Temporary blip leads to Greens shipping avalanche of points to Howe
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Head coach Ewen Boyd was left ruing a 20-minute spell as his Caithness side fell 78-10 at Howe of Fife.
Even though a victory in Cupar would have been a tough ask, Caithness had competed well in Saturday's National League Three clash before switching off to allow Howe to fill their boots.
The home side ran in 12 tries with the Greens crossing over twice through Hamish Coghill and Rhys Taylor.
Caithness have tasted victory only three times this season, with their form on the road giving cause for concern.
The Millbank side still hover above the relegation zone as Perthshire and Carrick both lost.
However, Boyd knows that his young squad cannot keep relying on others to do his men a favour.
"We competed well in the first half against a very good – and strong – Howe team," he said.
"Unfortunately we had a dip for about 20 minutes and Howe duly took advantage to score a lot of points.
"Howe are a very good side and we had no answer to their pace and focus. But we never gave up and scored two very good tries of our own.
I believe we can do it, given the spirit of the club.
"The away form is a concern. We're usually shorter on playing numbers than we are for home games but we are a completely different side away from home.
"We must make inroads into our poor record, although given the distances we have to travel, and the changes in personnel each week when we are on the road, it is tough.
"We have a very young squad as well. From the squad that won promotion a couple of years ago, only five are still here.
"We've some very good young players, like Dave Mackintosh, Calum Clark and Cameron Mackay. They're keen, always turn up for training and give a good account of themselves.
"Players like those three I'm sure will develop into big players for us but they're on a very steep learning curve right now given the high standard in National League Three.
"We're not giving up on staying up but we can't keep relying on Perthshire and Carrick to lose as well.
"There's always that worry when you walk off the pitch having lost to find out that one or both of those teams have pulled off a shock result to put you in the relegation places.
"We're above those spots right now but we will need to get the best possible start in the new year when the fixtures resume if we are to stay there.
"I believe we can do it, given the spirit of the club."
Elsewhere in National League Three, the leadership changed hands with Ardrossan Accies replacing Berwick at the top but only on points difference.
Accies hammered Carrick 45-3, while Berwick edged out Strathmore 24-23.
Lasswade kept up their push for promotion as they dished out a 64-0 thrashing to Perthshire.
The matches between Greenock Wanderers v Hillhead/Jordanhill and Murrayfield Wanderers v West of Scotland were postponed due to the weather.
The National League Three fixture card will resume after the festive break on January 11.