Dunfermline facing relegation
Published 15 Apr 2011 08:50 0 Comments
Dunfermline 7 Howe of Fife 31
McKANE PARK was basked in glorious sunshine for the visit of Howe of Fife but Dunfermline's Premier 3 survival chances are looking gloomy after a 31-7 defeat.
The result leaves Dunfermline eight points adrift of Morgan Academy in second bottom, having played two games extra, and a further point from Musselburgh in third bottom.
The first half was characterised by plenty of endeavour from both sides but nothing in the way of finishing ability, as neither Howe nor Dunfermline could find a way to cross the line and register a score.
The most memorable piece of action was the early sin-binning of Dunfermline flanker James Lawrie for failing to retreat 10 metres at a penalty and the half finished 0-0.
The second half started with a bang, however, as Howe scored after only four minutes, with the conversion giving the away team a seven-point lead.
Spurred on by this score Howe began to find some continuity in attack and peppered the Dunfermline line, only to be let down on several occasions by poor handling.
In 54 minutes Dunfermline's Lawrie was again brought to the attention of the referee, this time for a high tackle on Calcutt, which left the winger a little angry and bloodied.
Lawrie marched himself off the field before even looking at his second yellow and the consequent red. Clark knocked over the resultant penalty to put Howe 10 points clear.
With 30 minutes to go and only 14 men on the pitch it looked as though the writing was on the wall for Dunfermline, yet it took another 10 minutes of hard slog for Howe to score again for a 17-0 lead.
A further Howe try had them dreaming of a possible clean sheet until Dunfermline's former age-grade internationalist Scott Swankie burst through from centre and showed a fine turn of pace to register a try which was easily converted.
In the final play of the game Howe grabbed the bonus-point try which was again converted.
This Saturday Dunfermline travel to top of the table Whitecraigs for a match that could finally decide their survival hopes.