Peebles overcome tricky test with victory against Fife rivals
Howe of Fife 3
Peebles crept into a top five berth in the National League Division Two table with this win over fading Howe of Fife.
The corresponding home fixture at The Gytes had been fraught with incidents and injuries, and a hefty scoreline in the hosts’ favour. But Howe were hopeful after recent improvements.
The early exchanges, for both sides, were evident of the heavy rain and mucky conditions, with handling and control of the ball proving extremely difficult.
It was Howe who struck the first points, however, with a penalty from Dylan Suttie.
For the remainder of the match, it was Peebles who adapted better to the conditions, with number 10 Donald Anderson orchestrating their moves.
Once again, Howe created good field position but were unable to exert the final execution, with too many dropped balls and knock-ons.
Peebles took the lead from prop Neil Hogarth, converted by Anderson.
A second try from Rohan Maciver went unconverted.
Towards the end of the first 40 minutes, there was a concerted effort from Howe, very close to Peebles try line, but no score materialised.
The half-time tally, at 3-14 in Peebles’ favour, was a fair reflection of their more accurate handling and field kicking. Howe remained dogged throughout, their defence working overtime in sapping wet conditions.
Despite injuries, they refused to lie back and they continued to grind away at Peebles.
Howe were too often static in taking the ball, generating very little momentum.
In wet conditions, a little depth and running angles can generate go-forward ball.
It was in this aspect of the game that Peebles displayed a keener sense of what was necessary.
Howe persisted with the scrum half kick and chase, which the visitors handled well, and counter-attacked effectively.
Peebles stretched the score with a further two unconverted tries, from Kieran Brown and Ryan Stewart.