Saints on Fire! Dumfries Saints 56 Perthshire 3
Dumfries Saints showed the benefit of having had games for the previous two weeks with an electric display in this Premier 3 match. Perthshire are not having the best of seasons but still played with plenty of fire and character.
From the kick off Saints attacked with the wind behind them and Kenny Henderson almost made it in for a try only to be denied by the touchline. A penalty chance soon arose and Tom Hiddleston kicked Saints into a lead. The visitors however were not intimidated and came straight back at Saints earning a penalty for Jamie Coofey to tie the match after only 6 minutes.
Saints gradually got on top as their scrum dominated and their line out functioned well, with Mather often stealing opposition ball. With a dominance of possession Saints had to score and a slick backs move off scrum ball put Kenny Henderson in for the first try, Tom Hiddleston converted.
Much to supporters disappointment Saints slipped into over elaboration mode and failed to take advantage of the wind or the majority of possession for the next fifteen minutes. To great relief they finally got their act together again and from a five metre scrum stand off Graeme Gemmell danced through the defence to score, again Tom converted.
With half time fast approaching Saints piled on the pressure. The Perthshire restart failed and from the resulting centre field scrum number 8 Daniel Henderson set off at speed, linking with Andrew Ainslie and Tom Hiddleston who put Kenny Henderson through the gap for a second try. There was just time remaining for Saints to gain a penalty, Tom Hiddleston kicked for the corner and from the line out Saints went for a catch and drive with captain Paddy Coupar barging over to score. It was converted for a 29-3 half time lead.
Saints never satisfied coaches were looking for better ball retention after the break and more direct play from Saints as they faced the wind. The rewards quickly followed after several phases of ball retention Daniel Henderson crashed over to score early in the half. Saints had to face the frustration of knowing lost possession would result in Perthshire using the wind to send them back deep into their own territory.
Early in the final quarter Saints finally got the scoreboard going again as after some good play substitute Ross Henderson quickly recycled ball and made the space for Villy Satala to race through and score, Tom Converted.
Saints were now getting well on top of the visitors and with time ticking away second row Stuart Kennedy stole line out ball and raced 30 metres to score in the corner, the crowd stood in shock! From the kick off Saints moved the ball wide where Sam Hiddleston burst into space and went 50 yards for another score. The medicine was repeated from the next restart as Saints went the length of the pitch putting the ball through several pairs of hands before Captain Paddy Coupar got his second try in the corner. It fitting finale to an excellent display.
Saints will face tougher opposition in the run in to the end of the season but if they can play as well as they did here, particularly into the wind in the second half, then they have a fair chance of bettering last seasons’s fourth place!
Team; G McCall, F Paul, B Kennedy, S Kennedy, A Mather, P Coupar, F Miller, D Henderson, A Ainslie, G Gemmell, A Whelan, V Satala, S Hiddleston, K Henderson, T Hiddleston. Subs all used; S Graham, R Henderson, P Smith, J Kerr.