Dumfries Saints 34 Whitecraigs 5
In the early exchanges the big Whitecraigs pack looked like they would cause trouble for the home team. They stayed on their feet in the tackle, kept possession and gained territory through driving mauls. Full back Jordan Kerr left the field with a knee injury and minutes later stand-off Alan Birdsall making his 1st appearance this season was unable to continue with a hand injury.
Whitecraigs missed a couple of penalties but there were signs that the Saints were playing with a bit more composure that we had seen this season. Scrum half Andrew Ainslie was making some good decisions, Michael Yates playing inside centre was making great runs and the forwards were winning the scrums and the rucks.
After another drive into the Saints 5 metre Whitecraigs were awarded a scrum and despite going backwards the no. 8 picked up drew the cover and fed the scrum half to score an easy try, the conversion was missed.
Saints responded with a great break by Daniel Henderson to Villi Satala and finally Michael Yates to score a try. Graeme Gemmell missed the conversion. Whitecraigs heavy pack rumbled the ball back into the Saints 5 metre and the line but some fantastic defence kept them out before Villi Satala ran the ball out of defence to safety on the half way line. Half time Dumfries 5 Whitecraigs 5
Saints lost the benefit of their superior scrummage with Whitecraigs losing 2 props through injury and going to uncontested scrums. However man of the match Michael Yates was revelling in the inside centre role and what ground we lost in the scrums we more than made up in driving runs through the centre.
Whitecraigs went to 14 men due to a sin binning for a tip tackle. After another great run by Michael Yates, Gareth McCall picked up the ball from a ruck and drove over to go ahead, Kenny Henderson converted to take the score to 12 5. Minutes later he added a penalty to go up 15 5.
Another run by Michael Yates put Dougie Boyd behind the posts for his first try for the 1st team which Kenny Henderson converted to go 22 5 up. Dumfries tails were up and Whitecraigs were tiring and the last 10 minutes were all Dumfries, following some continued possession the ball went through several sets of hands at pace for Dougie Boyd to offload to Ali Mather for a try, Villi Satala converted with a drop goal.
A brilliant individual effort by Kenny Henderson put him over for the final try, Andrew Ainslie missed the conversion.
This was a confidence building cup win for the Saints and should set them up well for a return to Fort Matilda to play Greenock Wanderers this weekend.
Team: Sean Graham, Fraser Paul, A Prentice, A Mather, B Hunt, S Renwick, R Henderson, M McClatchie, A Ainslie, A Birdsall, M Yates, K Henderson G Gemmell, J Kerr; Subs all used V Satala, J Campion and D Henderson.
Villi breaks a tackle
Michael Yates gets ball away
Andrew Ainslie gets good possession from ruck