Dingers defeat league leaders and end Livingston’s unbeaten run

Duns Rugby Sevens Team
Duns Rugby Sevens Team

Livingston 3 Duns 11 DUNS produced one of the surprise results of the weekend by defeating league leaders Livingston on their home teritory.

With Livingston on a 19 match unbeaten run and after the previous week’s debacle against Portobello, even the most diehard supporter would have offered little hope of getting anything out of the game.

Duns kicked off with the wind at their backs, playing away from the clubhouse. Conditions underfoot were difficult following heavy overnight rain. Duns started brightly pinning Livingston back and put together some good phases of play. However, on a number of occasions, when in good positions, Duns were penalised for lack of discipline. Unfortunately this was the pattern for virtually all of the first half.

Robertson missed an early chance to put Duns into the lead with a badly pulled penalty. The same player then made up for this with a successful penalty after Livingston were caught offside. The home side then responded with a penalty of their own to tie the match.

With 20 minutes gone Duns were reduced to 14 men when Stuart Thomson was yellow carded and sent the naughty step. Not a surprise, given the number of penalties that Duns had conceded.

This gave Livingston a lift and for the rest of the half they hammered the Duns line which simply refused to buckle. Tackle after tackle flew in with Livingston being repulsed manfully.

Incredibly, just as Thomson was due to return to the field Chris Williamson also saw yellow. For 20 minutes of the first half Duns played with a man down but the work rate of every player was incredible.

Half time arrived with the scores tied.

Duns now faced the strong wind but stepped up to another level. Better discipline proved key in the second period as the penalty count dropped and slowly Duns began to assert themselves although scoring chances for both teams were limited. This was a real battle of wills with big hits raining in from both sides and no quarter given.

Livingston, spurred on by the vocal home support, tried hard to break Duns’ resistance but to no avail.

Ten minutes into the second half Robertson struck an excellent penalty to give the Dingers the lead. As time was running down Livingston tried to force the pace and came close but again Duns held their line.

Livingston had a penalty opportunity in front of the posts but opted bravely to kick to the corner in search of that elusive try. The line out throw was poor and Duns managed to steal the ball and clear the danger.

Moving into the last ten minutes the kitchen sink and anything else Livingston could find were thrown at Duns but they could not break through. One of these attacks was broken down, the ball spilled in the tackle and out popped Stuart Cockburn with the ball breaking out and finding Andrew Baxter to win the race to touch down in the corner. Robertson missed the conversion.

In the last few minutes Cockburn who had his best game in a Duns jersey was replaced by James Weir.

Duns managed to close out the game with a composed and determined display. It is hard to believe the difference a week makes with every player stepping up to the mark.

Duns: Neil Graham; Andrew Baxter, Ross Turner, Stuart Thomson and David Hutchison; Dale Robertson and Danny Lamb; Scott McCraw, Cammy Hill, Andrew Connor, Duncan Budge (captain), James Thorburn, Chris Williamson, Alexander Auld and Stewart Cockburn. Replacements - James Weir, Scott Turnbull and Euan Reed.