Perthshire 40 v 0 Kircaldy
A great performance at the Inch last Sunday saw Shire run out emphatic winners against tough Kircaldy in the Caley Champions League. Previously this season we have drawn against Kircaldy away in the Caley League and lost at home to them in a friendly so the visitors came with pedigree and a reasonable expectation of a decent result.
Connor Sutherland immediately set the tone however with an emphatic tackle which was followed by Ben Taylor bursting through over 30 metres but getting hauled down just short of the tryline. Territory gained, Shire went through the phases and from the base of a scrum Callum Nicol at scrum half jinked through and showed a compelling turn of speed to scurry along the touchline for a great individual try, Connor kicking an excellent conversion to make it 7-0.
The weather then turned, cold wind and rain making the ball soapy and the game became an attritional scrap which ebbed and flowed in the middle of the park. Sam Nicol made a couple of scything runs from full back but paid a heavy price in contact with a bad collar bone injury and had to go off.
Shire occupied the Kircaldy half for most of the period, the scrum showing a big improvement on the previous weeks game against Boroughmuir with Euan MacFarlane making a big impact on his welcome return after a lengthy lay off. Going into half time though it was still 7-0.
The second half was a different matter with Shire adapting better to the improving conditions and after a period of pressure on the Kircaldy try line Callum burrowed over for his second score to make it 12-0.
Kircaldy came back and were going through their phases when Brodie Rivers latched on to a loose pass and set off like a very quick person to storm 30 metres for Shires third try which Connor successfully converted.
Kircaldy heads never went down and they also came close to scoring but were held up on the home side try line. In the next passage of play Fraser Kennedy tackled, won the ball and single handedly battered off 3 tackling attempts before the Shire forwards joined him to move the ball up the pitch.
The forward s were rucking well and winning a lot of possession which allowed Shire space to run, Matthew Tait scoring Shires fourth with a destructive scamper which Connor again converted 26-0.
Shire were now dominant, Connor then receiving the ball himself and creating an impressive individual score by cutting through the Kircaldy defence and then converting his own try.
A further Shire attack had Kircaldy touching down in their own try area and from the resulting 22 clearance kick Duncan Wither caught the ball and forged through for Shires 6th and final try which Connor gain converted to make the final score 40-0.
This was Shires best display in recent games, the lads were really up for it, scrums and lineouts were excellent, rucking was effective and everyone ran with ambition and no shortage of skill. This was day of many outstanding individual contributions but Connor Sutherland with an excellent tackling, running and kicking display was worthy man of the match.
The outstanding spectator contribution came from a gentleman on the far touchline who managed to catch a clearance kick in one arm whilst holding a cup of coffee in the other. Well done Sir!
We hope Sam is ok and fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.