Corstorphine Cougars 19 Duns 59
Duns made their final away trip of the season to play Corstorphine Cougars at a very warm Union Park in the west of Edinburgh – their first visit to Corstorphine this century.
Coaches Stephen Clark and Fergus Thomson were faced with a selection headache owing to the number of players unavailable to them and,although there were some in the starting side who played out of their accustomed positions – Bert Grigg, for example, played the whole match at centre – the team still had a very solid look to it.
Duns played up the slope in the first half, and opened the scoring after only five minutes. A penalty to the visitors was kicked to touch, and from the lineout scrum half Ben Black darted through for the first try of the game. Dale Robertson converted.
Corstorphine then enjoyed a period of dominance which brought them two tries, taking them into the lead. Their first came from a good spell of possession which created an overlap on the left, and the second was scored by their pack after Duns had been penalised at the breakdown.
The first was converted but the home kicker missed the second, and also a fairly simple penalty attempt, in between his side’s tries.
Duns skipper Dale Robertson suffered a fairly hefty dunt to the nose which forced him to leave the field until half time to stem the flow of blood. Scrum-half Ben Black moved out to 10 and Cammy Hill took to the field at scrum-half.
Duns regained the lead when Mark Alexander scored a solo try from first phase possession and he kicked the conversion himself.
The lead was stretched when Duns scored the best team try of the afternoon. Great hands by Bert Grigg and Mark Alexander, and then by Callum Redden, who had entered the line from full-back, set James Thomson clear on the left wing. He still had a bit to do but used his strength to shrug off the final tackler and go over in the corner.
Immediately from the re-start kick, Duns gathered the ball and set off up the park once again.
For the second time in a minute, it was James Thomson who crossed the whitewash, and he came as far towards the posts as possible to make the conversion attempt that little bit easier.
Just as well, because it was his brother Michael who took the kick. Duns had the bonus point in the bag and led by 26-12 at half-time.
Duns started the second half with a bang and scored two quickfire tries to put the outcome of the match beyond doubt. A great kick to touch by Duns gave the home side a lineout just inside their 22 and, although they won the ball, their clearance kick was charged down.
First to react to the loose ball was Richard Hume and he crossed from close range to score for the second week running. Dale Robertson, bloodied but unbowed, kicked the conversion.
Corstorphine re-started but were soon behind their goal line again. John Walker, who had a great game for Duns, took the kick off at full tilt and made 30 metres into the Corstorphine half.
He linked with Richard Hume, who had Josh Herbert on his outside, and the big winger scored in the corner. Dale Robertson kicked a good goal from wide out.
The home team then scored a fine try when quick hands along their threequarter line yielded a try in the corner, and a super conversion reduced the gap to 40-19.
After that, it was all Duns as some of the bigger Corstorphine forwards began to wilt in the late April heat. Mark Alexander made a break up the middle and had Dale Robertson supporting on his inside. He slipped a pass to Robertson, who drew the last man and passed back to Alexander for the score. Robertson converted.
Next to score was James Thomson, who was the beneficiary of a beautifully-weighted cross kick. He gathered the ball and crossed for his hat-trick try in the corner. This was his second hat-trick in the space of three days, and in two different sports – he scored three times for Greenlaw FC in their Border Amateur League match against Coldstream on Wednesday evening!
The final score of the afternoon came from a great break by Ben Black.
He almost made to the line, but had Michael Thomson in support to deliver the coup de grace.
Dale Robertson added the extra two points to end a very entertaining match with a 59 -19 win for Duns.