Dingers back in action at last but it’s not a welcome return

Hooker Cammy Hill
Hooker Cammy Hill


After five weeks without a match, Duns took to the field at Broughton, in the north of Edinburgh, for a league fixture which was only their sixth game in 20 weeks as the stop-start season rumbles on.

Following week after week of postponements due to frost, snow and waterlogging, it was a pleasure to feel warm sunshine for a change, and Broughton’s sloping pitch at Wardie was in perfect condition for the match.

Coaches Stephen Clark and Fergus Thomson had such a paucity of players at their disposal that the squad of 18 contained only five recognised backs, and only eight players remained from the 19 which had travelled to Forrester for Duns’ previous fixture.

Nevertheless, there were high hopes of another away win against a side who had been beaten 59-26 at Castle Park last October.

All of that optimism was quickly blown away, however, by a determined home side who thoroughly merited their win, coupled with a strangely lacklustre performance by Duns who may be excused if their minds were not entirely focused on the match given the events of the last few days.

Duns had all of the early pressure but could not turn that pressure into points, and it was Broughton who scored the first try midway through the opening half.

The visitors tied up the scores with 25 minutes gone. A kick ahead by Duns was knocked on inside the Broughton 22, and from the scrum No.8 Richard Burns broke on the blind side. At the ruck, John Walker picked up and had the strength to cross the line in the corner.

Almost from the restart the home side took advantage of a missed tackle in the Duns centre and scored a worryingly simple try.

With half-time approaching, Broughton scored a good try, started by a run up the left touchline by their speedy winger and finished off with neat passing interplay which saw them score between the posts. The conversion went over, and it was 17 - 5 at the interval.

If Duns were to find a way back into the game it was crucial that they scored the first points of the second half.

However, it took Broughton only two minutes to extend their advantage, when Duns lost possession in the home 22 and the ball was run back almost the length of the park for the bonus point try.

The Duns heads were down now, and the home side were not in the mood to ease off. Two further tries were conceded, one of which was converted, as a result of tissue-paper tackling throughout the team.

By this stage Duns were down by 36-5 and a 60 or 70-point hammering was well and truly on the cards.

Finally, however, the Duns pack began to exert some control over proceedings and they finished the match the better side. The forwards rumbled deep inside the home 22 with a rolling maul and then a couple of pick and go’s, with Scott Turnbull eventually crossing from close range. Kieran Wilkinson kicked the conversion.

Broughton had time to score a final converted try, and then with the match nearly over Josh Herbert powered his way over on the left wing for an unconverted try in the corner.

All in all, a very disappointing day for Duns who will have to play much better at home to North Berwick this week to avoid a repeat result.

Duns: Herbert; Tullie, Swan, S Thomson, Walker; Wilkinson, Mania; Roberts, Hill, Turnbull, Turnbull, Orr, Walker, Burns, Melrose. Replacements: Black, Renton, Foreman.