Rusty Saints Win Through!
Dumfries Saints 38 Garnock 7
Dumfries Saints kicked off on a fine afternoon with the underfoot conditions surprisingly good despite recent weather! If Saints fans started in a bright mood they were in for a sharp shock. Garnock won their first line out, moved the ball and standoff Walker cross kicked behind the rushing defence for an easy hack and chase try scored by winger White. Walker converted and with less than two minutes on the clock Saints were 7-0 down.
Stand Tom Hiddleston, back after a month out of action, steered Saints back down field and soon kicked a penalty as Saints applied some pressure. Wing forward Mark McClatchey, making his first senior team start, was looking impressive and from a turnover he earned Tom Hiddleston chipped through and Malcolm Fairweather gathered to almost break through. Saints maintained the pressure though and Hiddleston kicked another penalty before striking a sweet drop goal to put Saints 9-7 ahead.
The Saints scrum was now dominating and Michael Scott was getting into gear in the loose earning turnovers and making yards. From a scrum in their own half Saints moved the ball wide, centre Rory Steele made the break before feeding winger Jamie Farquhar who put Sam Hiddleston in for the try, brother Tom kicked an excellent conversion from out wide for 16-7.
Things got worse for the visitors as from the kick off Michael Scott crashed forward feeding fellow forwards Jamie Little and Stuart Clanachan who punched holes through the defence releasing centre Malcolm Fairweather who recycled when stopped and Tom Hiddleston sped in for the try to complete his set!
Saints now camped in the Garnock half and applied pressure. When all seemed to be going well disaster struck as young centre Rory Steele, who had been having an excellent game looking dangerous whenever he had the ball, became the latest Saints to suffer an injury. Rory damaged his shoulder becoming another addition to the Park Farm injury list. The half petered out with Saints applying pressure but spurning several chances to score and making too many errors. Half time 21-7.
Garnock started the second half well and just when it looked like they might build some phases in the Saints 22 scrum half Graham Minty intercepted and cleared. Saints got downfield and pressured Garnock earning a penalty which Hiddleston converted. Saints had territorial pressure but lacked zip and looked rusty after their lay off and difficult training circumstances of the last fortnight.
Saints eventually managed to put some phases together and looked to have worked space down the flank only for the final pass to go to ground. Finally with only ten minutes to go Saints kicked a penalty to the corner, won the line out, drove for the line and released it for Tom Hiddleston to break through the tackle and score, he converted his own try.
With the clock running down Saints pressed for the bonus point fourth try, failing to score it would certainly have been a missed opportunity for Saints. They managed to earn another penalty which was kicked to the corner. Garnock stole the throw and seemed to have cleared the danger. However with time running out Saints won a midfield scrum and attacked up the right flank, they got within 10 yards of the line where Garnock battled to keep them out. Full back Sam Hiddleston screamed for the cross kick and brother Tom obliged, Sam leapt to win the ball against the full back and came down with the ball to score an excellent try. Saints got their bonus point try with the last kick of the game!
This was a rusty performance from Saints, excellent in parts and sluggish in others. The team worked hard for the bonus point and can build on this performance in coming weeks. The loss of Rory Steele will be a major blow.
Team; G McCall, R Henderson, S Cockburn, D Henderson, J Little, M Scott, M McClatchey, S Clanachan, G Minty, T Hiddleston, K Henderson, M Fairweather, R Steele, J Farquhar, S Hiddleston. Subs all used, K Geddes, E Sloan, A Mather, V Satala.
Jamie Farquhar leads the attack with Sam Hiddleston and Rory Steele in close support
Malcolm Fairweather finds a gap
Rory Steele makes the break
Graham Minty takes off
Villimony Satala charges through
Sean Cockburn steaming!
Sam Hiddleston on his way to his first try