Dumfries 1st XV 37 – Dalziel 8
Saints 1st XV got back to winning ways on Saturday with a bonus point win against Dalziel. The cold, wet and windy conditions were not ideal for open Rugby but the teams created an entertaining game for a good home crowd. Included in that crowd were the next generation of Saints from the mini and midi section of the club invited along to see the seniors play. It was an excellent day all round for the Club with 1sts, 2nds and Colts all recording good wins and the minis and midis getting a taste of a senior match day atmosphere.
Playing into the wind, Saints were pinned back into their own half for much of the first 15 mins. Saints defensive line worked hard to keep their shape and make it difficult for Dalziel to make their possession count. The continual pressure on the visiting team’s attacking game led to Saints first try. Saints disrupted a Dalziel attacking scrum and when the ball went loose Ben Johnstone hacked through and John Carlisle got a boot to the ball. The turnover ball was collected by Andrew Wilson and with an exceptional offload to Sam Hiddleston put him in under the posts. John Carlisle converted and Saints led 7 – 0 against the run of play.
Saints were playing the conditions well, keeping the ball tight with the forwards. This controlled play was rewarded. Dalziel were penalized at a ruck and John Carlisle converted to stretch the Saints lead to 10 – 0. The visitors got on the scoreboard with a penalty soon after when Saints didn’t release after the tackle. Saints had won great turnover ball but the support didn’t arrive in time. 10 – 3.
Saints lead extended after a good phase of play in the Dalziel 22m area. Great forward work pulled in the Dalziel defence and released the ball to the backs. Sam Hiddleston managed a half break before offloading to John Carlisle running an excellent line to take him over under the posts. He converted his own try for Saints to lead 17 – 3 at half time.
With the wind at their back, Saints got the second half off to the perfect start. Their increasingly dominant scrum was rewarded with a penalty. John Carlisle kicked to stretch the lead to 20 – 3. Dalziel’s discipline was now creating problems for them as each indiscretion pushed them back into their 22m area. Following such a penalty, Jordan Kerr found the perfect touch and created an excellent position for an attacking lineout. The Saints forwards produced a textbook catch and drive to put Lee Scott over the line. This time the conversion was missed but Saints now led 25 – 3.
They continued to dominate the pace and structure of the game. Andrew Wilson made an excellent break after a great Saints scrum – then off loaded to David Thomson to score a debut, bonus point winning try. John Carlisle converted and Saints lead 32 – 3. Dalziel stuck to their task even when reduced to 14 players following a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. Their no 10 made an excellent break through the Saints defence and put Andy Scott over for a conciliation try. Score 32 – 8.
1st XV Manager Alan Grahame said afterwards “There were many positives from this win and too many excellent performances through the team to mention but a Man of the Match performance at full back from Matt Hayman has clearly increased the competition for places in the Saints back line.”