Tennent's Caledonia Division One:

Hillfoots 14 Dunfermline 35

DUNFERMLINE continued their strong start to the rugby season by recording a hard-fought bonus point victory at Hillfoots on Saturday.

Following a week of inactivity after their scheduled match at Alloa was called off due to the home side being unable to raise a team, Stuart Brown's men made the short trip to Tillicoultry and returned home with a second five points of the season in the bag.

After winning the toss, the visitors chose to play downhill with the wind at their backs and made a fine start by pouncing on a handling error to score an early try.

Two further converted scores took Dunfermline into a 21-0 lead but Hillfoots found a route back into contention before the break by crossing for one of their own.

With the advantage of playing down the slope after the restart, a quick ball from a lineout by scrum half Jon McMurdo to Fijian Vodo Millard allowed him to crash over for a second converted score.

However, late on, sustained pressure by Dunfermline provided two more tries to make it two wins from two in the league to remain just behind leaders Orkney only on points difference.

Skipper Clarke Smith, who recovered from a head knock received in their previous match against Glenrothes, a 61-15 win in the Caledonia Regional Shield, commented: "It was a hard-fought win.

"Hillfoots are a stuffy team to break down and the conditions were a lot warmer than you would expect. I think it shows that we can find another way to win and to go to places like that and pick up five points is invaluable.

"We came through it with no injuries as well, which is a bonus, and it was a good bit of exposure for the younger ones.

"Hillfoots are battle-hardened and play a different style of rugby to us. It took a bit longer to get the fourth try than we would have wanted but it was a good win.

"The first team look strong, as does the whole club at the moment."

In addition to the first XV's success, Dunfermline's second XV enjoyed an emphatic 86-26 victory at Perthshire seconds in Caledonia Midlands Division Three, while the third XV were 29-22 winners against Howe Crusaders at McKane Park.

Meanwhile, Rosyth Sharks' difficult start to life in Caledonia Midlands Division Two continued at Harley Street on Saturday.

Having previously gone down to Panmure and Falkirk second XV, they were beaten 70-14 by Kirkcaldy second XV to remain bottom of the standings.

Their next fixture will be at Madras on October 12, while Dunfermline are back in action seven days earlier at Ellon in the Caledonia Regional Shield.