Haddington 3rd XV24
Duns 2nd XV60
DUNS Seconds finally returned to league action at the weekend with a trip to Haddington in RBS Reserve League East 3B.
Haddington had given an early indication that they would not have a full side, but to their credit they were determined to soldier on with whatever numbers they could muster. Duns, normally awash with players for the Seconds, were also short-handed due to work commitments and other reasons, but both teams were keen to play and so the match went ahead with rather fewer than the normal 30 players on the field.
Duns played for the first time this season in their new strip, very kindly sponsored by John Thorburn and Sons and Aitken-Walker Cars. The strip has red and black hoops on the front but is completely red on the back, a point overlooked entirely by Haddington, who turned up in their plain red strip.
An absolute nightmare for the referee in the low, late autumn sunshine as there were occasions on which it was impossible to tell the players apart.
Duns loaned Mattie Taylor and Ben Foreman to Haddington in the first half and it was the former, playing at scrum-half, who gave Haddington the lead after only a couple of minutes.
Tom Swan reduced the deficit with the first Duns try almost immediately, and then Dane Ivison – playing at the unaccustomed position of centre – put Duns ahead with try number two.
Another try for the home side, converted from in front of the posts, gave Haddington the lead at 14-10, but from then on it was all Duns.
Dane Ivison scored his second midway through the half, and the same player bagged his hat-trick shortly before half time. He had been offered an honourable mention in the match report if he could score three times in the game, but getting them all before half-time, and then converting his third try, was just showing off! Duns led by 22-14 at the break.
Playing up the slope in the second half, and into the glare of the setting sun, Duns wasted no time in adding to their try count. Scott Turnbull was first to score, and then Duncan Brown went over for try number six with Dane Ivison converting. Haddington pulled a try back almost straight away, but as the legs in their squad tired the spaces appeared and Duns were able to score freely.
The visitors added four more tries in the closing 10 minutes, with two from Euan Reed being book-ended by two from Tom Swan who became the second Duns player to score a hat-trick in the game.
Craig Renton converted one, Euan Reed converted another and Ben Foreman – restored to Duns colours at half-time in place of John Warren – drop kicked the final conversion.
Haddington had the final say, and scored their fourth try at the death which was no less than they deserved for their determination to make the game go ahead.
Duns’ next match is at Dunbar Seconds in the league this Sat-urday, kick-off 2pm.
Duns: John Warren, Daniel Wright, Johnnie Thorburn (captain), Scott Turnbull, Nathan Chisholm, Stewart Calder, Euan Reed, Craig Renton, Tom Swan, Dane Ivison, Duncan Brown, Mattie Taylor and Ben Foreman.
Duns Mini Bears travelled to a sun-drenched but chilly Scremerston on Sunday for the annual Berwick Bulldogs tournament featuring some of the region’s top squads.
The Baby Bear P3s once again turned out in good numbers to take on the might of Berwick, Kelso, Melrose and Hawick.
The morning started well with Duns getting off to a winning start against the local rivals Berwick. Next up were the deserved tournament winners Kelso who were again more than a match for Duns.
The biggest scalp came in the third game against Melrose which saw Duns win by 4-3. The final game against Hawick saw Duns defeated 3-2.
Sadly the same depth of squad was not available at the higher age groups with no subs in the P4s, one each at P5 & P6 and minus a few at the P7 level. That said, all teams battled hard against much bigger squads. Highlights for the Fab Fours were very close-run encounters with Melrose and Kelso.
The Famous Fives opened with a very famous victory over Melrose 6-5, followed by narrow single-try losses against hosts Berwick and also Hawick.
It was a mixed day for the Super Sixes with the highlight being a hard fought 5-5 draw against Berwick.
An injury and illness-ravaged Storming Sevens team valiantly fulfilled their fixture list with some borrowed talent.
As many will be on duty for Remembrance Sunday, mini training will take a well-earned rest this week and training will resume on Sunday, November 18, as normal.