Dumfries Saints 2ndXV 13 – Biggar 2ndXV 17
Last Saturday at a bright but blustery Park Farm, the Saints second string played host to National Reserve League Division 2 side Biggar. With the game played as a trial match the respective management teams agreed on a 4 by 20 minute format to allow for multiple changes as the coaches sought to assess new players and try new combinations.
The first period started with Biggar choosing to play with the wind at their back. They immediately took play deep into Saints territory. Within 10 minutes of the start the young Saints needed no reminding of the calibre of the opposition they were caught ball watching and the quick transferred ball by the Biggar backs, helped by a couple of missed tackles, saw them cross in the corner to take an early lead. They then laid siege to the Saints line and only good defence kept them at bay. Slowly the young home team started to believe in themselves and made good ground through the forwards and centre pairing.
The second session saw Saints have the benefit of the wind and they set up camp in the visitors half. By this time the Seconds were starting to string together some impressive phases of continuity rugby. Sadly, they couldn’t cross the whitewash and a sole Campion penalty was all they had to show for their efforts.
With the third session going with the wind, Biggar scored a converted try to extend their lead. Again, solid defence limited the opposition to the one score leaving the fourth and final session with all to play for.
Saints immediately took play into the Biggar half and were rewarded by a very opportunistic sneak try from Captain Simon Robertson to narrow the score. Not to be undone and against the run of play Biggar fought their way up field and scored the day’s only points into the wind. Saints came back at the opposition and a break out and speculative kick ahead saw Gavin Mack win the foot race to touch down in the corner. Try as they might the final winning score eluded Saints and they had to settle for a final score of Saints 13 – Biggar 17.
This was a good performance against visitors, packed with older or more streetwise individuals. Only relegated from National Division 1 at the end of last season they proved a stiff task for the very young Saints side. There is much to be happy about and many positives to be taken from this performance and it will bode well for the new season. Pictures courtesy of Ali Burgess can be accessed on the link below.
Saints 2nd XV Team (who all played)
Backs: G Mack; M Smith; K Riddick; R Davidson; D Lewis; S Burgess; J Campion; D McCornick; S Lethardy; E Burgess.
Forwards: R Strawbridge; S Robertson (c); R Middleton; F Carson; W Greene; M McClatchey; J Little; B Haggerty; D Crichton; B Farish
Next Saturday 28th August the 2nd’s will return the fixture and travel to Biggar.