Dumfries Saints through to 2nd Round of BT National Cup
Dumfries Saints 78 Orkney 12
With Park Farm in terrific condition for the first home game of the season Saints took on Orkney in the first round of the cup. This was cruel distance for the visiting team to travel for the 1st game of the season.
Saints kicked off and Orkney retained possession for the first 5 minutes keeping the ball in the forwards and tested the Saints defence round the rucks and discipline at the breakdown. Both were up to the test and in their first visit into the Orkney half some great handling put John Carlisle over for the opening try which he converted.
From a scrum on the Saints 10 Orkney gained a penalty and opted for a kick at goal which went wide. From a scrum on the Orkney 10 Saints number 8 Finlay Millar picked up and gave a flat pass to centre John Carlisle the ball came out wide to right wing Kenny Henderson then back in to Michael Thomson who carried up the middle feeding hooker Tom Martin who carried to the Orkney line. Quick possession from the ruck sent scrum half Jack Johnstone on a diagonal run too fast for the Orkney defence for the second try, converted by John Carlisle.
Full Sam Hiddleston caught restart just outside his 22 and carried to the Orkney 10, great support running by second row Michael Thomson took it into the Orkney 22 where the ever present Jack Johnstone finished it off under the posts with a bit of flair. John Carlisle converted.
From a lineout on halfway right wing Kenny Henderson ran a great angle through the midfield and took an inside pass from standoff Jordan Kerr to get behind the Orkney defence and after a great bit of interplay finished off by scoring under the posts. John Carlisle converted taking the score to 28 nil.
Orkney may not have been able to match the Saints pace and handling out wide but when they focussed on pick and go from their pack they were gaining ground and after being held up over the line they maintained the pressure and got a try which they converted. With 38 minutes gone it was 28 : 7.
A high tackle on Captain Jack Steele was kicked for a 5 metre line out and simple hands out the line put left wing Ben Radley over for a try in the corner. A great kick from the touchline by John Carlisle secured the conversion and Saints went into half time 35 : 7.
From a move that started well inside their own 22 Saints put in a series of great passes before the ball got to Finlay Millar on the Orkney 10 where a dummy and sprint took him over the line for an outstanding try, John Carlisle converted.
A loose ball in midfield inside the Orkney half was secured by Ali Jackson and fast possession from the ruck was spun out by Finlay Miller to John Carlisle who put it through his hands very quickly to Jack Johnstone now playing on the wing who was too fast for the covering defence and ran the ball from the touchline to touch down behind the posts.
Michael Thomson secured the restart and scum half Alan Birdsall put fast ball to the backs, Kenny Henderson broke the defence will angled run, popped the ball to Sam Hiddleston who carried into the Orkney half drew the full back and fed supporting runner Kenny Henderson for an excellent try, The conversion was missed taking the score to 54 : 7.
Ben Radley was very unlucky to be yellow carded for what the referee deemed to be a high tackle. Orkney kicked the penalty to touch and from the line out scored a very soft try which they converted.
From a scrum between the Orkney 10 and 22 a great return pass between John Carlisle and Jordan Kerr with Kenny Henderson on a dummy run saw Jordan carry the ball into the 22 draw the tackle from the full back and pop the ball to flying wing Jack Johnstone for his 4th try of the day. The conversion was missed.
From a loose pass inside the Orkney 22 Tom Martin had a great pick up taken forward by Sam Hiddleston before feeding Ali Jackson to power over, John Carlisle secured the conversion. Ben Radley came back on to get Saints back up to 15 men.
Ali Jackson playing at number 8 picked up from a scrum on the Orkney 22 and was stopped short of the line but a quick pick up by Finlay Miller got him over for his second try, the conversion was missed.
The Orkney scrum had been under pressure for the whole game and in the final minute a number 8 pick up from a retreating scrum went wrong, Ali Jackson spun the loose ball wide and Kenny Henderson popped it back inside for John Carlisle to score and convert finishing the game at 78 : 12.
This was good run out against National 3 opponents but no indicator of what newly promoted Saints can expect away from home in next Saturday’s opening National 2 league match against last years mid table finishers Whitecraigs.
Squad: Gareth McCall, Tom Martin, Scott Goodwin, Sean Graham, Will Greene, Michael Thomson, Michael Scott, Gavin Wilson, Ryan Cruikshank, Finlay Miller, Ali Jackson, Jack Johnstone, Alan Birdsall, Jordan Kerr, Ben Radley, John Carlisle, Jack Steele (Captain), Kenny Henderson, Sam Hiddleston.