Dunfermline 90 Harris Academy 0

MARK DOBSON says his side are confident they can turn the tables on leaders Strathmore in what he feels is a must-win clash this weekend.

The McKane Park men took full advantage of their Tennent's Caledonia Division One rivals being out of action on Saturday by producing a clinical performance to thrash Harris Academy and collect a bonus-point win.

Dunfermline were 36 points to the good with just 29 minutes on the clock – with their first score coming almost immediately from the kick-off – against their Dundee-based opponents, who despite having won their first match of the season seven days earlier, struggled for numbers on the field.

By the time the referee called a halt to proceedings with around 10 minutes of regulation time left, Harris were down to 11 men because of injuries, but Dobson's side were in no mood to ease up.

Calum Allardice, Fraser Cowe and Harvey Gardiner added to their points haul in the opening period as the hosts established a 57-0 lead, which they increased even further after the restart.

Five more tries – four of which were converted by the boot of Adam Fraser – completed a resounding success but Dunfermline's head coach says it will be irrelevant if they don't follow it up with victories in two crucial games before Christmas.

Their derby clash with Glenrothes, which was postponed last month, will take place on December 15 but first up is a trip to Strathmore, who have won both encounters between the clubs so far this season.

Dunfermline lost agonisingly 18-17 in the Caledonia Regional Shield in their last meeting – which Dobson called "an absolute thriller" – and told Press Sport: "I was pleased with the intensity we played at on Saturday.

"Even when the game started to blow out, it would have been easy for the boys to look at the scoreboard and see 40, 50 or 60 and take their foot off the gas, but they didn't. We spoke about the standard and level we want to play at, and for 70 minutes we did that.

"The boys were professional and clinical and it was good from the sidelines to see free-flowing rugby and tries scored but it will be irrelevant if we don't pick up wins in the next two weeks.

"A result at Strathmore keeps the quest for Caley One alive but if Strathmore get a result, they will be well in the box-seat going in to the second part of the season.

"Realistically, it's one we need to win. It's crucial we keep the challenge alive.

"There's only one player missing who would be in contention for my first XV so we're going up there with a strong, physical squad.

"The boys need to put in a complete performance; their discipline needs to be in check and our game plan needs to be bang on.

"We're confident we can go there and win this time."

Meanwhile, Dunfermline's second XV, who have won Caledonia Midlands Four, will be presented with the trophy this weekend when they host Bo'ness in their penultimate game of the campaign.

They won 39-15 at Hillfoots seconds on Saturday to make it 12 wins from 12 as they aim to complete an unbeaten season.

There was, however, a blow for Rosyth Sharks in their bid to win Caledonia Midlands Three as they went down 33-24 at Waid Academy.

They will aim to return to winning ways at Grangemouth Stags seconds on Saturday, where kick-off is at 2pm, as is the matches involving Dunfermline's first and second XVs.