Alloa RFC 1st XV....................................0

Caithness RFC 1st XV............................17

BT Caledonia League Division 1

ALLOA lost their unbeaten league and cup home record which stretched back to April 2016 to a solid Caithness side who are now favourites to go on and win the BT Caledonia Division 1 title.

This was Alloa's first competitive match since the 4th November and it was perhaps no surprise that their play improved dramatically in the second half.

The home side did start the match on the front foot and had a flurry of pressure in the opening ten minutes without really looking like breaking Caithness down; however, the main worry was a creaking scrum and misfiring line out, which was not helped by the early loss of Captain, Ali Edwards to a knee injury.

Caithness played a very conservative game, kicking well for position and then controlling the phases through their forwards.

They didn't create a huge number of scoring opportunities; however, they were clinical inside the Alloa 22 scoring three tries at regular intervals in the first half.

Alloa were hanging on before and after the break trying to stop the visitors score a fourth and bonus point gaining try.

They did this successfully and gradually forced their way back into the match. One brilliant line break by Matt Pope should have yielded a try but the final pass agonisingly didn't connect with the supporting Lee Cairney.

Alloa continued to create half chances however they lacked the final precision not helped by the worsening weather conditions.

Disappointing then to lose a proud unbeaten home record however no lack of effort and the squad will be better for having this game under their belts in advance of Grangemouth's visit in the regional shield semi-final on January 27. Kick off is 1.30pm at Earlsfield.

On a more positive note the 2nd XV notched a fine 43-29 victory at home against Perthshire and they will be looking to continue the momentum when they travel to face Crieff on Saturday – 2pm KO.