Whitecraigs 52-46 Howe of Fife

Man of the match Sean Murray darts through Whitecraigs defence. By Chris Reekie.
Man of the match Sean Murray darts through Whitecraigs defence. By Chris Reekie.

Whitecraigs........................52

Howe...................................46

Last season, a Howe visit to Aurs Road had been a very high scoring match.

It was hard to envisage the same happening again in the early exchanges until Whitecraigs produced the first of their eight tries from winger Aaron Graham, the conversion popped over from Steven Gillies.

The response was immediate from Howe and centre Gregor Smith powered over to reduce the leeway to 5-7.

Unable to get control of the ball, and badly missing first up tackles, Howe gave Whitecraigs momentum to produce four consecutive tries, three converted by Gillies.

At 5-33 the position looked bleak with Howe.

When in possession of decent ball and benefiting from the power of Mann and Cabemaiwasa, Howe began to create space to give their speedy backs, particularly Murray and Hodge, opportunities.

Before the break, Hodge dodged over after some excellent inter-passing and continuous phase play. Suttie converted to enter the break still heavily adrift 12-33.

Howe grabbed the second half initiative with a second try from Hodge. Then Cabemaiwasa brushed aside defenders for Howe’s fourth score.

Back came Whitecraigs, firstly from Eddie Abekhe and a second from Murchie, both converted by Gillies.

Having closed the gap to ten points, Howe were once more looking at a mountain to climb, at 25 points adrift.

Sean Murray shimmied over for Howe’s fifth try. Again, the conversion was missed.

Whitecraigs appeared to be running out of steam, the Howe enjoying keeping the fast pace of the game up, accurate passing and strong runs from the forwards, Steven, Mann and Cabemaiwasa rampaging around in open space.

But Whitecraigs snapped up the chance from a spilled pass to score their eight try to give Murchie his hattrick. At 27-52, the mountain just got steeper.

This only galvanised the young Howe players who responded in a three try burst, exhibiting, fast, slick, accurate rugby.

Jake Douglas scored, followed by Mann and Cabemaiwasa. Two converted by quickly taken drop kicks from Murray. At 52-46, only 6 points behind, the game was there to be won.

It was not to be.

A try count, of eight a piece for each side provided great entertainment for the spectators. Howe take great credit for their gutsy performance, recording two well-earned bonus points. Each game lessons are being learned. The mistakes must be count down, the tackles made.