Scottish 2nd XV League West Division 1 – Dumfries 9 – Kilmarnock 9
Saints welcomed their nearest league neighbours Kilmarnock to a wet and blustery Park Farm for this top of the table clash. With both teams undefeated so far this always had the look of a close, tense encounter. In reality it turned out to be a war of attrition on a damp sodden pitch with neither team really getting to grips with the conditions or the opposition. With both teams seemingly hell bent on playing running rugby the crowd were kept entertained by an enthralling but error-strewn contest.
Saints had the benefit of the strong southwesterly for the first half and were quickly on the attack with the forwards taking the ball deep into Killie territory. Pressure told and a visiting indiscretion saw Burgess open the score with a penalty. Another penalty by Burgess soon afterwards extended the narrow lead until the closing minutes of the half when Killie punished the home side when their stand-off kicked a good goal to narrow the gap.
Half time saw some changes as the home coaching team tried to find that little piece of magic that would unlock the very solid Kilmarnock defence and meet the challenge of the strengthening wind. Try as they might Saints could make little headway and the visitors took advantage of the wind kicking a penalty goal to draw level.
With play, flowing from end to end it looked as though Saints had stolen the game when Rory Steele’s penalty sneaked over at the left upright giving Saints hope of victory. All the good work was undone almost from the kick-off when a silly penalty in front of the posts allowed Killie to draw level once more. Play continued with neither side making great inroads and with the game petering out Rory Steele’s last minute penalty slipped agonisingly wide to deny Saints victory.
Perhaps justice was done, as Kilmarnock would have been very unlucky to lose this game. This was one of the best 2nd XV sides to visit Park Farm for some time and is rightly a contender for the league title.
Saints: Riddick, Torrance, Lewis, Davidson, Campion, Burgess, Kelly, Graham, Robertson, Turnbull, Bryden, Carson, Crichton, McClatchey and Freebody. Replacements: Cox, Sitala, Steele, Greene, Haggerty, Lethardy, Ainslie