Peebles 29

Kirkcaldy 31

Allan Beveridge

at The Gytes

A TERRIBLE start was Peebles' downfall on Saturday as they lost further ground on the top teams.

Being eight points down after 10 minutes was bad enough, but Kirkcaldy scored again before the quarter hour had gone.

The uphill task once Peebles had sorted themselves out proved too steep in the end.

The home team were under pressure from the kick off.

A dropped pass while trying to run out the kick off from deep led to a high-tackling penalty.

Letham's kick was followed by a push over try by the forwards a few minutes later.

It could have been even worse as Greg Raeburn's attempted clearance was charged down - luckily the ball bounced kindly for the home supporters.

But Kirkcaldy kept up the pressure with Laird capitalising on a hole in the home defence to race in and score.

Letham's conversion made it 15-0.

It took Peebles until the half hour to finally respond.

Raeburn's break on half way allowed Willy Aitken to take the ball forward before being illegally brought to ground.

A quick tap by David Wills saw Raeburn surge through a gap again before feeding Richard Harrison to score.

Hopes of a sudden comeback were cut short by a Letham penalty, which also led to Murray Brown being yellow carded for a high tackle.

At 5-18 down, Peebles needed something special in the second half.

The introduction of Patrick Harrison after half time did have an impact.

After initiating a ruck, the replacement took the ball on to score out wide.

Raeburn's conversion struck the post.

But at 10-18 suddenly it was game back on.

Both teams were reduced to 14 players following a forwards flare-up which resulted in two yellow cards.

But it wasn't long until Patrick Harrison struck again after good work from Jamie Menzies.

Raeburn found his range with the conversion to narrow the gap to a single point.

Kirkcaldy responded well with Letham adding a penalty - despite protests from the home support over the interpretation of the offside.

But there was no arguments about the darting run from Smith to get on the end of a grubber kick and score.

Letham's conversion made it 17-28 with time running out.

The home team continued to search for a way back into the match and they were rewarded with a Dan Edwards try following a clean line-out catch by Roddy Guiney.

The missed conversion left Peebles six points adrift.

A further Letham penalty in the 75th minute ended any hope of a comeback victory for Peebles.

A Donald Anderson try in the final minute, which he converted, made sure Peebles at least collected the two bonus points.

It was another frustrating start which left Peebles always playing 'catch up' rugby.

No doubt the coaches will be working on speeding up the start to games.

Tomorrow Preston Lodge are the visitors to The Gytes where kick off time will be 2.30pm.