Dumfries Saints 41 Orkney 12
Saints enjoyed getting back into competitive action having played their last league game 6 weeks ago. The powerful Orkney side started very strong pinning the Saints into their own half and starving them of the ball, apart from scrambled clearances, for nearly 10 minutes. Then young James Clyde, a colt from last year, playing 2nd row stole an Orkney lineout ball on the halfway. A simple miss pass in the centre with Kenny Henderson joining the line at pace from full back saw him slice through the defence to score out wide. The conversion was missed but Saints had shown how dangerous their backs could be.
Not to be outdone the forwards were dominating the scrums and getting some fast possession at the breakdown. After some pick and go Number 8 Paddy Coupar held up the Orkney defence on their 22 with a delayed pop pass to Finlay Miller who darted under the posts for Saints second try converted by Jordan Kerr.
Paddy was involved in the next one as well when the Saints scrum pushed Orkney off their own put in he picked up at back of the scrum drew the defence and popped the ball to Beanie who sliced through the Orkney defence. Jordan Kerr converted and Saints were up 19 nil.
Orkney dominated the rest of the first half keeping the ball tight and pressurising the Saints defence which held up till time added for injury when Orkney powered over in the corner and the missed conversion was the last kick of the half.
As frequently happens a score before half time boosts a team and Orkney started the second half with confidence, control and determination. Saints defence had to perform at their best to keep Orkney out in a rare visit into the Orkney half won a kickable penalty from their dominant scrum. Jordan Ker took the score to 22 : 5.
Orkney were visibly tiring and Saints took their opportunities well. After some great handling that stretched the Orkney defence Paddy Coupar scored in the corner, the conversion was missed. Orkney came back down the pitch and were turned over 5 metres off the Saints line and rather than kick into the wind the Saints launched a counter from behind their own line with John Carlisle, taking the ball to the 10 metre line, Kenny Henderson carrying on into the Orkney half and Aaron Booth finishing off under the Orkney posts for Jordan Kerr to convert.
More great handling from Saints and Paddy got his second try under the posts and Jordan got his third conversion.
All credit to Orkney they summoned up a final attack and after sustained pressure in the Saints 22 put 12 players into a maul to win a great consolation try and conversion in the last minutes.
This was a far closer game than the score line showed but Saints spent long periods looking very comfortable in both defence and attack where they created opportunities and took them well. Next Saturday is cup and league double header away at RHC who Saints narrowly beat at home back in September
Dumfries Saints 41 Orkney 12