Dunfermline 16 Hillfoots 10, Tennent's Caledonia Region League, Division One

DUNFERMLINE ensured they went into the festive break on the back of three successive wins thanks to a fine defensive effort against Hillfoots.

The McKane Park men, who ran out 55-0 and 71-14 victors against Blairgowrie and Glenrothes in their two previous games, encountered a much stuffier opponent last Saturday that restricted them to just one penalty in the second half.

Matthew Wilson’s 14th-minute score put the hosts ahead and another from Lewis Cumming, after an Adam Fraser penalty, saw them lead 13-0.

Hillfoots, though, scored a penalty of their own before the interval and, although Fraser kicked successfully within four minutes of the restart, a converted try brought the visitors to within six points.

Dunfermline’s defence, however, were in top form to repel their opponents and seal a win that keeps them to within two points of leaders Orkney – who visit McKane when fixtures resume on January 8.

Skipper Cammy Dunn said: “The weekend was a bit tighter (than the Glenrothes match) in terms of the scoreline.

“Hillfoots are a stuffy team, which we knew from when we played them at their place (a 17-11 win in September). We had a nice lead in the first half but we missed a few kicks.

“We had loads of penalties against us but the defensive effort was the standout from Saturday. Ultimately, it won us the game.

“Hillfoots were a threat with the ball at times, and made a few mini breaks, but we were reactive enough to shut them down.

“The next game is the game (against table-toppers Orkney) so it’s good to take confidence in our defence into it, and from our offence the week before.

“Overall, we’re pretty happy.”

Dunfermline, who have played 10 matches, have picked up 32 points so far and are second in the Tennent’s Caledonia Region League Division One table behind Orkney, who have played eight matches.

Meanwhile, in Tennent’s Caledonia Midlands Region League Division Three, Dunfermline’s second XV made it a double win at McKane Park as they defeated Strathmore seconds 41-14.

Rosyth Sharks were also in action but they lost 31-25 at home to Waid Academy, leaving them second-bottom, with Dunfermline fourth.

When the teams resume next month, Dunfermline are due to travel to Dundee Rugby second XV, with Rosyth set to visit Grangemouth Stags second XV.