Kirkcaldy visited Lasswade in the first of a series of fixtures against three of the top four teams.
The visitors were the first to score but the lead was then to change hands seven times in a close to literal heart stopper for both sets of supporters.
Kirkcaldy’s main strength soon became obvious when their forwards, spearheaded by a superheavyweight front row, gave an exemplary display of the pick and drive approach with burly co-captain and hooker, Wallace, steamrollering over the line with just eight minutes gone but not close enough to the posts for the conversion.
Unintimidated, Lasswade responded just four minutes later, when a catch and drive from a short range lineout stalled, the ball was safely recycled through two rucks setting Hunter up to cover the last metre. Bell’s conversion just before the quarter hour brought the first change of lead.
Kirkcaldy struck again minutes later when their own version of the short range catch and drive enabled Brown to claim the first of his two tries. Smith’s conversion made it 7-12.
A Smith penalty on the half hour interrupted a period of ebb and flow to stretch the visitors’ lead to eight points but by now the Kirkcaldy forwards were visibly tiring.
In spite of the weight difference, the Lasswade eight were more than holding their own in both set pieces and the loose.
With a minute left of the first period Lasswade were on the offensive and the ball was whipped out from a ruck on the visitors ten metre to Thomas who jinked round the full back to make it 12-15.
Lasswade made a lively start to the second half and it was Quigley on the burst who broke through to touch down under the posts for a two point lead which Bell quickly extended to four.
Kirkcaldy bounced back with more bullying forward play to give Wallace his second try and a Smith conversion took his side two points ahead again.
As the clock ticked into the final quarter, swift hands from a lineout on the right wing to a ruck on the line on the opposite wing, stretched the defence enough for Billingham to drive in for Lasswade’s bonus point try.
Kirkcaldy replied through the powerful flanker, Brown, who grabbed his second try and the try bonus and the lead again at 24-29.
With just minutes to play it looked like it would be the Fifers day but Thomas came in from his wing to slice through the defenders line grounding near the right corner.
And Bell took his time with the conversion and claim Lasswade’s player of the match title.
Kirkcaldy spilled the restart kick and the home side ran down the last couple of minutes by controlled possession.
Fitness was a key issue in this encounter and Lasswade were clearly ahead, coupled with a more versatile and variable style of play with which Kirkcaldy could not compete.
Kirkcaldy’s two bonus points keep them two points ahead of the pack with Biggar in second on points difference over Lasswade.
Lasswade travel to Biggar this Saturday. kick-off 3pm.