Tennent's Caledonia Region League, Division 1

HILLFOOTS made the short journey to face sleeping giants Dunfermline, after seeing of local rivals Alloa the previous week.

The Fife team sit second in the division and would surely be favourites for the one promotion spot this year if it wasn't for the dominance of Orkney, who boast a perfect record so far.

Injuries are beginning to take their toll on the Hillfoots squad and the team-sheet had a few unfamiliar names this week.

Nevertheless, it was the Tillicoultry men who took the game to the home team during the first quarter.

Territorial advantage was gained through some fine tactical kicking from classy stand-off Fraser Christie and the forward pack showed great determination in building the phases and providing the backs with some decent ball to play with.

After 15 minutes, Hillfoots had had all the pressure and Dunfermline were doing well to stem the maroon and blue tide.

Unfortunately, 'Foots couldn't find a way through and the Fife team gradually began to exert control.

Somewhat against the run of play, Dunfermline opened the scoring with a sweeping backs move that was assisted by some poor defending.

That try was unconverted but it seemed to spur Dunfermline on as they began hitting the line hard and putting Hillfoots under increasing pressure.

Early substitutions were required with Kevin Aitken and Brad Bell both limping off, Callum Williamson making his debut from the bench.

After about half an hour, Dunfermline hit top gear with their forwards punching holes and their backs showing great pace and handling skills to run in three more tries before half-time, leaving the score at 24-0.

The second half was dominated by Dunfermline.

The Hillfoots boys showed plenty of heart with some notable efforts by hooker Aaron Anderson and centre Vodo Millard.

But the injuries continued to mount with Christie having to retire with a recurring shoulder problem and three others having to leave the field before the final whistle.

Meantime, Dunfermline continued to cause the Hillfoots defence problems, particularly out wide, with four more tries being run in by the home team.

The Hillfoots boys battled on to the final whistle but today was not to be their day.

Next week provides an opportunity for rest and recovery before the next fixture at home to Ellon on February 15 for a 3pm kick-off.

Meanwhile, the 2nd XV are away to Stobswell.