Dumfries Saints RFC v Stewarts Melville RFC
Final score Dumfries Saints 27 – Stewarts Melville 16
Saints 1st XV bounced back strongly from their first loss of the season last week to beat 3rd placed league team Stewarts Melville and to maintain their position as joint-league leaders.
As anticipated, it was a tight match. Possession and pressure evenly divided before a strong penetrating run by Jack Steele brought a penalty close to the visitors’ line. Saints kicked for a line-out and won the throw-in. Saints lock Ali Jackson caught and the pack drove him over out wide for the first try. Jack Johnston just narrowly missed the conversion attempt from out wide. Stewarts Melville responded well – but Saints forwards and backs combined well to take them back up to the visitors try line. More neat handling and driving with Craig Goldie spearheading the Saints attack, secured ball for Ali Jackson to go over for his second try. Again, Jack Johnstone’s conversion kick just slipped outside the posts.
The visitors stepped up play in the 2nd quarter and it paid off with a converted try in 30 minutes to let them close the gap to Saints 10 pts – Stewarts Melville 7pts. With both sides playing exciting rugby, Saints were just held out in the 32nd minute by the opposition defence. Rounding off the half, Stewarts Melville kicked a penalty to level the score to 10 points each.
Half time score Saints 10 – Stewarts Melville 10
The second half continued much in the same vein. It was real ‘cut and thrust’ – without doubt the best match of the season so far. Saints captain Jack Steele wasted no time in producing a ‘touch of magic’ as he chipped-over the visitors defence and followed up to catch his own kick and score near the posts. Jack Johnstone converted to bring the score to 17-10 for Saints. The visitors responded with a penalty to make it 17-13.
Saints controlled play in the final quarter and picked up the bonus point through a Bobby Douglas 4th try in the 60th minute. Jack Johnson rounded off the scoring seven minutes later when he broke clear on the right wing to make the final score Saints 27 – Stewarts Melville 16. The visitors’ only score was a penalty in the 62nd minute to bring their total to 16 points.
Final score Saints 27 – Stewarts Melville 16