Kirkcaldy’s weight-ing game proves too strong as West end year with loss

A heavyweight battle looms as West prop Glen Sutherland confronts the Kirkcaldy opposition
A heavyweight battle looms as West prop Glen Sutherland confronts the Kirkcaldy opposition

West of Scotland went down 34-22 at home to Kirkcaldy in their final BT National Division 2 match of the year at Burnbrae on Saturday.

The fact that four tries were scored by each side would seem to indicate a close match.

But unfortunately the visiting side converted all four of their tries and added two penalty conversions while the home side only converted one try.

As a result 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 with stand off Ross McAulay popping through the centre after a smart side step to score under the posts.

Blair Smith converted but 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.

A conversion by stand-off Craig Letham brought 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.

Indeed Kirkcaldy who added to their score after 25 minutes, using an overlap out wide to score in the West corner. Letham added the two points with an excellent conversion.

West kept pressing and from a penalty kicked to touch, and a well executed driving maul, they scored in the corner, Fraser Smeaton claiming the touch down.

The conversion was missed and with Kirkcaldy adding a penalty just before half-time the sides went in for the break with Fifers 17-12 ahead.

From the restart Kirkcaldy again rumbled progressively into the West 22 and were soon rewarded with a penalty inside the West 10m 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 Smith to touch down in the corner.

The conversion was again missed but the score was narrowed at 20-17.

However West’s forwards were tiring with having to defend against the visitors’ forward weight and on the hour mark hooker Greg Wallace sidestepped the West defence to score between the posts, Letham duly converting.

Kirkcaldy sub Owen Bonner powered over the West line to add another five points, and a try bonus point, converted again by Letham giving West a mountain to climb at 34-17.

West were able to get the consolation bonus point fourth try, sub Jamie McAulay scoring out wide, with seven minutes remaining but there was no further scoring.

West resume after the festive break on January 7 with an away match at Preston Lodge.