Howe of Fife 17-36 Stewart’s Melville

Jamie Thomson runs through Stewart's Melville players supported by Will Howley. Pic by Chris Reekie.
Jamie Thomson runs through Stewart's Melville players supported by Will Howley. Pic by Chris Reekie.

Howe...................................17

Stewart’s Melville..............36

Jamie Thomson runs through Stewart's Melville players supported by Will Howley. Pic by Chris Reekie.

Jamie Thomson runs through Stewart's Melville players supported by Will Howley. Pic by Chris Reekie.

Howe made a bright start, looking to stretch the visitors across the park but sadly slipped to another loss at the end of the game.

The lineup saw captain James Lawrie taking up the hooker’s berth for the day.

With Dylan Hartley out with a recurring head knock, it was Callum Willison who was given the key role at ten.

Jack Todd came off the rigs and into the fullback berth.

The more bulky and heavier Stew Mel pack become dominant at both scrum and off lineout mauls.

Their first score came from prop Colin Baikie who buried through a compact Howe defensive line.

The conversion from Euan Bowen was successful.

Three further tries arrived courtesy of good strong play and quick handling from centre James Ferguson, winger Sean Murchie and prop Ruaridh Mitchell with one converted by Bowen.

To the delight of the Howe faithful, the young lads rallied to gain excellent field position for captain James Lawrie powering through for score which went unconverted.

With the Howe backs jinking and slicing past the defence and the forwards being duly belligerent, Jamie Thomson barrelled through and beyond the defence to score.

During the break the future was on show as the p7s provided a demonstration for the spectators which was very well received.

The confidence the Howe gained from their two timely scores was evident as they attacked immediately at the start of the second half.

Despite 20 minutes camped within the visitors’ half, Howe were unable to capitalise on this advantage.

Passes were not accurate, kicks loose and leg drive not effective to get over the line.

On only two of their visits into the Howe half, Stewart’s Melville scored two tries.

Once again prop Ruaridh Mitchell, then second rower Jamie Sword, converted by Bowen.

Howe generated a much faster dynamic attack. Quick tap penalties, running at every opportunity.

A tactic which certainly had the visitors toiling, with now answer to this play.

Stewart’s Melville were fortunate to remain with 15 men on the park.

Time after time they were penalised at almost every breakdown, with Howe in possession, close the try line.

Inexplicably the referee kept his yellow card tight in his pocket. Yet with the game entering the final stages, he awarded Howe a penalty try for persistent offences. Fair but strange.

With three league games left, Howe have a game in hand are at the bottom of National 2, five points adrift of Lasswade. The fight continues.

The Howe still have another home game against Preston Lodge on April 6. They’re then away to Highland on the 13th and Dumfries on the 20th.