Murrayfield Wanderers 36
Duns travelled to Edinburgh on Saturday to take on Murrayfield Wanderers - the first time the clubs had faced each other in nearly 16 years - on the synthetic 3G pitch in the shadow of the west stand at Murrayfield.
Wanderers started the match like a house on fire, and they scored 15 unanswered points in the opening quarter of an hour. Duns seemed to be strangely off the pace of the game, and the big home pack were pushing the Duns forwards around at the scrum where during the course of the match at least a dozen scrums were lost against the head.
The visitors managed to steady the ship and showed that when they had some ball they could pose a threat to their opponents.
With half time approaching, Wanderers added an unconverted try but Duns went straight up the park and managed a try of their own when Sandy Sanderson used his pace up the left wing to score. The conversion failed but at least Duns now had a foothold in the match.
Within three minutes of the restart Duns had completely transformed the match, and left their hosts stunned with two converted tries. Scot Maceachen squeezed in to dive on a loose ball for a try, although the youngster unfortunately dislocated his left pinkie in the act of scoring. Thankfully the Wanderers physio was on hand to pop it back in for him, although he took no further part in the match. All the way to Edinburgh for less than 90 seconds of rugby!
Immediately from the re-start, Duns attacked again and a Lewis Craik kick was gathered by Andrew Baxter who sprinted 25 metres to score wide out. Dale Robertson kicked both conversions and all of a sudden it was game on at 19-20.
Chris Williamson was next on the scoresheet when he picked up and drove over from close range. Dale Robertson coverted, and a comeback was now a real possibility. Duns lead by 26-20 and had the try bonus point in the bag.
However, Wanderers gradually regained their composure, pegged back their deficit and eventually took the lead. A penalty reduced the gap to 26-23, and then Steven Markby was red carded for a spear tackle directly in front of the Duns posts. Wanderers kicked the penalty following the sending-off and another a few minutes later took them back into the lead by 29-26.
A losing bonus point would have been no less than Duns deserved, but Wanderers added a fourth try in injury time. The conversion took the score to 36-26.