Dumfries found themselves in the National Bowl competition as the second best team in the Glasgow district. Ayr and Dalziel were awarded places in the cup. Gala were the visitors to Dumfries at the same stage last year and went away comfortable winners. However they met an improved Saints squad who had put a lot of training and preparation into this game.
Colts’ Captain Cammy Taylor was absent and we missed his throwing into the lineouts – but the Colts were strengthened by the return of Harry Houlday and Alex Craig. Chris White made his debut at No.8. Ryan Cruickshank captained for the day.
Dumfries tactics were clear from the start – to use the pick and drive and to keep the ball in the forwards. Scott Goodwin was at his best – assisted by Lee Scott. With the pack dominating the scrums and loose play, Scott Goodwin got the early score with a typical barge over the line. James Clyde added a penalty after a great box kick from Harry Houlday and follow-up tackle by Sean McDougall.
Saints turned round at half time 8pts to nil ahead, but the wet cold conditions were not helping the game. The referee ruled out a touchdown in the corner by Ross Hunter for a forward pass when even the Gala coaches were applauding what they thought was the excellent score.
In the second half, Gala started to get the ball to their backs and looked as if they could cause problems. The Gala number 10 was outstanding and was running well but great cover tackling from Scott Kerr stopped him in his tracks. A Gala score under the posts was inevitable after a slick move along the backs. The conversion was missed. Gala missed a further two penalties but they never gave Dumfries a kick at goal.
Saints coach Rab Mc Henry said ” The last few minutes were extremely tense with both teams going for the win and the melee that all the coaches could see coming involved most players resulted in a red card for each team which was a bit harsh and slightly spoiled what had been a terrific hard game for both sides. Two minutes later at the final whistle, everybody shook hands and it was forgotten about. That’s rugby”
Dumfries play Mussleburgh at home in the Semi Final on Saturday 1 February.
Team, Jack McHenry, Owen Young, Scott Goodwin, James Clyde, Lee Scott, Ryan Cruickshank, Kyle Lindsay, Christian White, Harry Houlday, Declan O’Donnell, Ross Hunter, Gavin Howatson, John McWilliam, Sean McDougall, Scott Kerr, Lewis Morrison, Alex Craig, Callum Jackson, Euan McMorran