DUNBAR 12 DUNS 24
Duns made the short trip up the A1 to play bottom side Dunbar at Hallhill in BT East Regional League Division 1, and were made to work very hard for their bonus point win by a resilient, hard-working home side.
The match was played in bright sunshine, on a beautifully-manicured pitch, although a strong wind blew across the park throughout the contest which both sides struggled to cope with.
Dunbar kicked off, and the ball was fielded by Dougie Orr. He set up a ruck, from which Danny Lamb made a break up a very tight blind side. When tackled on the home 10 metre line he had Lewis Macandrew in support on the outside, and he shaped to come inside the last defender before beating him for pace on the outside and scoring in the corner. Duns had the lead after no more than 30 seconds of the match.
For the remainder of the opening 20 minutes of the match it was Dunbar who were the better side, and they certainly didn’t look like a team which had lost by 90 points at North Berwick only seven days previously. However, stout defence by Duns kept them out.
Duns came more and more into proceedings, and looked very threatening in attack. After a prolonged period of pressure close to the Dunbar line, where the ball was recycled three or four times, Danny Lamb at scrum half – who had another excellent match for Duns – burst through a couple of defenders and scored close to the posts. He added the conversion and the visitors lead by 12-0.
Again Dunbar enjoyed territorial advantage over Duns, but too often for the home side a pass would go astray or the ball would be knocked on. Duns benefitted from one such error by Dunbar when they picked up a spilled pass deep inside their own 22, and a couple of passes later Ewan Fleming was set clear on the halfway line and the young full back outpaced the covering defenders to score between the sticks. Danny Lamb again kicked the conversion.
There was no further scoring before half-time, although Duns were unlucky not to add to their tally when they looked set to score from a lineout five metres out. However, Dunbar chose not to contest the lineout, meaning that there was no maul, and as Duns transferred the ball to the back it meant that the forwards ahead of the ball were offside and the ref awarded a penalty to Dunbar.
Dunbar scored first after the break, with a try from a scrum five. Their number 8 Patrizio – Dunbar’s best player on the day – picked up at the base of the scrum, and although he seemed to be held he had the strength to make his way to the line.
Duns went straight back on to the attack, and scored their bonus point try almost immediately. Richard Hume was held up just short of the line, but he managed to offload to Lewis Macandrew who had come all the way across the park from his wing and he dotted down too far out for Danny Lamb’s conversion.
The bonus point secured, Duns seemed to take their collective foot off the gas and the match suffered for it. Replacements by the visitors also seemed to change the flow of the match so that for the closing quarter of the contest Dunbar were the better side. They scored their second try with 10 minutes remaining, crossing the line wide on the right but coming round behind the posts to make the conversion a formality.
Duns will be pleased to have come away with all five points, although there could have been more polish to the performance.
This week Duns entertain Forrester FP, perhaps the surprise package in the league this season. Duns and Forrester are tied for third place at the moment, with both teams having played six matches, so it is sure to be a close contest. Please try to get along to Castle Park to support the team – kick-off is at 3pm.
Duns: Fleming, Macandrew, Marshall, S Thomson, Douglas, G Lamb, D Lamb, Turnbull, Melrose, Smith (captain), A Orr, D Orr, B Grigg, Hume, Herbert. Replacements: Murphy, Whellans, Renton, Wilkinson.