Loss for Kirkcaldy in their first game of 2022

Not having played a competitive game since the day after Storm Arwen on November 27, Kirkcaldy made the short journey across the Forth to East Lothian to take on Preston Lodge.

By Grant Letham
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 1:18 pm
Kirkcaldy RFC played their first game since November. (Pic: Michael Booth)
Kirkcaldy RFC played their first game since November. (Pic: Michael Booth)

The Blues started positively and the forward pack showed clear intent and began to impose themselves on the lighter PL pack.

Within 10 minutes Stevie Milne had scored a try - ably converted by Finn Smith to quieten the home support.

A penalty by Smith further extended the lead. The home side squandered an easy penalty in front of the posts but they were not to be denied for long and switched the ball out wide to get their first try which was converted.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The Blues rallied and again the forward pack pressurised the home side and after a few reset scrums, Dayle Turner scored - converted again by Smith.

As half time approached - the home side steeled themselves again and as the Blues defence wearied in the face of constant pressure a free defenders sleepwalked, allowing the home side to score again.

Half time saw the score at 14-17 - the Blues just ahead in an even, competitive contest.

Sadly the home side started far brighter - a tiring Blues side valiantly defended but an early try for the home side saw them take the lead for the first time.

The Blues continued to resist and Smith pinged over a penalty as the lead swung again but the writing was on the wall for the wearying visitors.

The forwards battled gamely but after continuous pressure the referee grew bored with the frequency of infringements by the defence and Dayle Turner was sent to the sin bin.

The home side continued to press but were denied by resolute defence being held up on a couple of occasions but the home side scented blood and were not going to give up.

Against 14 men they overwhelmed the Blues and scored a couple of unconverted tries being wasteful with the conversions and other opportunities from the tee.

The game ended with a further try as the home side showed a ruthless streak in prosecuting any weakness in the Blues defences.

Full Time

Preston Lodge 36 - Kirkcaldy 20

The momentum built before Christmas which was decimated by Covid-19 related fixture cancellations seems a distant memory now.

In truth, it was probably a better performance than most Blues supporters were expecting given the squad available - the home side exploited every weakness they could and as the Blues tired with little option for change available they ran out comfortable winners.

But for some wasteful kicking the margin of victory would have been far wider.

Results elsewhere in the league saw next week’s visitors to Beveridge Park, Hamilton lose at home to Gordonians leaving the Blues in second bottom place - albeit with two games in hand.

Next weeks’ game against Hamilton gains even greater importance.

Fife Trophy Centre MotM Points: 3 Marcus Salt, 2 Stevie Milne, 1 Scott McCracken.