Win for Kirkcaldy in first game since March 2020

Kirkcaldy were victorious in their opening game of the season. (Pic: Michael Booth)Kirkcaldy were victorious in their opening game of the season. (Pic: Michael Booth)
Kirkcaldy were victorious in their opening game of the season. (Pic: Michael Booth)
There was an air of disbelief as Scottish club rugby built up to a restart after the untracked wastes of the past two years.

Having come out on the other side of the pandemic rugby people in Scotland are curious to see how things will play out and which clubs have coped better with adversity.

In another world two seasons ago, Peebles were fifth in Division 2 while Kirkcaldy struggled at the foot of Division 1.

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The clubs have much in common with a history of ambition and energy over the years and both now look to progress in difficult conditions.

If Kirkcaldy could tap into their form in the first five minutes and last five minutes of this game they would finish near the top of Division 2.

After the Blues’ initial attacking flair it was mainly Peebles on the front foot, though they’d only two penalties to show for it after the first quarter.

As Kirkcaldy steadied the ship, they began to expose cracks in Peebles defence and their powerful direct running was asking questions, leading to a try strolled in the front door by Craig Letham, converted by Finlay Smith.

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Before half time Jack Denton went over and Letham converted to make it 17-6.

Kirkcaldy were playing with the breeze "downhill" after the break and soon added two Finlay Smith penalties to make it 23-6.

This is when the train came off the rails as Kirkcaldy lost control with indiscipline and innacuracy.

Entering the final quarter of the match Kirkcaldy lost the plot and two players were yellow carded as the visitors kept the score moving, before overtaking them in the final minutes to 23 - 25.

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Joy was unconfined on the visitors’ bench but they perhaps understandably underestimated Kirkcaldy potential to rebuild.

Connor Littlejohn's try summed up the rebuilt attitude as he powered through two or three tackles like an exocet for a match winning score.

Smith converted to make the final score 30-25 to the Blues who were helped by the amount of injury time provided by the ref and the Peebles scrum half who played a tap penalty when the match would have ended had he gone for touch.

Player ratings: 3 pts Craig Letham, 2 pts Paul Denton, 1 pt Connor Littlejohn.

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In the last full season in Scottish rugby, Falkirk – Kirkcaldy’s hosts this Saturday – were at the foot of Division 2 while the Blues were in a similar position in Division 1.

Saturday's fixture sums up the unknown nature of post-covid rugby.

Falkirk travelled down to Dumfries where they were narrowly defeated 29 -26 at the weekend.

A good score against one of the more tenacious teams in the league and one Kirkcaldy will be aware that this indicates potentially improved form from Falkirk.

Cool headed skipper Craig Letham will no doubt do another good job inspiring his squad to stay on the job.

This team has real potential and a spirit that could bring success in this league.