Kirkcaldy lose after late collapse

Kirkcaldy’s miserable run of form continued on Saturday with a 22-45 loss at home to Newton Stewart.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 9:24 am
Chris Mann on the attack for Kirkcaldy against Newton Stewart (Pic: Michael Booth)

It was a thoroughly entertaining game for the neutral but the home fans were left stunned by a final 10 minutes which saw a promising position being mercilessly ripped away from the Blues as they were put to the sword.

The first 20 minutes was scoreless but far from a dull or boring game. Both sides stood up to each others onslaughts and defended their lines well.

Kirkcaldy drew first blood when Chris Mann scored after pressure on the visitors line.

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As seems to be the way for Kirkacldy this season, they failed to build on their early advantage - possession being cheaply surrendered allowing the visitor to go under the posts for a try that was converted.

Fin Smith restored the home lead with a penalty only to see his teammates fail to claim the ball at the restart and allow the visitors to cross the line again.

Half time saw the scoreline at 8-12 with both sides having shown ability to cause the other problems. The visitors had punished handling mistakes and missed tackles by the home side.

The second half started positively for the Blues but the defensive red wall held firm. Marcus Salt was held up as he crossed the line and then against the run of play and possession – Kirkcaldy conceded another try after dominating for a long period.

Undeterred the Blues went searching for points again and Stevie Milne scored with Fin Smith converting and then after a surging line break by Craig Letham the fly half scored in the corner and followed it up with a pearler of a conversion to push Kirkcaldy into a 22-19 lead.

Kirkcaldy pushed on again and kept battering away at the visitors but they worked hard to thwart the attacks - Scott Anderson downed the ball but the referee felt that he had impeded the defence and the score was cancelled.

With Kirkcaldy dominating possession and territory, they gave the ball away and the visitors ran the length of the field to score - twice!

With five minutes or so to go and the score at 22-31 it was going to need a grandstand finish for the Blues.

Sadly - the visitors were the ones who finished strongly - again scoring two tries from their own 22 as Kirkcaldy threw everything into attack.

The final score of 22-45 perhaps flattered Newton Stewart and was hard on Kirkcaldy but the day was an abject lesson in how to punish mistakes and take every opportunity that came along.

The Blues looked a bit shell shocked as the final whistle blew - from a position where a win or a losing bonus point seemed possible if not likely, they took a hammering on the scoreboard.

This was one of the Blues better performances in recent weeks but again individual errors cost them dear and saw their efforts fail to bear fruit.

The 2nd XV went down 5-25 in a Fife derby against Madras.

Next week, the Blues head West to play Glasgow Academicals - each game being vital as they seek to arrest their poor run and stop their position sliding down the league.

FFP MotM Points: 3 Mark Duckett, 2 Fin Smith, 1 Calum Parsons.