Kirkcaldy 23 Peebles 28
21 August 2010
The new unsponsored Premier 2 league got underway with a hard fought win at Beveridge Park. 30 seconds of pressure on the Kirkcaldy line led to nearly 30 minutes of pressure on the Peebles line with Quintan Sanft's kicking keeping them on the attack for the majority of the half. The Tweed Homes sponsored side, resplendent in their new kit with numbers that can be read from a distance, put up an almost excellent defence in this period, repelling Kirkcaldy time and again and only conceding two kickable penalties which fly half Sanft slotted on 18 and 22 minutes. In the same time, Peebles standoff, Neil Warnock was off target with two that one would normally expect him to slot.Then the break came and it was ex-colt, Martin Cruickshank that sped down the wing for a 30 metre run into the corner to open the Peebles scoring, the conversion from near the touchline going close with Neil Warnock getting his eye in.
On 39 minutes Peebles finally took the lead which they retained to the end as Neil Warnock was on target with a penalty. A second penalty on 42 minutes after Kirkcaldy lock, Kenny Fraser was caught interfering with play near the line brought the interval score to 6-11 in Peebles favour.
In the second half, Peebles continued to dominate play as the set scrum went from strength to strength, overcoming earlier 1st half Kirkcaldy dominance, whilst the lineout takes of David Harvey and David Paton were also a settling factor. Captain, Drew Moore, who had consistently been a pain to his opposite number at scrum time, disrupted them once again, stole the ball and set of up the right touch line in the 3rd minute. When stopped, last season's captain, Willie Aitken was in support and drove over with a little assistance for his first try. Neil Warnock was on target from the near touchline kick to take the score to 6-18.
Shortly thereafter, Quintan Sanft added another penalty.
Scott Raeburn picked up a yellow card for being caught on the wrong side of a ruck, but there was no scoring during the period Peebles were down to 14. Just after David Brown came on for Scott Raeburn, Neil Warnock narrowly missed a penalty attempt, however from a scrum immediately after, he calmly slotted a drop goal from in front of the posts to end the 3rd quarter ahead 9-21 and Peebles in control.
With 4 minutes to go of normal time, No 8 David Paton went over near the posts; the conversion being added by Neil Warnock to bring his tally to 13 points with the boot and Peebles looking good for a bonus point win.
But it was not to be as Kirkcaldy replacement, Dayle Turner went in at the corner, converted by Quintan Sanft on the 39th minute to bring the home side closer.
Despite this setback, Peebles were still in control and a penalty from Warnock gave the Tweed Homes men a line-out close to the Kirkcaldy line and the bonus point win looked on the cards. It was not to be as Kirkcaldy spoiled the play and then went on the attack.
Peebles were defending stoutly until David Paton was shown red, on 46 minutes and the home side then went over for a try by centre Mark Wallace converted by Sanft to end the game, that netted the home side a losing bonus point.
After the final whistle, the assistant referee and referee were in conference and it transpired that the incident that caused the red card for Paton was an error and the officials had several mini-conferences to sort things out and it now seems that the referee will report he gave the red in error and the Peebles management expect the red to be rescinded. The referee was good enough to explain this to David Paton, who will be in the starting squad next week - just needs the red tape to be resolved at Murrayfield. However had this been an even tighter game, it could have cost Peebles 4 points.
Peebles, with assistant coach, Gerry McGuinness in charge, were elated with a rare win at Beveridge Park to open the season. This was a win with all 19 of the Peebles squad coming through the Peebles High School / Peebles Rugby Football Club system, the first time for many a year in national league rugby, it bodes well for the future as the club concentrates on its local player development strategy.
Peebles now look forward to their 1st of 2 home games at the Gytes, starting newly promoted Falkirk who pipped newly demoted Stewarts Melville in a high scoring game.
Tries by Martin Cruickshank, Willie Aitken and David Paton, 2 Conversions, Drop Goal and 2 Penalties Neil Warnock
1 Willie Aitken
11 Martin Cruickshank
2 Matt Carryer
12 Craig Borthwick
3 Adam Clark
13 Dale Clancy
4 David Harvey
14 Paul Kerr
5 Andrew Brown
15 Donald Anderson
6 Scott Raeburn
16 Ryan McConnell
7 Allan Warnock
17 Rhys Wilson
8 David Paton
18 David Brown
9 Drew Moore
19 Martin Thomson
10 Neil Warnock