Liberton Ladies fall short in thrilling encounter

On a day of massive tackles, scintillating showboating and raw power, Liberton ladies fell to their third defeat of the season at the hands of a classy Kirkcaldy side with a killer instinct. Read on for a semi-accurate review of the game…

Off the blocks

As the game kicked off, there was barely time to grab a coffee from the clubhouse before Kirkcaldy had registered their first and second tries of the game. Scoring a powerful drive down the left, before retrieving possession again to score from a pacy run on the right, it looked like the away side were in for a long afternoon. 12-0 within the first five.

It’d be easy for heads to drop after such a fast start, but this Liberton team are made of sterner stuff as sleeves were rolled up and teeth were gritted. The defensive line fronted up and stemmed the flow of the Kirkcaldy attack like a beaver fervently working on a dam and managed to turn the tide, attacking hard down the left and using a mixture of brute strength and fancy footwork, Scrumhalf Jess Sandham strode over the line and deftly placed the ball down for Liberton’s first try of the game. 12-5, this was more like it!

A fairly even contest

As both teams grew into the game, the bumper crowd, spilling out of the stands and almost queuing outside of the park to get a glimpse of the action, were treated to a well-balanced contest with attrition being the word of the half. Both defences stood up well in the face of pressure and the game was played largely in the middle of the field. There was a slight ebb and flow towards the end of the half with the home team getting over the line once more, before fearless fullback Suzie Munro, after brushing off a grizzly head injury that would have seen many a gladiator felled, ghosted over the try line in style to bring the score back within touching distance. 17-10, sending the away fans into dream land.

If you can’t win….showboat!

Embarking on a one woman mission to really warm the crowd up, Liberton Flyhalf Hayley ‘Cristiano’ Rossnaldo was at it all game, showing ridiculous control to pop a low pass up from her feet into her hands and getting across the gain line. Later in the second half, she fancied it again, cushioning the ball expertly into her hands and again, creating a platform for an attack.

Desperate not to be likened to a fancy Portuguese footballer who has no place in a rugby match report, Hayley then took to showcasing her handling skills, popping a beautiful pass out the back under pressure, again turning defence into attack and prompting one fan to say ‘that was really good’.

If you really can’t win, hurt people!

Taking a slightly different approach, Centre Kirsty Kitzsimmons had a thirst for blood and opted for blunt force trauma over finesse. There’s a bit in Rocky 4 where the Russian guy sits down and exasperated, exclaims ‘he is like a piece of iron’. We saw that look in many of the home players faces this weekend as people were routinely cut in half by Liberton’s own piece of iron. It got so bad you could actually hear players getting smashed over regular scrum half and spectator for the day Vicky. That takes some doing.

Back to the game

Enough of the tomfoolery and back to the game, the second half saw Kirkcaldy score a couple of well worked tries to widen the gap, it was a great performance from the home side and their fans were loving every second of it. Liberton weren’t quite done though, and a powerful drive early in the second saw flanker Laura McLaren break away, clearly she had the taste for points after her previous try, sadly for her though she fell ever-so slightly short this time. Not to worry though as second row, Hayley Norton was on hand to force herself over the line and finish the move by unceremoniously slamming the ball down with enough force that it nearly popped.

It was a first try for Hayley and very well deserved, ever the cool customer though she just shrugged it off and got straight back into the action.

Trials, tribulations and turnovers

The game saw a lot of turnovers, particularly in the second half, underlining a fantastic defensive effort from both sides and a willingness keep going until the bitter end.

We were also treated to a player of the match performance from second row, Tay Fowler-Davis who was up in the home team’s face at every opportunity when defending and crashing through the line in attack. It was a relentless performance, and in this game was a real statement as there were big performances all through the team.

The final score

As the referee blew his whistle, the final score read 36-15 to Kirkcaldy in what was a deserved but close fought victory, they’ll have known they were in a fight after this one. Congratulations to a lovely club with a toasty clubhouse and friendly atmosphere. A fantastic game of rugby, played in the right way.

Liberton… we go again!

The Liberton faithful have come to expect certain things from games this season and we weren’t disappointed as Bex Nolan continued to make some big breakaway runs, Rachel Smith made a nuisance of herself at centre and Suzie had a cigar on in the backline. We were also treated to another big performance from Leanne Omar, in at number 8 today prompting chants of dah da da da dah da…dah da da dah da! (If you know, you know) at every opportunity. It’s also fair to say Libby won the lions share of lineouts today, thanks in no small part to the pinpoint accuracy of Hooker Kat.

Our new players are also blossoming and continuing to perform and set a high standard, great games from Hannah Young, Tilda Rhodes and Jennifer Mack.

A special mention has to go to Anna Rasburn who had only made a few training sessions before ever playing but threw on the red and blue and got a good 40 minutes under her belt.

Next up for Libby it's our neighbours, Lismore! This is a home game on Sunday 16th January at 2pm.

Final score – Kirkcaldy 36 – Liberton 15

Try scorers – Jess Sandham, Suzie Munro, Hayley Norton

Forward of the match - Tay Fowler-Davis

Back of the match - Suzie Munro

Opposition nominated PoM – Hayley Ross

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