With the first XV fixture in Orkney cancelled due to waterlogged pitches, there were more spectators than usual to watch the 2nd XV field a mix of youth and experience against their local rivals.
This was the fourth meeting this season between the teams with the first three games going the way of the men from Cupar but it took less than 10 minutes for Glenrothes, playing downhill with a strong breeze at their backs, to strike the first blow. Craig Reid touched down in the right corner following a fine run.
Daryl Warrender showed what the firsts have been missing this season with a 70 metre run from inside his own 22 but after the ball was recycled, Tom Hainey was stopped short of the line. The coach was not to be denied for long as he helped win a heel against the head and following another thrust from Warrender, Hainey was on hand to take the ball and fall over the line to double the Reds lead. For the second time, Ryan Thow missed a difficult conversion before being forced from the field by injury, being replaced by Stewart Hainey.
The newcomer soon made his mark, pouncing on a mistake in the Howe midfield to feed Reid. He made good ground down the right wing before feeding inside to
Jamie Birrell who strolled in under the posts. David Gray slotted the conversion.
There was still time in the first half for Euan Arthur, in only his third game of rugby, to finish off a period of strong Glenrothes pressure with his first try for the club. David Gray’s conversion made the half time score 24-0.
Early in the second half, Warrender was harshly yellow carded for leaving his feet in a ruck but this did not slow the Glens momentum. The penalty following the sin binning missed touch and the ball was moved rapidly from left to right hand side of the pitch and then back again allowing Jim Scott to score in the left hand corner. The conversion proved to be beyond Gray on this occasion.
Another break by Stewart Hainey set right wing replacement Johnny Campbell in for a try which he ran round behind the posts giving David Gray an easy conversion.
The best individual try of the game came from Euan Arthur who picked up the ball in his own half and ran forward strongly. Poor Howe tackling left him one on one with the full back but he jinked past the defender without breaking stride and touched down under the posts. David Gray looked a little embarrassed at missing this conversion.
From the restart the Reds launched another attack with nearly everyone in a Glen’s jersey touching the ball at least once. Steven Dean finished the move off with a try in the left corner. He attempted the conversion kick himself but was unsuccessful.
Howe of Fife scored a consolation try with the final play running in from their own 22, aided by poor tackling from the home players for the only time in the game.
*On Sunday, the under 14s played Hillfoots at Carleton and won 41-3 with what team coordinator Morna Hill described as “a great team performance”.