Dumfries Saints RFC made the long journey to Orkney last weekend for this BT National 3 league fixture. The travelling side were in good form and knew that the success of the home side in recent weeks was always going to be a challenge to them. On what was a beautifully manicured pitch in Kirkwall where the game commenced in what could only be described as a very wet and windy day, something the Saints team have not had to endure so far this season.
After a very slow start the visitors were awarded a penalty 18minutes into the game. It was duly put between the posts by Ben Johnstone. The home side’s fortune turned immediately and they were then awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Score 3-3. Once play resumed and the Saints attack got under way and the home side were then penalised for a deliberate knock on. Ben Johnstone slotted the ball between the up rights to make the score 3-6.
The game at this stage was one of intense attack by the Saints and some very good defending by Orkney. A kick to touch led to a line-out in the Orkney 22 being won by Dumfries and a well manufactured ball by the backs gave Andrew Whiteford on the wing the chance to use his speed to score in the corner. The conversion was missed and the half time score was 3 -11.
The second half started with the weather having settled down and the sun trying to shine. After a few minutes the home side gave away another penalty again for a deliberate knock but the kick was missed. Dumfries then had a good spell of attacking rugby and the pressure forced a well worked break by the forwards and Finlay Miller scored in the corner . The conversion was missed. Score 3-16.
In contrast to the start of the game the second half saw a very intensive attacking game by Orkney with ground being made all the time .The pressure was so strong the home side eventually scored and put the score 8-16. Their conversion was also missed. The remaining minutes of the game were that of a solid Dumfries guarding their lead.
The Man of the match for Orkney was their hooker who had a great game and Dumfries’s Man of the Match was Jamie Graham who gave an awesome performance in the back row.
A good result for the Saints after such a long tiring journey and a great effort by the Orkney side. Saints coaches Ed Barnes and Paddy Coupar said they were very pleased the way the team performed in what was a game of 2 halves one where they gained the lead and then the solid way in which they defended .
This weekend the top of the league Dumfries face the also unbeaten GHK at Park Farm K.O 2pm. This will be a huge test for both teams before the Word Cup Final which will be shown live in the clubhouse.