Dunfermline 14 Garnock 46, National League Division Four

DUNFERMLINE fell to their first home defeat since being promoted to National League, Division Four as league leaders Garnock proved too hot to handle.

Gavin Emerson's side were looking to bounce back from their second loss of the season, at Greenock, the week prior but the McKane Park first XV head coach conceded that their opponents "were better" on the day.

The visitors, winners of West League, Division One, last season, have made a flying start to the campaign and arrived in West Fife having won each of their first seven games, all with a try-scoring bonus point.

They made it eight from eight, despite Dunfermline crossing the whitewash once in each half, as a 32-7 lead was too much for the home side to come back from.

"We started fairly alright. I think we took an early try, then we got one back, but, to be honest, they were better than us. That's one way I could put it," Emerson said.

"We made a couple of errors which then gave them easy scores, or easy outs of their half, but, ultimately, we didn't get much possession. They were very effective. They made very little mistakes, and we helped them by not making low tackles, which then allowed them to build momentum and get on the front foot.

"Credit to them; they're a well-gelled team. You can see they've been together for a long while, but the first half was just too much damage for us. The second half, it was only 2-1 on tries, but it was too little, too late.

Dunfermline Press: Two tries for Dunfermline weren't enough on Saturday.Two tries for Dunfermline weren't enough on Saturday. (Image: David Wardle.)

"I think for us it's something we can build on. It shows why they're rightly top of the league. They're a good strong team - they don't do anything over-complicated or fancy. They're just very effective at doing the basics right.

"It's given us, hopefully, a wake-up call. We were fortunate we didn't pick up any injuries from Saturday, so it's about building."

Dunfermline have played seven matches in the 10-team division and, this weekend, have the opportunity to turn the tables one of the sides that defeated them.

North Berwick, who beat them on the opening day of the season, visit McKane, on Saturday, and Emerson continued: "They beat us the first game of the season, and we were winning at half-time, so that's a real aim for us to show how far we've come this season by beating them this weekend. I think we're capable of it - we've got a couple of guys coming back from injuries and stuff - so we should be strong, and the boys are in a better place individually and as a team to where we were at the start of the season when we went to North Berwick.

"We've played the majority of the teams, so we know what the majority of people have got. We just need to build towards that and try to get another good run of results to then keep us in the top half of the league when we finish.

"Saturday was a funny one. I don't know if some boys were a little bit shell-shocked with what they came with, considering they've only just come up as well this season, but I guess it shows you the strength of the west league.

"They came forward and just rose to the occasion, really.

"It's our first loss at home this season. I think the boys took a little bit hard; we had ladies day on, so a lot of them had their partners down watching, so I guess it's a difficult one to take when you've got your partner or whatever watching and cheering you on.

"We just need to park it, move on, and work better for the second part of the season."

The first XV's match on Saturday kicks off at 2pm, whilst Dunfermline's second XV travel to Dundee Uni Medics, also for a 2pm start, seeking their first win of the season in Caledonia Midlands Region League, Division Two.

In Division Three, Rosyth Sharks, who saw their home fixture with Bannockburn called off, are due to host Waid Academy at Harley Street, where kick off is also 2pm.