Duns 12 Portobello 10: Lucky late escape as Duns move up to fourth

Duns in action against Hawick
Duns in action against Hawick

Duns entertained bogey team Portobello at Castle Park as the Tennent’s East 1 league season reached its half way point, and survived a scare at the death to claim the points in a very scrappy match.

Duns took the lead after 12 minutes. A scrum on the five metre line led to Richard Burns at number 8 picking up the ball and breaking to the right in a pre-planned move. Scrum half Danny Lamb went with him to create an overlap, and 8 popped a scoring pass to 9 for the game’s opening try. Keiran Wilkinson, skipper for the day, converted.

Portobello reduced the deficit after half an hour with a penalty kick for 7-3 at the break.

Portobello enjoyed territorial dominance in the second half, and were rewarded with a try which gave them the lead. A penalty was kicked to touch just outside the Duns 22 and from secure lineout ball they marched the maul 20 metres towards the home line before breaking off to cross for a good team try. The conversion was good, and Duns trailed 10-7.

This seemed to rally Duns, who then enjoyed their best spell of the match.

That spell was rewarded, and a deft diagonal chip into the Porty 22 was missed by the full back as the ball took an awkward bounce. Two defenders were beaten to it by speedster David Hutchison who gathered the ball at full tilt and dived over for an unconverted try - his 125th for Duns as he closes inexorably on Jock White’s club record of 136.

As the darkness began to gather, Portobello were awarded a penalty wide out on the left. The shot at goal would have given them victory had it gone over, but it drifted wide of the mark and Duns celebrated as the referee signalled full time.