Lasswade 10 Dumfries Saints 17
In very wet conditions Saints took to the field against a significantly heavier Lasswade team who finished 2nd behind Dumfries in National 3 last season and were promoted back to Division 2 from where they had been relegated the season before. The game started at a pace which defied the weather conditions with play going end to end. Lasswade hammered the Saints defence with several powerful ball carriers running onto the ball from deep positions. Saints were making some good turnovers and showed their superior pace when breaking out of defence but the wet conditions were preventing the final pass from going to hands. Lasswade had a good run of possession and one of their big second rows scored a well deserved try for their efforts which was converted to go 7 nil up with 20 minutes played.
Saints responded with a great run from wing Andrew Whiteford taking him close to the try line where Michael Scott finished it off. John Carlisle converted from the touchline to level the score.
Saints were adapting to the wet conditions and stringing together some good passes moving the game about the field. Lasswade continued with the big ball carriers coming from deep, Saints defence had their measure but gave a way a few penalties. Lasswade were going for tries and passed up some straight forward attempts at the posts for kicks to touch but were only securing 50% half of their own throw ins.
With the rain now torrential the second half brought more of the same but when Saints got a kickable penalty John Carlisle took it to go 7 : 10. Lasswade took the same option minutes later to level at 10 each.
The big Lasswade ball carriers coming from deep were getting slower, the fitter Saints were comfortable in defence. The more Lasswade tired the more handling errors crept in and a spilled ball on the Saints 22 was snapped up by Kenny Henderson who ran it to half way before popping to Dougie Boyd who carried it on before putting Andrew Whiteford into space out wide and he ran it to the line for great score. Another excellent conversion from the touch line by John Carlisle and it was 10 : 17.
Another spilled ball from a Lasswade attack was kicked and chased by Jack Steele who was obstructed between the Lasswade 10 and 22, the penalty was missed but the Saints defence remained strong for the rest of the game for a hard earned win away from home.
After the game Saints coach Rudi Urbach said “Saturday’s fixture was always going to be won or lost through fine margin. We encountered a well-coached and motivated team who added significant value to a closely contested battle. I remain very pleased in the fortitude and resolve we showed in leaving with 4 log points. No matter the margin of victory or defeat, there’ll always be something to work on for the next game; But, when players offer the spirit and determination to fight to the last for their Saints Family, it is extremely easy for me to shelve the coaching cliché’s for a week and simply state that I’m proud of the lads!”
Squad: Sean Graham, Tom Martin, Gareth McCall, Michael Thomson, Will Green, Michael Scott, Gavin Wilson, Finlay Miller, Jack Johnstone, Jordan Kerr, Keagan Jones, John Carlisle, Jack Steele, Andrew Whiteford, Kenny Henderson, Dougie Boyd, James Thomson, Paddy Coupar and Rob Greenshields.
Next week Saints play host to Kirkcaldy at Park Farm who have also played 3 and won 3 but moved up too the top spot after a 60 nil result at Aberdeenshire, kick off 3pm.