Mar 27 2009 by Clair Fullarton, Kilmarnock Standard
REVENGE was the watch word for the Kilmarnock side as they hosted the only team to beat them this season.
Having travelled to Strathaven with a much weakened side earlier in the season and been on the end of a comprehensive beating, this was a much anticipated chance to right some wrongs.
With the weather glorious and the underfoot conditions perfect for running rugby, the young Killie side treated the crowd to an exciting, disciplined and controlled performance in the first half.
Indeed it took Strathaven 25 minutes to cross the halfway line and this only by kicking long from deep in their own half.
Kilmarnock were dominant in every aspect of the game, with some superb driving through the forwards, in particular Cammy Muir and flanker Mckenzie Pearce, and some excellent handling from the backs who were being well marshalled by captain Tom Steven.
The first 40 minutes saw Kilmarnock run in two well deserved tries through Cammy Muir and Tom Steven, with Kyle Pearson slotting one conversion, 12-0 at half-time.
Strathaven raised their game at the start of the second half with some good possession being secured by their well-drilled pack, only to be squandered by hesitant back play.
It didn’t take long for the Kilmarnock side to re-establish their overall dominance and deservedly run in a third try.
It came after great build-up play from their own half, culminating in quick transference of the ball through several pairs of hands, leaving flanker McKenzie Pearce a clear run in from 15 metres, 17-0.
Kilmarnock took their foot off the pedal a little at this stage and dropped their concentration, allowing Strathaven to sneak an easy try, albeit after a series of bewildering refereeing decisions which saw two Strathaven ‘knock-ons’ and a forward pass going unnoticed, 17-5.
This was all that was needed for Killie to regroup and strike back almost immediately with another glorious try.
Following yet another break on the half way line, stand off Tom Steven, who had an excellent game, drew the last defender and sent a beautiful pass to ever-present supporting player Cammy Muir who sprinted 30 metres to the line, 22-5.
Kilmarnock camped in the Strathaven 22 metres area for the remaining 15 minutes of the match and really should have converted some of the many chances that came their way into points, but it was Strathaven who were to have the final say with a breakaway from long distance and a consolation try.
Coach Stevie Edwards said: “This was a first-class display against a stuffy and resilient Strathaven side.
“This young Killie team have developed into a formidable outfit, and it is just reward for all their hard work on the training field that they finish the season with only one defeat. It augurs well for the future of rugby at Bellsland.”
Man of the match was Tom Steven.