With Dumfries looking to keep up their unbeaten record this season they set off to Irvine who had beaten Saints 18 to 13 in the away tie last season and the best Saints could do in the home tie was a 13 each draw. But this was to be a different contest with Irvine sitting one from the bottom of the league having lost ten players from last season’s squad and had two major players missing because of a ban from a previous red card incident. The Dumfries squad also had a few regulars not playing because of injury or attending the World Cup game in Newcastle.
The early possession was dominated by Dumfries in the first 15minutes with some scrappy play and various infringements by Irvine two penalty’s awarded to the Dumfries were not capitalised on. Eventually Dougie Boyd broke the line and offloaded to Sean Graham to score in the corner to get the first 5 points on the board.
As soon as play resumed and the Irvine No13 was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on leaving them light in the backs. This opportunity was not missed by Dumfries with constant pressure being put on the whole back line of the home side. A bad clearance by Irvine went straight into the arms of full back Kenny Henderson who ran just short of the try line before nicely offloading to scrum half Aaron Booth for the put down. Ben Johnstone converted with ease to put the score to 12 : 0 to the visitors.
The restart was followed by a penalty which was quickly taken by the Dumfries scrum half who passed to Ben Johnstone who then ran 30 meters to score a magnificent try. The difficult conversion was missed. Back at the other end Irvine were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and they put themselves on the score board by taking the 3 points. Dumfries were awarded a scrum from the restart and got the ball into the hands of centre Andrew Whiteford who saw a gap and scored the bonus point try under the posts. Ben Johnstone converted to take the score to 22 : 3 to Dumfries.
With five minutes to go in the 1st half Dumfries took their collective nap early and missed some some crucial tackles to let Irvine run over the line for what was a very soft try. Their conversion was missed. In the last play of the half Irvine chipped the ball over the Dumfries defence and scored once again. They converted to leave the score at half time 24-17.
The second half started with Irvine determined to keep the momentum going and Dumfries wanting to get themselves back on track again. It was eventually the visitors that got the first score of the second half after being awarded a penalty which was kicked to touch and after a superb line out the ball was walked over the line by the pack and scored by Dougie Boyd. The conversion was missed and soon after the restart Dumfries gave away a penalty for not releasing the ball and Irvine took the score at 29-20.
Once play restarted Dumfries woke up and started to play some good attacking rugby taking the game to the tiring home side. After another good line out the ball found the arms of Andrew Wilson who finished of the move to score his try of the day. This was quickly followed by Dougie Boyd breaking the line to score his second try which Ben Johnstone converted putting the score 41-20. Immediately afterwards Ben Johnstone then chipped the ball forward and ran onto the ball for his second try. This was quickly followed by an Andrew Whiteford run to get his second try of the day and the conversion was kicked by Ben Johnstone.
With Irvine absolutely exhausted and the final whistle about to blow Dougie Boyd broke the line to run the full length of the pitch to score his third try of the game, a prize winning feat this season thanks to the generosity of an anonymous supporter. Final score Irvine 20 Dumfries Saints 60. Man of the match was Aaron Booth
This was a good win for the Saints who have a break this weekend before playing close rivals Perthshire at home on 17th October. K.O. 2.0pm
Squad against Irvine: Kenny Henderson, Andrew Wilson, Andrew Whiteford, Michael Yates, Harry Houldey, Ben Johstone, Aaron Booth, Adam Prentice, Craig Goldie, Sean Graham, Callum Fitzpatrick, Shaun King, Ali Jackson, Michael Scott, Dougie Boyd, Blair Milligan, Euan Mack, Ryan Cruikshank, Ben Radley,