Bulls Lose out at Kirkaldy
By JIm Browning
Bulls lose 27 - 24 but claim the losing bonus point.
Another close match against near rivals Kirkaldy saw Bulls fall just short. Once again the Bulls were sucked into another arm wrestle but they could not produce the performance which saw them come out on top just 3 weeks before.
In the early exchanges, Hamilton’s indiscipline at the set piece cost them ground sending Kirkaldy deep into Hamilton territory. Kirkaldy used their big men to drive the ball through several pick and go phases for their tight head prop Harper, to drive over from close range, converted by Black, to open the scoring in 9 minutes. Once again, Bulls found themselves playing catch up rugby, and from the kick off they pushed deep into the Kirkaldy half. They chose to scrum a 5m Penalty and Mcleish kicked a delicious kick to the corner where Ross Inglis
raced in to gather and dot down, converted by McLeish.
In this error strewn match, Bulls made a good exit from their 22 with a good break by Decelle and Skilling, but a penalty at the breakdown gave Kirkaldy and easy exit. Hamilton’s desire to attack was thwarted by inaccuracy, and a good attacking platform was wasted. Once again Hamilton’s injury curse struck, playmaker McLeish going off with a head knock. Kirkaldy used their forward power to suck in the Hamilton defence and second phase ball was whipped out to the left for an unopposed run in to the corner. Unconverted. Hamilton’s next attack was broken up by injury stoppages and momentum was lost. Bulls kept up pressure, but too often the final pass did not go to hand, and their attacks were frustrated. A penalty goal by Decelle was scant reward for their efforts. Howvere Hamilton once again conceded territory and only poor play by the home side prevented another score as half time approached. Half time: Kirkaldy 12, Hamilton 10.
Kirkaldy opened the second half with a quick try although some in the crowd questioned the lineout law interpretation as Kirkaldy threw up a dummy jumper who stepped out of the line. However, the lineout catch and drive to the corner was successful. Unconverted. Kirkaldy launched an immediate attack and their forwards were stopped on the line, but the Referee adjudged illegally and yellow carded Whitelaw, Hamilton’s indiscipline proving expensive. Once again Kirkaldy used the battering ram of their big forwards to force the try this time converted. Kirkaldy 24 – Hamilton 10.
Hamilton showed their resilience by once gain launching a wave of attacks, and from a lineout drive, Greg Richardson
got the touchdown to reduce the lkeeway, converted by Decelle. Bulls put themselves under pressure again with a knock on from the kick off, followed by a cheap penalty. Tempers frayed and some very expensive handbags were thrown, resulting in yellow cards for Kirkaldy’s No 8 and Hamilton’s McLauchlin. Hamilton seemed to wake up and once again carried the play to Kirkaldy making good ground through their backs. However the turnover in contact again halted their attack. Nonetheless, it was Hamilton who tied the game with a fine opportunist try from super sub, Gregor Brodie
who forced his way over from close range, converted by Decelle. 24 – 24 with 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately David Milne
had to be withdrawn and Hamilton had to reshuffle their backs again.
With time fast running out, Kirkaldy reintroduced their heavyweight front row who forced Hamilton on to the back foot. The game became more fractious and fragmented as it drew to a close. In the dying moments it was Kirkaldy who sealed the victory with a penalty kick awarded when Hamilton were adjudged to have strayed offside.
This was a game where two stuffy teams threw everything at each other, and perhaps a draw would have been a fair result. Nonetheless Hamilton with the losing bonus retained their 9th place in the league