Dumfries Saints 44 Howe of Fife 10
Like many of the games in National 2 this one was played at a very high pace and the crowd were treated to some very entertaining rugby. Saints started well and pressurised the Howe line right from the kick-off. Phase after phase, with excellent ball retention saw Zeke Dyson finish it off by driving over the line. The conversion was missed 5 nil.
The bulk of the rest of the first half was very evenly contested with both teams bringing their fast backs into the game at every opportunity. Saints had the edge with the forwards especially in the set pieces with both Lee Scott and James Clyde in the second row adding height in the lineout and weight in the scrum.
30 minutes of deadlock later John Carlisle added a penalty to take the score to 8 nil. This was closely followed by a kick and chase from Howe getting past an uncustomary missed tackle from Saints gaining them an unconverted try to bring the score to 8 : 5. Just before half time Jack Steele, Lee Scott and Ali Jackson backed each other in carrying the ball to the Howe line where Tom Martin scored a great team try. John Carlisle converted to take the score to 15 : 5 at half time.
Saints took the initiative from the restart and Ali Jackson got a try to take the score to 20 : 5, the conversion was missed. The next period saw some very impressive handling, moving the ball from touchline to touchline and back for John Carlisle to score out wide. The conversion was missed taking the score to 25 : 5.
Howe were fighting hard and had some dangerous strike runners that would punish any defence and their efforts were rewarded with a well taken try, again the conversion was missed, 25 : 10. But as the game entered the final quarter Saints superior fitness kicked in. From driving Howe over their own scrum ball on their 10 metre Paddy Coupar picked up at Number 8 and took it forward before feeding John Carlisle who drew the last defender and put Jack Johnstone into the space to score. The conversion was missed, 30 : 10.
Saints were now in control and further tries from Michael Scott and Jack Johnstone both converted by Jack Steele and Jack Currie finished off an excellent game 44 : 10.
The whole weekend was an excellent one for Saints from the P7’s playing in a tournament at Scotstoun on Friday night and winning the final on the main pitch at half time in the Warriors v Cheetahs game. The 2nd XV beat East Kilbride 89 : 12 and the Saints Colts beating Ardrossan Colts away 15 : 30.
The teams get a rest next weekend but the club will be open for supporters to watch the Scotland V England on the TV’s. The following weekend it is back to league action with the 1st XV away at Peebles to seek some closure for the home defeat inflicted on them back in October. The 2nd XV are also away to GHA 2nd XV with the Colts at home to Biggar for a 2pm kick off in the West U18 Cup.
1st XV Squad: Tom Martin, Zeke Dyson, Craig Goldie, James Clyde, Lee Scott, Douglas Boyd, Ali Jackson, Patrick Coupar, Jack Johnstone, Jack Currie, John Carlisle, Jordan Kerr, Jack Steele (C), Ben Johnstone, Sam Hiddleston, Scott Goodwin, Michael Scott, Kyle Lyndsay and Kenneth Henderson.