Former Fife Flyer makes Kirkcaldy Rugby debut in bonus point win

Kirkcaldy 45 Glasgow Academicals 23
Former Fife Flyers defenceman Thomas Muir joins in a scrum after switching to rugby. Pic: Michael BoothFormer Fife Flyers defenceman Thomas Muir joins in a scrum after switching to rugby. Pic: Michael Booth
Former Fife Flyers defenceman Thomas Muir joins in a scrum after switching to rugby. Pic: Michael Booth

The Blues took time to find their stride at Beveridge Park last Saturday twice going behind in the first half.

By the break, however, they had snatched a single point lead and after half time they had much the better of proceedings.

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Earlier in the day there had been some doubt about the fitness of the ground after heavy rain but following hard work by groundsman Colin Falconer and his helpers everything was in order come kick off time.

Having knocked on the kick off ball the Blues spent a good five minutes defending their line and having to concede the game's first try scored by Accies' Tommy Spink and converted by Gregor Macewan.

Slowly and at times laboured, Kirkcaldy worked their way into the Glasgow territory, building up to the game's second try from prop Marcus Salt, this movement originating from a stolen line out. Finlay Smith's conversion tied the scores at 7-7.

Rather than make use of any advantage they may have been gathering, Kirkcaldy retreated as Accies flourished again.

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Two more Macewan penalties put the visitors in front once more a 13-7 leaving the Blues looking rather bewildered and pushed back into their own half.

Kirkcaldy must have realised that if they continued in this passive fashion that there would be no bonus point win.

Against the run of play the Blues edged their way back into things as half time neared. From a long forward build up winger Alex Brooks went over on the right side.

Smith's conversion edged Kirkcaldy into a barely deserved 14-13 lead.

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The second half began with a Kirkcaldy flourish and within a minute of the restart had increased their lead.

The returning Rhys Bonner exploded from a midfield line out and went all the way to the posts, throwing off all sorts of tackles.

However, Accies were still a competitive force and with excellent forward support work created space for scrum half Jacob Siems dashing in for a score which remained unconverted.

This reverse proved to be a brief interruption in Kirkcaldy progress as two Blue tries followed.

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Scores from Josh Laird and Chris Mann pushed the Blues further ahead at 33-18 with an hour played.

Accies looked as if the pace was catching up with them as the Blues dominated possession and territory through much of the final quarter.

Head coach Quintan Sanft continued to use his bench to refresh the line-up and among the replacements was former Fife Flyers player Tommy Muir, who made his league debut.

Although Accies had a third try, against the run of play from winger Campbell McCready this spell belonged to Kirkcaldy.

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A smart midfield break from captain Josh Laird set up a forward onslaught from which prop Danny Jennings went over.

Smith's conversion took the home tally into the forties.

Owen Bonner on the left wing rounded off the Kirkcaldy scoring with the last play of the day, bulldozing himself into space from scrummage possession and dashing 50 metres to the goal line.

This was hardly a vintage Kirkcaldy performance having to play second fiddle for significant spells against a side who had struggled for most of the season.

Still there was an annoying tendency to give away too many penalties and make handling errors which could have been avoided.

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After this week's break for National League Cup ties the Blues will face tougher opposition in the weeks to come when points will be harder to gather.

Kirkcaldy: C Letham, A Brooks, S McKervall . J Laird, O Bonner, F Smith, G McKenzie, D Jennings, G Wallace, M Salt, C Wood, R Bonner, G Clunks, S Milne, C Mann. Replacements: G Shields, G Queen, T Muir, T Glendinning.

Glasgow Accies;- J McCready, C McCready, G Macewan, F Neilson, C Taylor, A Lowry, J Siems, C Goodfellow T Power, J Currie, C Johnstone, K Beattie,G Valentine, S Holt, T Spinks. Replacements: M Howie, K Greggain, M Holland, S Briggs.

Referee: Graeme Connell

Fife Trophy Centre Star Check: 3 Marcus Salt, 2 Josh Laird, 1 Rhys Bonner.

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Current standings: 9 Jacob Ramsay; 8 Thomas Glendinning; 7 Josh Laird; 5 Danny Jennings; 4 Connor Wood; 3 Timmy Kennedy; 2 Chris Mann; 1 Seb Evans, Steve Milne, Owen Bonner, Sean McKervall, Rhys Bonner.