BT Caledonia League, Division 1

DESPITE making six personnel changes in the pack, Alloa competed to the death with a resurgent Dunfermline side who are now unbeaten in seven straight league fixtures.

The lead was destined to change hands seven times during a thrilling match that yielded eight tries and three bonus points, two of them to Alloa virtue of four tries and a loss of less than seven points.

Alloa struck first when Ed Waller picked up bad ball and strolled through the Dunfermline defence in typical fashion. The visitors struck back with a try through the persistence of their pack.

However, a clearing kick from deep by Alan Keir saw the Dunfermline back three hesitate and the Alloa full back hacked on to score. Lee Cairney then converted.

Ed Waller was then denied a certain try from a deliberate knock forward that brought about a fruitless penalty but surprisingly no yellow card. Back came Dunfermline with a second try initiated from an interception and then their pack scored again from close in on the stroke of half time with the score 12-21.

Alloa's problems had by this stage magnified with both James Dawson and Rab Truesdale sidelined with knocks and in reality, the Alloa back-row was now beyond recognition with Daniel Murrell, Rolf Maitland and John Heskey filling the three spaces.

However, Lee Cairney narrowed the deficit from a penalty and then a beautifully weighted chip through by Ed Waller was gathered by Daniel Jackson who skidded in under the sticks. Cairney's conversion gave Alloa the narrowest of leads.

The visitors then played the percentage game in kicking two penalties of varying degrees of difficulty and Alloa were looking at a five-point deficit again. In between this flurry of scoring there were yellow cards for a Dunfermline forward and Lewis McIntyre as the game heated up.

Incredibly, Alloa came back again to level when Dunfermline turned over ball in midfield and Daniel Jackson swooped to sprint clear for a second try. Lee Cairney converted yet again.

However, the last word lay with the visitors when they laid siege to the Alloa line and they had the weight and control to post the winning try five minutes from time.

Despite the loss there were many positives from a fully committed Alloa squad, the main one being taking two points from the fixture which was the equivalent of drawing the match.

Dunfermline's obvious delight at full time in winning the match also acts as a measure of how far the Alloa club has come in the past two seasons.

Next stop is Grangemouth on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off.