved and hard fought. Given other results in the league with Gordonians and Whitecraigs picking up points, the Blues remain third from bottom but within a couple of wins from mid table.

The dressing room enjoyed a resounding rendition of Geordie Munro and the boys got the bus home merrily.

A trip to Peebles and a home outing against Falkirk remain before the Christmas break but the Blues will want to keep building on the momentum that they have going.

Fife Trophy Centre MotM Points: 3 Dayle Turner, 2 Michael Harper, 1 Connor Littlejohn.