Lasswade win eases relegation worries for Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy hosting Lasswade on Saturday (Pic: Michael Booth)Kirkcaldy hosting Lasswade on Saturday (Pic: Michael Booth)
Kirkcaldy hosting Lasswade on Saturday (Pic: Michael Booth)
Although not out of the woods yet by any means, Kirkcaldy took a big step towards averting the threat of relegation from rugby’s Tennent’s National League Division 2 with a 38-17 win against fellow strugglers Lasswade at home on Saturday.

The Blues have never found the Midlothian men an easy side to beat and when they met in the reverse fixture at the start of September they only just managed to edge them out by 20-19.

Coach Quintan Sanft made quite a few changes from the team that lost 47-26 at Falkirk the week before, including the selection at centre of former Blue Sean Crombie, a player who has been around quite a bit since he departed Beveridge Park over a decade ago, including selection for Scotland’s club international side.

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The Blues started with real purpose, knowing that a loss would almost certaintly land them among the five teams to be relegated at the end of the season.

Within five minutes they had opened up a 14-0 lead through tries from Finlay Smith and Craig Hamilton, both converted by Smith.

Kirkcaldy’s lineout operated well in those early stages but got overcomplicated later on, with the visitors taking advantage of that drop-off to get much more into the game. They were well worth their first try from Robert Letton and it gave them added confidence, getting close to a second a few minutes later.

In the last play of the first half, Gavin McKenzie stole away from a penalty award for the hosts’ third try, converted by Smith for a 21-5 interval lead.

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A bonus-point try from replacement Dayle Turner gave the home team a seemingly impregnable 28-5 lead, but there was still life left in Lasswade and a Dale Robertson try gave them every encouragement.

Although they were still 11 points ahead, Kirkcaldy realised the resurgent Lasswade had the firepower to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and brought a new sense of purpose to the game’s closing stages, ending on a strong note with another Smith try and conversion.

Though there were blemishes aplenty, this was a much-improved Kirkcaldy performance and they can look forward to the last three games of this campaign later this month with more confidence.

Their next game is at basement side Hamilton Bulls on Saturday, April 15, with kick-off at 3pm.

The Fifers go into that match sitting sixth in the table on 53 points from 19 fixtures.