1st XV v Glasgow Accies 21.1.17

Dumfries Saints 15     Glasgow Accies 15

Having drawn in the away game earlier in the season this was always going to be a tough game for the Saints. Both teams have demonstrated some good form recently with Saints top of the league and Accies on a 10 match winning run.

The first quarter was evenly balanced with neither team giving anything away or dominating territory or possession. Accies missed a penalty and then were first to blink following sustained pressure and some great handling and recycling by Saints. Scrum half Alan Birdsall sent out fast ball to the narrow side from a ruck to stand off Jordan Kerr who quickly put it out to inside centre John Carlisle who showed fast hands again to second row Michael Badenhorst running an excellent angle to score the first try out wide. The conversion was missed.

Accies had their share of chances in the Saints half but the home defence was solid. Jack Steele tried a long range penalty and came very close. Saints lineout was turning into a real strength with Michael Badenhorst, Michael Thompson and Jamie Graham all jumping and Zeke Dyson throwing in. The scrums were fairly even with both teams taking it in turn to get the drive.

Another period of sustained possession in the Accies 22 produced another great try Joe Kerr drawing the defence out and popping the ball back inside to John Carlisle running a great angle to score at the posts. Alan Birdsall kicked the conversion to take the score to 12 nil. There was another long range penalty attempt for Jack Steele with the last kick of the 1st half but it went wide.

With memories of Saints recent second half performances none of the home support were getting carried away with their 12 point lead then minutes into the second half Saints were awarded a penalty and took the score to 15 nil. Within minutes Saints gave Accies a penaty chance just outside the 22 but it was missed.

In the next 5 minutes Saints picked up 3 injuries and forwards Zeke Dyson, Devon MacDonald and Michael Scott all had to leave the field. While the replacement were settling in Accies took the initiative and started focussing on the pick and go forcing a missed tackle in front of the posts to get a try and conversion. Saints failed to get out of their own half with the restart going straight to touch and from the Accies scrum were back defending in their 22. The tackle count was rising along with the penalty count and after more than enough warnings from the referee the next offender, Michael Thompson, went to the bin but Accies missed the penalty.

Accies were in control now and needed 2 scores to get the win. Their first was a penalty from an unfortunate red card for Saints prop Craig Goldie. Down to 13 men Saints had to up the workrate and unbelievable they failed to get out of their own half when another restart went straight to touch. Even after Michael Thomson came back on they still had 5 minutes to defend with a man short.

Accies were relentless and after a series of reset 5 metre scrums scored from a number 8 pick-up in injury time. The last kick of the game was a missed conversion to end 15 all.

Saints are still sitting top of the league on score difference and their next game is away against second place St Boswells on 11th February. A large travelling support is required and bus places are available.

Squad: Craig Goldie, Zeke Dyson, Devon MacDonald, Michael Thompson, Michael Badenhorst, Jamie Graham, Ryan Cruikshank, Michael Scott, Alan Birdsall, Jordan Kerr, Kenny Henderson, John Carlisle, Jack Steele, Harry Houlday, Sam Hiddleston, Scott Goodwin, Tom Martin, Paddy Coupar and Michael Yates.

On the other pitch Dumfries Saints 2nd XV had a 43 to 5 win over Glasgow Accies 2nd XV to move up to 5th in the league. This Saturday they have a home league game against 4th placed GHA 2nd XV. Also Dumfries Colts are back in action at home for their 1st Round Cup Tie  against Glasgow Hawks Colts. Both games kick off at 2pm.

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