Strathmore Sharks Under-16s took on Kirkcaldy in their fifth league match of the season on Sunday.
It wasn’t until minutes prior to kick off the Sharks had a full team of 15 players but this had no effect on the Sharks who turned over possession from the kick off with a fantastic Kieran Edmeades tackle which allowed Macaulay Holgate to collect the loose ball and sprint to the line.
The pressure continued as the Sharks were awarded a penalty which resulted in Jack Wilson shipping the ball wide to Michael Baldie executing a nice pass and loop with a great offload to Dean Farquharson who blitzed past the Kirkcaldy defence to score. From the kick-off the Sharks looked dangerous again with Lorcan Dyer collecting the kick and making good ground, however possession was lost and Kirkcaldy mounted their first menacing attack.
The Sharks defence however would not budge and this led to a turn over and the ball shipping fluidly through the hands with Dean Farquarson attacking the wing and brought to ground. Kieran O’Brien was there in support and offloaded the ball in the tackle for Dylan McKenzie to crash over the line.
The scoreboard then turned over to 22-0 as Michael Baldie and Dean Farquarson linked together well from the kick-off and Jack Wilson started to find his kicking boots.
Discipline slipped a little and the Sharks were penalised from handling in the ruck, Kirkcaldy kicked to touch however it was bravely kept in although knocked on and Kirkcaldy showed their power in the scrum and using quick hands to out run the Sharks. 22-7.
Play slowed down as both teams took the foot off the gas, however quick thinking from Ewan Maguire saw him pass the ball away from the line out, unleashing the backs who’s efforts resulted in them being tackled deep in Kirkcaldy’s half. Macaulay Holgate was on hand to pick and go, beating the defence and offloading to Kieran O’Brien who added his name to the score sheet.
Kirkcaldy cancelled out the last try with some brilliant work thanks to their forward pack shortening the gap to 27-14. Each team scored again before the end of the half and the Sharks led 32-21 going into the break.
Jack Wilson collected the kick off and speed past not 1, not 2 not even 3 but 5 defenders, covering 70m in the process to score and converted the kick to stretch the lad to 39-21.
Cameron Voice coordinated the forwards well, ensuring that the Sharks rucks were solid and the ball was retained. Solid tackles from Alex Kings and Angus Fairlie put pressure on the Kirkcaldy defence and helped the Sharks regain possession. A fabulous set piece, winning their own scrum and Macaulay Holgate shipping the ball out to the backs, led to a break on the wing and Rohan Angus was their to secure the ball allowing Dylan MacKenzie to score another try. Jack Wilson added the extras 46-21.
Stewart King did extremely well to hit the ball up and take the game to Kirkcaldy, and superb ball presentation allowed Macaulay Holgate to pick and go and score.
Another steal by the Sharks, from Adam Cashley’s quick rucking, and yet another try with Jack Wilson’s extra points taking the Sharks to 60-21.
Kirkcaldy never gave up and although the Sharks were battered, bruised and tired they managed to score two more tries, one from Michael Baldie and another lung bursting run from Macaulay Holgate and a Kieran O’Brien conversion meant the final score was 72-21 in favour of the Strathmore Sharks.
The Sharks never conceded a try in the second half and put on a fantastic performance which will have been a treat for the spectators to watch.
Although none of the Sharks have been called up for Scotland Squad, the boys earn a well earned break as next weeks game is re-scheduled due to Scotland taking on New Zealand,
The Under-16s train on Wednesdays from 6.30 to 8 p.m. and this Sunday, November 11, from 10 to 11.30 a.m. All new players are welcome, regardless of experience.
Squad: McKenzie, Dyer, S. Kings, Farquharson, O’Brien, Baldie, Voice, Edmeades, Cashley, Maguire, Wilson, A. Kings, Fairlie, Holgate, Angus.