Dumfries Saints 21 Ardrossan Accies 22
Saints kicked off on a wet windy day with any slight benefit of the elements behind them. The visitors have had a strong season but looked to have lost their outside chances of promotion with a loss the previous week.
It was a scrappy start to the game with the conditions contributing to mistakes on both sides. Saints had an early penalty chance but hit the post and Ardrossan scrambled it clear. Both sides struggled to build phases in the conditions but a dropped pass enabled Ardrossan to kick and chase into the Saints 22 for the first time where they won a five metre penalty. They chose to go for the scrum and after a strong drive the number 8 drove over to score, it was converted for a 7-0 lead a little against the run of play after 18 minutes.
Five minutes later things got worse for Saints when they failed to win their own line out ball and poor defence allowed another soft try for the visitors.
Saints finally started to get their act together and exert some pressure, they were rewarded with three penalties in the remaining 15 minutes of the half, all kicked by Tom Hiddleston to bring the half time score back to 12-9.
The second half started with Saints struggling to break through the well drilled Ardrossan rush defence. At last they manufactured a move with full back Tom Hiddleston coming into the line, the break was carried on by Gareth McCall who fed back to Tom, he then put Adam Munro into space and the flanker took the chance to score an excellent try. The conversion put Saints 16-12 up after 17 minutes of the half.
Saints continued to pile on the pressure and when a high tackle stopped their attack in front of the posts things looked good. However indiscipline in retaliating resulted in both sides receiving a yellow card and the penalty being reversed. Instead of stretching their lead and enjoying a numerical advantage for ten minutes the chance was lost.
Ardrossan took their chance having been let off the hook and went on the attack. Good defence looked to be holding them out but eventually a close range forward drive took them over for a try and got them back 19-16 in front.
Saints again lifted their game, now back to 15 men. Turn over ball was run wide and Adam Munro and Villy Satala combined well to open up the defence for Villy to score. Crucially the conversion was missed but Saints were back in front.
Both sides looked for the killer blow and unfortunately for Saints with the clock ticking away they lost another of their own line out put ins in their 22, Ardrossan set up possession and the fly half Wilson sent over the drop goal to get Ardrossan back in front.
Saints worked hard to get back into opposition territory but couldn’t engineer a scoring chance as the clock ticked away to the jubilation of the visitors.
This was another game Saints could have won by playing a bit smarter. They have to secure first phase ball in crucial areas and having unlocked the Ardrossan defence once they never tried it again, hopefully they will learn from this experience.
Team; S Graham, K Brown, G McCall, A Mather, S Kennedy, A Munro, F Miller, D Henderson, S Diez, G Gemmell, V Satala, P Coupar, R Steele, K Henderson, T Hiddleston. Subs; B Milligan, R Henderson, S Clanachan, S Currie.
Paddy Coupar and Villy Satala get their man
Tom Hiddlston breaks through
Stuart Kennedy breaks the line with Adam Munro in support
Sylvain Diez breaks away from a scrum
Tom Hiddleston takes on the defence