Duns entertained Hawick Harlequins at the Hardens and after blowing a seemingly unassailable lead managed to win a topsy-turvy fixture with the last kick of the game.
Play in the opening minutes was confined almost exclusively to the Quins half of the field, and there were errors aplently from both sides. This meant scrum after scrum, where Duns had the upper hand, although an injury to the visitors’ hooker just before half time meant that the scrums were uncontested from then on.
After missing a couple of early shots at goal, Duns scrum half Danny Lamb eventually found his mark midway through the half and Duns took a narrow lead.
Almost immediately from the re-start kick Danny Lamb made a good break from the base of a ruck on the half way line, and popped a pass to the supporting Graham Letham. His progress was halted on the 22, but John Walker was on his shoulder to accept a scoring pass and he crossed for his maiden try in the First XV. Lamb kicked a good conversion to stretch the lead to 10 points.
As half time approached Duns notched their second try. David Hutchison was hauled down only a couple of metres short of the line. Duns coughed up possession at the ruck, but the Quins attempted clearance kick to touch was sclaffed straight into the midriff of Hayden Martin only a metre out and all he had to do was fall over the line to score. The conversion was missed, but Duns lead 15-0 at the break.
As the second half started the wind seemed to drop, and it was certainly not the same advantage to the Quins as it had been to Duns before the interval.
Just five minutes in Quins scored almost at will, firstly from Whillans and then from Douglas, both converted by Peffers, to reduce the deficit to one solitary point.
Duns rallied from this early setback to score two more tries of their own. The first came when David Hutchison sprinted fully 75m up the left wing for an unconverted try.
Hutchison also got the next, chipping through and winning the scramble for the touchdown. Lamb converted the second score, and Duns lead by 27 - 14.
The Quins scored next, and it was another worryingly simple score. A try and conversion from Peffers brought the game to 27 - 21.
Duns scored their fifth try with only five minutes of normal time remaining. A nicely weighted chip ahead from Hayden Martin saw Lewis Hughes win the race to touch down in the corner, and although Lamb’s conversion was blown off course in the wind the Duns lead had increased to 11 points and the match was surely in the bag.
Surely ? Well, no. Straight from the kick off the Quins charged back down the field and a try in the corner from Anderson after 40 minutes had the spectators looking at their watches and wondering how much time the referee - Ian Rodgerson from Selkirk - would add for injuries.
Then the unthinkable happened. Duns kicked off, the Quins gathered the ball, went through a couple of phases, and a break from half way by Anderson saw him given acres of space to sprint over from fully 50m.
The visitors were still a point behind, but the conversion was a formality, and to almost everyone’s disbelief Duns were behind for the first time in the game.
The referee indicated that there was just time to re-start the match. The Quins were penalised for hands in a ruck on the 22m line, just to the left of the posts, giving Lamb an opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.