Duns travelled to Hawick Harlequins on Saturday for the first of the return fixtures in East League 1 and were roundly beaten after putting in a very disappointing performance against a side they had defeated by 36- 0 only three months previously.
Duns kicked off on a dry afternoon at Wilton Lodge Park, although the pitch was very soft and heavy and cut up badly as the match wore on. For the first half hour of the game there was no sign of the onslaught to come as Danny Lamb kicked a penalty to give Duns the lead.
The Quins reply was immediate, although it came from a huge knock on which was missed by the referee. The ball was spun along the line for a try in the corner and an excellent touchline conversion gave the home side the lead by four points.
Danny Lamb kicked a second penalty with 17 minutes gone, taking him to 10th in the all-time list for the First XV, and Duns trailed by only one.
It was in the closing ten minutes of the first half that the wheels came off for Duns. From a quickly taken lineout the Quins showed good hands in the slippery conditions and passed the ball across the park for a try in the corner, and another good conversion brought out maximum points. Duns were immediately on the defensive from the re-start, and when a 22 drop out was charged down the Quins picked up to score a worryingly simple try and conversion. A penalty increased the home advantage, and with the final play of the half the rangy Quins centre burst up the middle of the park, set up a ruck, and from speedily recycled ball the bonus point try was scored.
Duns were in contention at 6-7 with half an hour gone, but all of a sudden it was 6-29 at half time. The visitors’ heads were down and a good old Hawick shoeing was on the cards.
The Quins were quickest out of the blocks in the second half, and scored a penalty, and then a converted try, in the opening 10 minutes to snuff out any hopes of a Duns revival, however unlikely that might have seemed. Duns did manage to cross the Quins line for a try on 12 minutes when a decent move down the right touchline resulted in Scot Maceachen going over in the corner for his sixth try of the season.
The final half hour of the fixture was much more evenly contested, although by that stage the Quins had the match well and truly in the bag. Duns were unlucky not to score at least one further try, while the Quins scored twice more to take their tally over 50 points which was their biggest ever total against Duns.
Duns introduced Elliot Paxton and Aiden McColm in the second half, two more products of last season’s Colts side, making them the 49th and 50th players to have represented the First XV in only 13 league and cup matches this season.
Duns: Hayden Martin; Scot Maceachen, Stuart Thomson, Colin Tait, Callum Redden; Ewan Fleming and Danny Lamb; Barry Hamilton, Cammy Hill, Stewart Calder, Steven Markby, Scott Turnbull, John Walker, Richard Hume, Graham Letham. Subs: Andrew Baxter, Elliot Paxton, Aiden McColm, Stuart Burns.