Saints Storm Fort Matilda! – Greenock Wanderers 20 Dumfries Saints 36
Saints travelled to newly promoted Greenock hoping to build on their excellent result against Lasswade. It was a nervy start with Greenock kicking an early penalty to take the lead. Saints were stung into action and soon replied with a penalty of their own.
From the restart Saints ran the ball back with Captain Paddy Coupar leading the charge. Two quick phases and standoff Graeme Gemmell made the break before off loading to Sam Hiddleston to score under the posts, brother Tom converted and after just 6 minutes Saints were ahead.
The Saints scrum was showing it’s improvement by dominating the set piece, the front row of Gareth McCall, Fraser Paul and Blair Kennedy were well supported by Daniel Henderson and Stuart Kennedy in the engine room. It is a long time since Saints so frequently drove opposition off their ball.
Greenock attempted to clear the pressure with a long kick downfield, Michael Yates making his starting debut returned with interest before finding Tom Hiddleston on his shoulder who in turn released Andrew Whiteford for the run in to score. After dominating the first quarter Saints made the mistake of sitting back a little, the home side certainly didn’t lack spirit and came back at them.
Saints started giving away soft penalties and some slack defence allowed Greenock to cut through and score under the posts. After getting back on the front foot Saints allowed them to break away again and conceded another penalty, the home side gratefully took the points and half time came with Saints only 15-13 ahead.
The second half started with Saints still giving away penalties. Greenock kicked deep into the Saints 22 and from the line out committed the defence before moving it wide and scoring in the corner. Ten minutes into the second half and Saints were 20-15 down. This was the wakeup call Saints needed and they tightened up their game and went on the offensive.
As Saints piled on the attack the penalty count started to go their way and a quickly taken one enabled Graeme Gemmell to cut through and score. With their noses in front Paddy Coupar urged his troops not to ease off. A well rehearsed backs move opened up the home defence again and Kenny Henderson raced in to score.
It was now all Saints and despite the need to go to uncontested scrums due to Greenock injuries they didn’t let up. The forwards stole Greenock line out ball and when it was moved Sam Hiddleston burst through the centre and left a trail of defenders in his wake as he went 40 yards to score. Tom Hiddleston converted and Saints played out the last ten minutes comfortably.
This was a good performance from Saints who are starting to set themselves a high standard, there is still plenty to work on but a five point away win is always welcome!
Team; G McCall, F Paul, B Kennedy, D Henderson, S Kennedy, P Coupar, P Smith, S Clanachan, A Ainslie, G Gemmell, M Yates, S Hiddleston, A Whiteford, K Henderson, T Hiddleston. Subs; S Graham, C Hogg, A Whelan, J Kerr.