Good win for Saints in stormy conditions
Dumfries Saints ...................... 21 Falkirk ...................................... 3
Saints took on Falkirk at Park Farm on Saturday in gale force winds so it was no place for the faint-hearted.
Saints played into the gale in the first half and their ball carriers made hard yards up field only for the slippery ball to spill for Falkirk to clear kick it all the way back to the Saints 22.
The wind made lineouts a lottery but Saints had the edge in the scrum.
At 12 minutes in , an unfortunate penalty for not rolling away gave Falkirk a kick at goal in front of the posts to put them three points up.
That was the only score of the first half. Even with the wind in their backs, any attacks by Falkirk were dealt with by the resolute Saints defence.
Some terrific carries from Jack Steele, Craig Goldie, Euan Miller and Michael Yates, with support play from the whole Saints squad, but in particular James Clyde and David Andrew, kept a surprising amount of the game played in the Falkirk half.
Playing into the wind in the second half, Falkirk could not rely on the boot to clear their lines and did not have the ball carriers to take the game into the Saints half.
At eight minutes in, after sustained pressure inside the Falkirk five metre, a clearance kick bent in the wind to go into touch behind the kicker.
The lineout on the five metre went to a ruck from which James Clyde picked up and drove over for the first try.
Alan Birdsall took the kick from eight metres in from the left on the 22, aimed across the field and the wind carried it between the posts. Saints 7 Falkirk 3.
Five minutes later Birdsall was presented with a penalty on the 22 just to the left of the posts. His judgement of the wind was a couple of inches out but the rebound from the post fell to an alert Kenny Henderson who scored between the posts. Birdsall converted to make it Saints 14 Falkirk 3.
From a lineout inside the Falkirk 22, David Andrew caught and drove it for Craig Goldie to carry forward and then finished under the posts by Michael Yates with a pick and go.
Birdsall drop kicked the conversion Saints, 21 Falkirk 3.
This was real hard-working team performance and a great result in the conditions.
Next week Saints are on the road again against Whitecraigs in an early kick off to suit the Fiji international.
Squad: C Goldie, D Boyd, A Prentice, J Clyde, D Andrew, B Johnstone, R Cruickshank, E Miller, A Birdsall, J Strain, R Neill, M Yates, J Steele (captain), A Whiteford, S Hiddleston, K Brown, JP Thomson, J Currie and K Henderson. Action from the Irvine v Annan match on Saturday
The Saints 2nd XV beat West of Scotland 12-7 on the other pitch to make it an excellent day for Dumfries.
Tennent’s National League Division 2
P W L D F A B Biggar 10 10 0 0 444 77 8 Highland 10 8 2 0 302 146 8 Stewart’s Melville 10 7 3 0 296 205 6 Preston Lodge 10 6 4 0 323 255 8 Dumfries Saints 10 6 3 1 374 179 5 Falkirk 10 6 4 0 255 261 6 Peebles 10 5 4 1 238 183 7 Whitecraigs 10 3 6 1 269 318 7 GHK 10 3 6 1 212 365 2 Glasgow Accies 10 2 7 1 190 345 4 Howe of Fife 10 1 8 1 230 519 5 Lasswade 10 0 10 0 150 427 6
With the 1st XV losing last weekend for the second game in a row, they have now lost touch with the top four. The West 1 league is now splitting into three:
• Allan Glens, East Kilbride, Greenock Wanderers and Garnock at the top battling for promotion.
• Annan, Irvine, Cambuslang and Stewartry who can’t afford to lose again if they want to challenge at the top plus not 100 per cent safe from relegation but looking safe unless a total collapse.
• Kilmarnock, Strathendrick, Cumnock and Dalziel probably fighting to avoid relegation but a decent run from any of the teams would keep them safe.
Tennent’s West Regional Division 1
P Allan Glens 9 East Kilbride 9 Greenock Ws 9 Garnock 9 Annan 9 Irvine 10 Cambuslang 10 Stewartry 10 Kilmarnock 9 Strathendrick 9 Cumnock 10 Dalziel 9
W L 8 1 7 2 6 2 7 2 5 3 5 5 4 5 4 6 2 6 3 6 2 8 1 8
D F A 0 378 143 0 263 163 1 396 170 0 284 137 1 231 248 0 228 269 1 247 326 0 259 311 1 172 236 0 155 260 0 176 359 0 157 324
B Pts 6 38 7 35 8 34 6 34 5 27 6 26 6 24 7 23 4 14 1 13 5 13 3 7
The 1st XV welcome Kilmarnock 1st XV to Annan for the 14th time at 1st XV competitive level. Founded in 1868 the Ayrshire team are celebrating their 150th year.
Both teams have lost their last two games so both will be wanting to stop the rot before it gets out of hand!
Players to meet at 11.15am for the 12.30pm kick-off to allow players and spectators to watch the Scotland v Fiji game in the clubhouse afterwards.
The 2nd XV are also at home when they will be hoping to get a full 15 out as they entertain Hillhead Jordanhill in their latest West reserve 2 match.
The Warriors are off to take on Stewartry Sirens on Sunday in the Premier B League.
With only three teams in Premier B and after the Warriors’ great bonus point win against Cartha Ladies, the Warriors would end up on top of the mini Premier B table with any sort of win on Sunday.
A win for the Sirens then it would all come down to their last game away to Cartha the following week. A Cartha win there and it would all come down to bonus points and difference.
There will be a bus going from Annan for supporters. £10 per person. Contact Warriors manager Tracy Whiteside if you would like a seat.
Players to meet at Bank Street for a 11.30am for the 2pm kick-off.
Pts 48 40 34 32 31 30 29 21 16 14 11 6
The U14s Tigers will be taking on Ardrossan at Violetbank in their latest T4 West match on Sunday. Players to meet as arranged with the coaches. Also on Sunday, the three P1-P7 Tigers teams are off to Dumfries Rugby for their latest round of games.
The Tigers had a great set of matches last Sunday in Biggar and will be hoping to continue their fine form at Park Farm.
Parents and players to meet at 10.30am at Dumfries for an 11am start.