Dingers' thoughts turn to long Orkney trek

HAWICK HARLEQUINS ....27 DUNS ................ 25 DUNS RFC travelled to Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick on Saturday to play Hawick Harlequins for the second time in three weeks.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 1:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 1:02 pm

After the Bowl win by Duns in the first match, giving the visitors the somewhat dubious privilege of a trip to Orkney in the national quarter-finals, there were league points at stake in the teams' second encounter.

Duns were hamstrung by three call-offs on the morning of the match, but still managed to field a strong side.

Although very windy, conditions were almost ideal. Unfortunately, the match was a disappointment, with the contest having the feel of a pre-season friendly rather than a full-blooded encounter between two Border sides.

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Just as in the first match, Duns were first to score, and also as in the first match it was young speedster David Hutchison who crossed for the try. He received a pass 20 metres out and danced down the touchline to score in the corner, too far out for Dale Robertson's conversion attempt.

With 10 minutes gone Duns added try number two. Ged Lamb popped a pass to Kevin Aitchison in the centre and he crashed through a couple of tissue-paper tackles to score under the bar. This time Robertson's conversion went over.

The third Duns score was almost a carbon copy of the second. Ged Lamb fed Kevin Aitchison and again the 'Quins centres parted like the waters of the Red Sea and Aitchison picked up his eighth try of the season. Dale Robertson added the extra points.

Only 15 minutes gone, and Duns led by 19-0. This was going to be easy - a walk in the park - an easy bonus point win.

At least, that's what many of the Duns team thought, and they took their feet of the gas and allowed the Quins back into the match.

The home side used their big pack to good effect to score two tries of their own before half time and at the interval the gap had been reduced to only seven points at 19-12.

The third quarter of the match was pointless, but Dale Robertson kicked a penalty for Duns with 22 minutes of the half gone.

Undaunted, the Quins replied immediately with try number three, to reduce the deficit to 22-17.

Dale Robertson kicked a second penalty on the half hour mark to extend the lead to eight points and crucially Duns were two scores ahead.

Once again, however, the riposte was almost immediate and the 'Quins scrum-half Goodfellow kicked a good penalty.

Then right at the death came the sucker punch.

After pumelling the Duns line for fully five minutes, and with the visitors' defence becoming ever more desperate, a 'Quins line out catch and drive brought them their fourth try and the scores were level.

An excellent conversion gave the home side the lead for the first time in the contest in injury time, and the referee (Norman Jackson from Melrose, who was officiating in his last-ever 15-a-side match) blew for full time almost immediately thereafter.

This was definitely 'one that got away' as far as Duns were concerned.

Instead of five points for a bonus point win, all Duns took out of the match was a losing bonus point.

As a result, Dunbar leapfrog back into third place in the table following their win over Earlston.

The Duns team was:- Jamie Renton (captain); Andrew Anderson, Dale Robertson, Kevin Aitchison and David Hutchison; Ged Lamb and Danny Lamb; Chris Archer, Cammy Hill, Barry Hamilton, James Thorburn, Jacobus van Wyk, Richard Burns, Stuart Blyth and Dane Ivison. The replacements were Niko Pelasio, Stuart Davies and Iain Grant.

This Saturday Duns travel to Orkney in the quarter-final of the Regional Bowl.