Duns 29-15 Forrester

Duns Rugby Club host Forrester
Allen Wheallans
Duns Rugby Club host Forrester Allen Wheallans

Duns entertained Forrester at Castle Park on Saturday, the first fixture played out of the new clubrooms, and won their third home match on the trot.

Duns entertained Forrester at Castle Park on Saturday, the first fixture played out of the new clubrooms, and won their third home match on the trot.

The bonus point victory saw them leapfrog their visitors into seventh place in the East League 1 table.

Prior to the match a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the young North Berwick player Duncan McLean, who died suddenly last week. The 20-year-old made his debut in senior rugby against Duns a couple of seasons ago and the news of his death has come as a great shock to the East 1 rugby family, and beyond.

The match was played in quite awful conditions, constant rain and snow throughout the match churned the pirch up and by the end it was beginning to become difficult to tell the teams apart.

Forrester opened the scoring after only three minutes. Duns knocked the ball forward on the half way line and from the scrum. Forrester broke on the blind side and couple of phases later their big pack had driven over the line and a successful conversion made it 7-0.

It did not take long for Duns to get back on level terms. After good runs by wingers Scot Maceachen and Callum Redden, skipper Hayden Martin made a break into the Forrester 22 and he had Michael Thomson running a good supporting line to take the offload and run clear to score from 20 metres out. Dale Robertson’s conversion made it 7-7.

Midway through the half Duns scored the best try of the match. From a line out the ball went all the way along the line - no mean feat in the tricky conditions - to Scot Maceachen. He made good ground up the touchline, before cutting inside and finding Stuart Thomson who took his pass to cross unopposed. Again Dale Robertson kicked the conversion.

At this stage Duns were dominating the match, and were soon on the scoreboard again. Forrester came offside at a ruck on their 22, and Dale Robertson took the opportunity to kick the penalty goal for a 17-7 lead.

After half an hour, Dale Robertson broke from the half way line and as he headed into the Forrester 22 he floated a pass inside to Hayden Martin who went over for try number three. Robertson kicked the extra two points.

Duns really should have scored their bonus point try shortly before the break, but they squandered a two on one overlap with the line at their mercy. Duns centre Jamie Renton was yellow carded for a late tackle, and from the penalty the visitors kicked a goal to trail by 24-10 at half time.

Forrester came out with all guns blazing in the second period, and were rewarded for a period of pressure with their second try of the match when their forwards ploughed over from close range.

The middle period of the second half was pretty turgid stuff as the players tired in the heavy conditions and the hands got colder and colder, but with 10 minutes remaining Duns did getr their bonus point try when, from a Forrester scrum on their 10 metre line the ball shot out past the No. 8’s feet. Danny Lamb reacted more quickly than his opposite number and in an instant he had pounced, gathered the ball, and regained his feet. He popped a pass to Michael Thomson, and the 17-year-old raced clear to score his second of the afternoon.

Duns: Dale Robertson; Scot Maceachen, Stuart Thomson, Jamie Renton and Callum Redden; Hayden Martin and Danny Lamb; Dougie Turnbull, Gordon Harkins, Ollie Smith, Gavin Tait, Angus Tullie, Michael Thomson, Bert Grigg and Allen Whellans. Replacements - Richard Burns, Nathan Chisholm, Euan Reed and Charlie Woodhouse.