West v Kirkcaldy 17/12/16
Result: 22 -34
The fact that 4 tries were scored by each side in this game at Brunbrae would seem to indicate a close match. Unfortunately the visiting side converted all four of their tries and added two penalty conversions while the home side only converted one try, and West came away with another disappointing loss with the only consolation being a bonus points gained.
West had the better start – keeping the home side in their own half for the first 10 minutes of the game with stand off Ross McAulay popping through the centre after a smart side step to score under the posts, Blair Smith converting. However it soon became abundantly clear that West were going to struggle against the combined 75 stone front row of Kirkcaldy and it wasn’t long before they powered over the West line with flanker James Pow getting the touch down. Converted by stand off Craig Letham to bring the scores level.
West were using a kicking game to turn the visitors heavy forwards and were getting good ball from the line out with the driving maul being surprisingly effective against the heavy Kirkcaldy forwards but were unable to get across the visitors line. It was indeed Kirkcaldy who added to their score after 25 minutes of play using an overlap out wide to score in the West corner. Their stand off Letham certainly had his kicking boots on, adding the 2 points with an excellent conversion. West kept pressing and it was from a penalty kicked to touch and a well executed driving maul that they scored in the corner, Fraser Smeaton claiming the touch down. The conversion was missed and with Kirkcaldy adding a converted penalty just before half time the sides went in for the break with the score line of 12 – 17.
From the kick off KIrkcaldy again rumbled progressively into the West 22 and were soon rewarded with a penalty inside the West 10 m line converted again by Letham. West started to move the ball away from the heavies with some success in territory, spending some time in the visitors half. This was rewarded eventually with the ball again spread wide for Blair Smith to touch down in the visitors’ corner. Conversion again missed but the score was narrowed at 17 – 20. Play tended to concentrate for a while between the 10 m lines but West forwards were tiring with having to defend against the visitors forward weight and eventually it was on the hour mark when the Kirkcaldy hooker Greg Wallace acting unlike the JCB he appeared to be sidestepped the West defence and (sped might be exaggerating) between the West posts. Duly converted by Letham to increase the visitors lead to 17 – 27.
Shortly thereafter a Kirkcaldy sub Owen Bonner powered over the West line to add another 5 points and a try bonus point, converted again by Letham giving West a mountain to climb with the score now 17 – 34. West were able to get the consolation bonus point fourth try (sub Jamie McAulay scoring out wide) with 7 minutes remaining leaving the final score a disappointing 22 – 34.
This was the final game of 2016 and the fray will resume on the 7th January in the new year with an away match to Preston Lodge.
West team: Stuart MacDonald, Neil Fullerton, Billy Dineen, James Harley, Mark Jenkinson, , Angus Thomson, Tom Grey, Fraser Smeaton, Alex Fisken, Ross McAulay, Blair Smith, Sandy McCallum, Ross Carnegie, Fintan Cuthbertson, Mark Sim.
Replacements: Glen Sutherland, Darren Allan, Jamie McAulay, Jack Urquart.