Duns returned to their winning ways with a hard fought victory over local rivals Dunbar at Castle Park on Saturday.
Duns kicked off in a stiff cold breeze and immediately regained possession. The first five minutes saw Duns camped in the Dunbar half before lost ball at the breakdown resulted in the first attack by Dunbar. They quickly marched upfield and converted a penalty from under the posts.
Duns again regathered their own kick off and played through five phases before losing possession deep in Dunbar territory. They continued to dominate play and following a missed penalty Dunbar were unable to clear and after several good phases Chris Williamson crossed for a try converted by Dale Robertson.
The Dingers were playing well at this stage and good ball carrying by Scott Turnbull, Gordon Harkins and the back row was breaking tackles and gaining ground.
Lewis Craik retired injured to be replaced by Richard Burns. Another good ball carry by Burns was continued by the backs and David Hutchison crossed in the corner, converted by Dale Robertson. Duns led 14-3 at the break.
Duns attacked from the kick off and another good carry from Scott Turnbull took play well into Dunbar territory. This came to nothing as a series of penalties against Duns allowed Dunbar to make good ground into the Duns 22. Scott Turnbull and Cammy Hill were replaced by Gavin Tait and Richard Hume. Dunbar were having their best spell and kept up the pressure on the Duns line with several phases of possession. Good Duns defence resulted in Dunbar resorting to kicking through and chasing. This tactic resulted in several line outs near the Duns line. Robert Grigg left the pitch and was replaced by Doug Turnbull. Duns were conceding a few penalties and this kept Dunbar in attacking positions.
Duns weathered the storm with good defence and cleared well up to half way. The Dunbar team must have been disappointed to have spent 10 minutes on the attack without reward.
Ged Lamb and Richard Burns both made good breaks and suddenly Duns were back in the Dunbar 22 and applying real pressure.
Gavin Tait and a Dunbar forward were given yellow cards for an off the ball scrap.
Duns won good scrum ball on the Dunbar 22 and Ged Lamb raced through to regather his own chip and scored near the posts, converted by Dale Robertson. This was Robertson’s 310th conversion for the club, eclipsing the total set by Stuart Barton in 2002.
Dunbar attacked, helped by several more penalties against Duns, but again good defence held them up and the danger was cleared.
Duns spent the last five minutes on the attack but could not find the elusive bonus point try. Despite this captain Hayden Martin and the coaching staff will be delighted at the improved performance. Duns began to show the spirit and fighting qualities that will be enhanced by regular work on the training field.