1st XV v Perthshire 25.3.17

Perthshire 22   Dumfries Saints 69

Dumfries Saints set off last Saturday with five points in their sights for the game against third from bottom Perthshire who although looking at relegation turned out a strong squad and were out to give the visitors a good game of rugby.   Perthshire, from the minute the whistle blew, produced some high intensity attacking rugby for at least the first 15 minutes and had the slightly anxious visitors defending hard from their own half.

The start of the game also saw numerous penalties being awarded against Dumfries with nearly all being kicked into touch by Perthshire hoping for that try scoring line out. But fantastic defending by Dumfries kept the home side out and once they broke the home sides attacking line the ball was moved out to Saints winger Kenny Henderson who ran the first try over the line. The conversion was kicked by Jack Steele. When play resumed the Dumfries forwards made superb ground and quick ball again through the line seen the second try scored by centre John Carlisle. He also kicked the conversion.

The next score was by the home side and came from good work by the Perthshire forwards with their prop picking up at the break down and driving over the line, which their no. 10 duly converted.  Then on the restart Dumfries very quickly gained possession with 2nd row Michael Thompson making yards and then passing to his fellow lock Michael Badenhorst who sprinted under the posts for another try. It was again converted by John Carlisle. The fourth try for Dumfries came about by another set piece involving all the backs and was finished by off by John Carlisle. He also converted it taking the half time score to 7-28.

The first few minutes of the 2nd half saw the first penalty against the home side for not releasing being kicked by John Carlisle. That was followed by a try in the corner by Kenny Henderson but the conversion was missed. Within minutes the score was repeated again with Kenny Henderson scoring his hat trick. This time it was converted.  Once play settled down a well-positioned cross field kick by full-back Sam Hiddleston found the hands of hooker Zeke Dyson who side stepped two Perthshire defenders to score the try of the day. The conversion was missed. The Saints attack then continued with Devon MacDonald making the break and passing to Michael Badenhorst for his second score. This was converted by John Carlisle taking the score with fifteen minutes to go to 7-55.

With the game looking well and truly won the Saints maybe just relaxed a bit too much and let the Perthshire number 10 through a gap in the defence to score a great try which he also converted. But the visitors were not finished and came back with two fantastic scores in quick succession both from front row players. The first by Craig Goldie and the second by Scott Goodwin. Both the conversions were kicked by John Carlisle. But last minute tiredness showed and Dumfries let the home side get a fourth try. It was unconverted and with that the whistle blew leaving the final score 22—69.

Squad: C. Goldie, Z. Dyson, S.Goodwin, M. Thompson, M. Badenhorst, F. Miller, R. Cruickshank, M. Scott, J.Johnstone, J. Kerr, K. Henderson, J.Carlisle, J. Steele, A.Whiteford, S. Hiddleston. T. Martin, D. Macdonald, J. Graham, A. Birdsall.

A good result for the Saints and even better news afterwards that close contenders St Boswells were beaten at Highland. Dumfries now sit in second place with three games to play. This Saturday at Park Farm the Saints take on top of the table Lasswade also fighting hard to keep the top spot and get promoted into the National League 2.

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