A solid second half display was not enough to secure victory for Stobswell against Kirkcaldy 2nd XV at the weekend.
The home side welcomed Mark Gibson back into the team after missing last weekend and it paid instant dividends as he put the home side in front with a well executed penalty.
The Fife side came straight back into the match, though, and were soon 12-3 infront after a long period of extensive pressure resulted in two tries for the visitors.
Stobswell continued to plug away up the hill, however, and got their reward when they were awarded a penalty on the Kirkcaldy twenty two metre line. Mark Gibson confidently stepped up again and slotted his second penalty of the afternoon between the sticks.
Kirkcaldy were well on top throughout the first half as Stobswell struggled to cope with the direct running of their visitors and the pressure was once again converted into points with a penalty and a third try before the break leaving the score 6-22 at half time.
Stobswell came out for the second half with a new lease of life and started to take the game to Kirkcaldy. The home forwards started to dominate and completely controlled the breakdown throughout the half.
The first home try of the afternoon wasn’t long in coming. After some great work by the forwards the ball found its way into the hands of Ian McKeen who got nice and low to drive over the line. Mark Gibson added the extras and Stobswell were right back in it.
The momentum continued with the home side throughout the half as they pressed for the second try but Kirkcaldy continued to hold firm. In the end, after all the hard work in the visiting twenty two, it was a bounce of the ball that decided the second try. Mark Gibson played a ball deep into the visiting half which looked bread and butter for the Full Back. He, however, completely misjudged the flight of the ball and it bounced backwards, straight into the hands of the on-rushing Scott Smart who grounded the ball in the corner. This time the extras were not added.
As the match entered its final stages, Stobswell continued to press and press looking for the decisive try but unfortunately it was not to be. The home pack conceded a penalty ten metres from the Kirkcaldy line and that was that.
Final Score – Stobswell 18-22 Kirkcaldy 2nd XV
This was very much a game of two halves for Stobswell. In the first half, they missed tackles and invited opposing teams on top of them which they paid the penalty for conceding three tries in the process and was eerily similar to the performances of those against Arbroath and Howe of Fife 2nd XV. The second half, however, was as dominant a display as you’ll see from any team this season. Kirkcaldy were in the Stobswell half twice – at the two restarts. Unfortunately, for the team, they just couldn’t find that third try in the closing stages but if they can maintain that level of performance for eighty minutes there isn’t a team in the league that could get near them.