Kirkcaldy 2nd XV 8, GHA 2nd XV 22

The 2s travelled to Kirkcaldy with a team shorn of some regular faces. Strength in depth shone through as the players who stepped up for both the first and second teams played their parts in an excellent day for the club.

A grim day was not condusive to champagne rugby . A constant drizzle and sticky pitch, along with lack of match practise, resulted in a first half littered by mistakes. Thankfully some stout defence and one moment of excellent rugby saw GHA go into the break 19 – 8 up. Murray Houston had his kicking boots on and kicked 2 penalties (missing another attempt) before the home team registered their first 3 pointer of the afternoon. Another Houston penalty was unfortunately followed by a personal disaster for the GHA scrum half . He seemed to have the situation under control as he picked up a hack through and set himself to clear. However his attempted clearance was charged down and Kirkcaldy dotted down for the first try of the afternoon. The conversion was thankfully missed but the home team had hauled themselves back to within one point. Another penalty by Houston eased the nerves and then a moment of exquisite first phase rugby helped GHA extend their lead. With the ball fed to Ryan Miemczyk, he unleashed a beautiful pass to Brandon Wamberg who galloped through the centre of the home defence. With the defensive cover closing in Wamberg fed Patrick Hilley who crashed over for the score with several would be tacklers hanging on. Houston converted.

A re-jig of the backline at half-time and with Paul Harkins being replaced by James Beattie already in the first half, a “new look” GHA took the field in the second half. Kirkcaldy came out with all guns blazing and it took a monumental rearguard action by GHA to keep them at bay. The defensive action was led admirably by Gregor Jones at stand off and both Hilley and Gilmartin were outstanding in this aspect of the game. With both substitutes on the pitch Kerr McEwan had to return to the fray to replace Olly Gilmartin after he suffered an injury. With time running out Murray Houston slotted another penalty to relief the tension both on and off the pitch.

An excellent start to 2010 for the 2s but with a price – both Harkins and Jones had to endure the dreaded visit to hospital the day after. With Forrester at home next week it is essential that all fit players front up for training on Tuesday and Thursday. Anybody not available for training or for next Saturday’s game please let the coaches know.

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