Duns travelled to Dalkeith for an early kick-off on Saturday without several regular players who were unavailable.
Dalkeith dominated early possession and marched upfield to score under the posts before Duns could get their hands on the ball. At this stage it looked like a hard afternoon’s work was ahead. Indeed the Dalkeith pack continued to dominate possession and drove deep into the Duns 22. A quickly taken penalty led to the second score near the posts.
At this stage Duns began to compete and good interchange between forwards and backs took play into the Dalkeith 22 for the first time. Lineout ball was won and quickly moved wide to Lewis Craik who spotted the space behind the Dalkeith defence, chipped ahead and won the race to register Duns first score of the day.
Duns continued to press and again took play deep into the Dalkeith half. This time, however, Dalkeith plundered possession from the Duns line out and direct running and good offloading led to the third score. The Dalkeith kicker was in good form and converted all three.
Duns began to work hard and camped in the opposition half for some time before some hard forward play got out of hand. The resulting mellee ended with yellow cards for Gavin Tait and the Dalkeith hooker.
The half time break gave an opportunity for the Duns coaches and senior players to rally the troops and to their credit the Duns forwards began the second period by getting on top in the scrummage. Props Dougie Turnbull and Barry Hamilton anchored the pack and Duns played the first 10 minutes putting pressure on the Dalkeith line. This culminated in good possession from a five metre line out and the forwards drove over the line for Captain Graham Letham to touch down.
The Duns pack continued to put pressure on the scrum and indeed several time the Dalkeith pack was shunted back. From one of these retreating scrums, however, Dalkeith scrambled possession and more direct running from their powerful centres resulted in a score in the corner. The Dalkeith place kicker continued his good form with a fine conversion from the touchline.
Duns won immediate ball from the restart and moved it wide for Scott Maceachan to go over the corner. Dalkeith then replied immediately with a converted try.
At this stage the play was very open with both sides looking to attack at every opportunity and defences being posted missing.
Injury and unavailability have blighted the Duns team all season and the coaches and players have had a hard time coping with this. However, the experience gained by the young players can only be helpful in the future.
Duns continued to attack and again good scrummage pressure resulted in the bonus point try scored by Josh Herbert. Dalkeith again scored from the restart and this proved to be the final score of the game.
Duns: Euan Reed; Callum Redden, Ross Turner, Lewis Craik and Scot Maceachen; Dale Robertson and Danny Lamb; Dougie Turnbull, Scott McCraw, Barry Hamilton, Gavin Tait, Scott Turnbull, Graham Letham, Bert Grigg and John Walker. Replacements: Josh Herbert, David Andrew and Stuart Burns.