Stewarts Melville 48 Dumfries Saints 10
Not one of Saints better days on the road but a game with some competitive periods unfortunately interspersed with too many errors that the home side punished veryt efficiently.
Saints played with the wind gusting from the South in their backs and kept Stewarts Melville in their own half but defending well. Craig Goldie opened the scoring with a typical forwards try out wide, the conversion was missed and Saints were up 0 : 5. The wind was gusting to gale force on the open side of the pitch but with the stand side sheltered making it difficult to judge so balls were going out on the full and going over the large dead ball area when Saints were trying to kick with the wind.
Playing into the wind Stewarts Melville made better use of the conditions with low grubbers being kicked into the large dead ball area for runners to chase at every opportunity. It was only a matter of time before they touched one down and converted to go 7 : 5 up.
A spilled ball on the Saints 10 was kicked ahead and chased by Sam Hiddleston, kicked ahead and chased some more till he finally touched down over the line, the conversion was missed taking the score to 7 : 10.
The home team sent yet another grubber into the Saints dead ball area that was touched down by Saints but this time the 22 drop out went straight to touch and Stewart Melville launched an attack from the resulting line out that lead to an easy try which they converted taking the score to half time at 14 :10. Saints had not achieved any advantage out of playing with the wind and were in for a tough second half playing into it.
Saints conceded a penalty early on in the second half taking the score to 17 : 10 then after a run of penalties captain Ewan Miller sought some clarification from the referee and got shown a yellow card for his troubles.
Saints were chasing the game now and the error count was going up. A penalty in the centre of the field was tapped, passed and lost giving the home side an easy run and conversion in under the posts. A clearance to touch inside Saints 22 gave the home team an easy score from the lineout. From a Saints put in at a 5 metre scrum on their own line the ball was spilled as it came out and was kicked ahead and touched down. Scrum half Alan Birdsall complained to the referee that Stewarts Melville players were offside at a ruck and got yellow carded. From a spilled ball on the Stewarts Melville 5 metre they picked up and ran the length of the field to score and finally a Stewarts Melville kick and chase was fielded by Saints but the pass between the defenders was intercepted for the easiest try of the day. Final score 48 : 10 and Stewarts Melville step ahead of Saints leaving the 4th place in the league with 3 matches to go. Next game is on 16th March at Park Farm against Howe of Fife
Squad: Robert Neill, Andrew Whiteford, Sam Hiddleston, Michael Yates, Kenny Henderson, Jack Currie, Alan Birdsall, Ewan Miller, Ryan Cruikshank, Gavin Wilson, Ian Carlisle, David Andrew, Craig Goldie, Tom Martin, Sean Graham, Scott Goodwin, Ben Johnstone, Scott McLellan and Nathan Brown.