Dunfermline 55

Aberdeen Wanderers 0

DUNFERMLINE skipper Clarke Smith hailed what he described as “an absolutely brilliant day” as they opened their league campaign in style on Saturday.

A fine performance at McKane Park saw Stuart Brown’s team run in eight tries for an emphatic bonus-point victory over Aberdeen Wanderers to send them top of the Tennent’s Caledonia Division One standings.

The club fielded three senior teams – totalling 60 players – in competitive action as the new season kicked off, and Dunfermline’s first XV, who have the title and promotion in their sights after just missing out last term, began as they hope to go on.

The reliable boot of Adam Fraser kicked the hosts into an early lead before Matthew Wilson became the first to cross the whitewash for a converted score.

That came after Aberdeen had enjoyed a period of possession and territory following Fraser’s early penalty but the McKane men’s lead increased further when Wilson crossed over once more, this time on the left, with Fraser adding the conversion.

Dunfermline’s attack was relentless and Lewis Cumming scored their third try of the afternoon a few minutes later and, although Fraser’s conversion struck the upright, they had established a healthy 22-point advantage.

The visitors were then reduced to 14 men after an attempted break by Fraser was brought to an abrupt halt, and their first-half misery was completed when Cameron Dunn went over for another converted try.

Conor Doran opened the second half for Dunfermline by touching down between the posts, with Fraser adding the extras, before the number 15 got on the try sheet himself when, from 35 metres out, he raced forward to score.

Two more tries, the final of which was scored by Liam Quarm, completed a fine day’s work, and Smith said: “It was an absolutely brilliant day.

“We had three senior teams out, and it was ladies’ day as well, which was a massive success. There were 60-80 ladies there, and the clubhouse was bouncing, which is what you want for a local rugby club.

“We can’t get carried away but it was a massive bonus for us to not concede any points; that was massive and set the tone.

“It’s going to be a long old season but we’ve started quickly out the blocks and are top of the league.

“We hope we can stay there for the rest of the season.”

Dunfermline, whose second XV won 38-5 at Bannockburn in Caledonia Midlands Three, with the third XV enjoying a 28-0 Midlands Four victory over Stobswell, host Glenrothes (kick-off 3pm) in the Caledonia Regional Shield on Saturday, and Smith added: “It’s a bit of a derby so is a bit special. It’s a re-run of last year (Dunfermline won 26-15) and will be a close game. Both sides will be a bit different from then but they are a strong, physical team.”

Meanwhile, Rosyth Sharks – who go to Falkirk seconds this Saturday – had a tough opening to their Caledonia Midlands Division Two campaign against Panmure at Harley Street, going down 77-12.