1st XV v Preston Lodge 9.9.17

Dumfries Saints 50     Preston Lodge 12

Park Farm was in perfect condition for the 1st home league game of the season, Saints ran out through a tunnel of young rugby players waving Saints flags to face a big PL side sitting top of the league after scoring 60 points against Aberdeenshire.

Preston Lodge had all the early possession and showed the forward power that had dominated their opening game but Saints defence was up to the task. Scrums and lineouts were evenly matched, each side winning their own and each side making turnovers. When Saints did get possession long enough to build phases the PL defence was not just so effective at holding their structure. Fifteen minutes in the first to take advantage of a gap in the centre was Jack Steel to score under the posts and converted by John Carlisle. A few minutes later Keagan Jones found enough space on the wing to get behind the PL defence before offloading to Zeke Dyson who popped the ball to a sprinting Jack Johnstone to score under the posts for John Carlisle to convert. He then followed up with a penalty after the PL loose head pulled down a scrum. 17 : nil.

Preston Lodge could not be faulted for ambition, choosing to send kickable penalties to touch rather than taking easy 3 points. After spending a long time in the Saints 22 they eventually found a space and scored a try which went unconverted. Saints kept them in their own half from the restart and a botched clearance was ran back through their defence by Kenny Henderson before offloading to Zeke Dyson to sprint under the posts. Another conversion for John Carlisle to go into half time 24 : 5.

From the restart Saints kept PL pinned in their own half again and when they won a n the score was inevitable number 2 for Jack Johnstone converted by John Carlisle. Nothing could go wrong for Saints now, securing the restart and getting it wide to Kenny Henderson who carried it into the PL half before offloading to Gavin Wilson to score, John Carlisle made the conversion, 38 : 5.

Preston Lodge still had plenty of attack but the Saints defence were in control and giving away nothing. When Saints made turnovers they cleared their lines to touch but when PL tried it Saints were able to run the ball back at them. From a clearance collected inside his 22 Saints full back Kenny Henderson got in front of his winger Andrew Whiteford who took it to half way then popped the ball right to his Captain Jack Steel who immediately reversed it back left to a sprinting Jack Johnson who carried it from half way to score his third of the day under the posts. Another conversion from John Carlisle his 6th of the day and 45 : 5.

The Saints forwards spent a bit of time in clubhouse corner with pick and goes but standoff Jordan Kerr felt too many minutes had passed without a score and threw a massive pass out wide which went through quick hands for Keagan Jones to score in the other corner, the conversion was missed.

The final 10 minutes was played at the same furious pace as the first 70 by two very fit sides playing great rugby. The game flowed end to end before a ruck on the Saints line led to the ball being smuggled over the line by a PL forward, the conversion took the score to 50 : 12 and that was how it finished.

This was great win that takes Saints to top of the league with old Division 3 rivals Lasswade away next week.

Squad: Tom Martin, Zeke Dyson, Scott Goodwin, Michael Thompson, Will Green, Michael Scott, Gavin Wilson, Finlay Miller, Jack Johnstone, Jordan Kerr, Keagan Jones, John Carlisle, Jack Steele (Captain), Andrew Whiteford, Kenny Henderson, Sean Graham, Ali Jackson, James Thomson and Alan Birdsall.



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