Deserved victory for Kirkcaldy after second-half rugby resurgence
The first half of this home league rugby match provided few signs of what was to follow. Down 15-6, having conceded two tries and with opposing numbers 10 and 13 looking dangerous going forward, Kirkcaldy had struggled to take advantage of their forward superiority.
This wasn’t helped by the penalty count of 21 in the first half (11 against the Blues) which denied either side an opportunity to establish any rhythm.After half time, playing downhill and with some very astute replacements introduced, Kirkcaldy changed the whole tempo of their game and reminded everyone just how good they can be. Scott Anderson and Owen Bonner took advantage of playing behind a pack which worked hard not to give away penalties.An early Fin Smith penalty narrowed the gap to six points and sustained forward pressure resulted in tries for Matt Collins and Dayle Turner. The latter came from a Fin Smith penalty rebounding off the post, with Owen Bonner’s follow-up producing panic in the Preston defence, resulting in an attacking five-metre scrum. Forward pressure culminated in the try, turning three points into seven.Ahead 21-18 and very much in the ascendancy, Kirkcaldy played as a team for possibly the first time this season. Excellent kicking from hand provided good field position from where the forwards turned up the pressure, especially in the scrum. When the forwards and backs combined to send Finlay Bruce in for a try in the corner, duly converted, a 28-18 lead was thoroughly deserved.Kirkcaldy were penalised late on and, from the resulting pressure, Preston Lodge scored out wide to make it 28-25. Anxiety spread among the home crowd. But further pressure in the Preston 22 resulted in Kirkcaldy pushing the away team off their own put-in at the scrum. Not fancying a repeat, Preston chose a lineout instead and, when the forwards managed to steal their throw in, the ball was kicked dead for a thoroughly merited victory. Conceding only three penalties in the second half meant the visitors had few chances to relieve the constant pressure, while Kirkcaldy’s forwards and backs combined well. Fife Trophy Centre points – 3 Scott Anderson, 2 Dayle Turner, 1 Stevie Milne.