Three valuable match points secured
Posted on December 12, 2016
Saturday once again proved that in rugby quite often its the character of individuals that provide the foundation for any team performance. In the face of some powerful, belligerent Kirkcaldy forward play an Aberdeenshire team, reduced in number again with a debatable yellow card, deficit of key players, showed that when given the opportunity lesser sung players can rise to the challenge and demonstrate true grit and resilience in the face of adversity . None would be more deserving of such praise than Mark Littlejohn who instead of playing a bit part role secured the scrum and in fact edged the scrum against the much vaunted Kirkcaldy front row for the entire 80 mins! Mark was suitable supported by Connor Fulton, Lewis Emslie and Olly Ryan in that key facet of the game. Connor MacFarlane soldiered on despite an ankle injury and Jake Wills manfully tackled well above his weight. Although Greig Ryan and Doug Horrocks always bring class and experience into every game it was the tenacious and effective tackling and jackling of Will Alton that was the class act of the day and his appetite for the challenge was outstanding.
National League 2 Jack Nixon
Kirkcaldy 31 Aberdeenshire 31
Aberdeenshire maintained its promotion challenge in National League 2 after claiming three points in a rip, roaring game at Kirkcaldy which ended with both sides having scored five tries, and kicked three conversions.
''We had a seriously understrength team, but the replacements came good, including third team prop Mark Littlejohn who had a stormer of a game. I was pleased with the performance, but after scoring four tries in the first 20 minutes, we really should have gone on to win,'' said Alex Duncan, Shire's director of rugby.
Shire led 31 - 17 at half - time, but failed to add a point in the second half, enabling Kirkcaldy to tie the game, though Duncan was happy with his side's ability to see the game out. ''We were competing right to the end, and were particularly strong in defence'' he said.
The two points picked up for a draw and one for scoring five tries keeps Shire in fifth place, 12 points behind leaders Kelso who were 30 - 16 winners at Preston Lodge who will be visitors at Woodside on Saturday. The East Lothian leaked 80 points when the two last met in September, though they have improved since then, and have won six of its 12 starts.
The Shire try scorers were centre Paul Paxton who grabbed an early brace, winger Luke Taylor, scrum half Scott Simpson, and Olly Ryan. Stand off Carne Green kicked two conversions.