HAWICK HARLEQUINS 44 DUNS 19
Duns kicked off the new season in East Regional League Division 1 on Saturday with a trip to Hawick Harlequins, one of the teams promoted from East 2 last season.
The Duns squad was much changed from that which had started the previous season. In fact, of the squad of 19 which took the field at Hawick only six survived from the opening league match 12 months previously.
The early signs were encouraging. The new half back combination of Danny Lamb and Hayden Martin clicked almost straight away, and with the outside backs having plenty of pace Duns ran the ball at every opportunity.
Duns opened the scoring after 18 minutes. David Hutchison fly-hacked a loose ball beyond the 22. He chased his own kick and although two defenders beat him to it they both over-ran the ball. Hutchison picked up and popped a pass to Andrew Baxter, who crossed in the corner.
The visitors were dealt their first injury blow when their combative scrum half Danny Lamb left the field with a recurrence of an ankle injury. Stuart Thomson stepped into his place at the base of the scrum and there was a general reshuffle in the back line.
Quins took the lead when a missed tackle allowed them to cross between the posts for a converted try and they scored again in the opposite corner. The conversion extended the lead to 14-5.
Duns were then dealt the cruellest of blows when they lost their captain Dale Robertson to an horrific broken leg and after the match resumed on an adjacent pitch the ‘Quins kicked two penalties to lead 20-5 at the interval.
Duns shipped a converted try after only three minutes of the second half and Hawick scored again, picking up their try bonus point.
Duns hit back when Bert Grigg crossed for an opportunist score. Hayden Martin drop kicked the conversion.
Almost immediately Duns raced up the pitch for their third try. David Hutchison sprinted clear to score and another Hayden Martin drop kicked conversion narrowed the gap to 32-19.
Duns were on the attack once again but a misplaced pass was scooped up in the ‘Quins centre and they went the length of the field to score, and some gloss was put on the result from their point of view with a converted try in the closing seconds to take the final score to 44-19.
Duns: Stuart Thomson; Andrew Baxter, Ross Turner, Dale Robertson, and David Hutchison; Hayden Martin and Danny Lamb; Ian Russell, Cammy Hill, Allen Whellans, Steven Markby, James Thorburn, Colin Tait, Bert Grigg and John Walker. Replacements - Scott McCraw, Andrew Anderson, Johniie Thorburn and Michael Burns.