Tight defeat in basement battle
When Dundee High Rugby broke their duck of four straight defeats in their four opening Tennent’s National 1 games, they did it at Dumbreck against Cartha Q/P.
However, with neither side enjoying much good fortune since then, Saturday’s encounter at Mayfield became a torrid basement battle.
Cartha took the spoils this time with a narrow 36-33 win.
It looked at one point as though they were going to exact an awful price for that earlier defeat, but Dundee actually came within a whisker of doing a double over their Glasgow opponents.
Cartha came out of the blocks with a vengeance and ran in tries from Juan Phypher, Jake Graham and Peter Hollier, with Wayne Burrows converting two to take a 19-0 lead.
Dundee dug deep, though and before the break tries from Duncan McIntyre and Harry Meadows, with Fraser McKay converting the second, ensured the 19-12 half-time scoreline was more respectable.
Cartha raced away again after the break with a Jonny Campion try converted by Burrows who added a penalty to stretch the score to 29-12.
However, it was then that the Dundee fightback really got under way.
McKay converted his own try then added the kick to the bonus clinching score by Angus Thomson.
So when they were awarded a penalty try they took the lead for the first time and a win looked a real possibility.
That possibility was shattered when, with seconds remaining, Ryan Flett went over for Cartha’s fifth try. Graham converted and what had been a nailbiter of a game resulted in Cartha getting revenge.
The bottom of the Tennent’s National 1 table is now really hotting up to be a genuine battle, with Hamilton ninth on 24 points, Dundee behind them on 23 with Kirkcaldy and Cartha in the bottom two places with 21 and 20 points apiece.
Kirkcaldy have a game in hand over the other three but they could only manage a losing bonus when GHA pitched up at Beveridge Park.
Kirkcaldy had tries from Dayle Turner and Scott Anderson with Finlay Smith landing two penalties and a conversion.
However, with nine points from Murray Houston’s try and two conversions then a try apiece from Grant Mollison, Andy Purwall and Ross Angus to tie up the try bonus, the points were heading back to Braidholm with a 24-18 win in the bag.
In Tennent’s National 2, Lasswade and Howe of Fife squared off at Hawthornden and there was only one conversion in it.
Howe trailed 10-8 at the break and although at one point they had taken a 15-10 lead, that two point margin remained to the final whistle with Lasswade running out 24-22 winners thanks to a brace of tries from Alistair Elliot and a third for Ciaran Lamont, Matt Smith slotting a crucial three conversions and a penalty.
That was mirrored by Howe’s try count with strikes by Chris Mann, Ryan Hood and Grant Suttie.
However, Suttie’s boot produced only two conversions and a penalty.
The position at the bottom of National 2 is just as tight as the league above with only two points separating GHK on 21, Lasswade on 20 and Howe on 19.
The same score margin separated Perthshire and Carrick at North Inch, with the result again hinging on a conversion.
Shire had four tries from Jonny Armit, Duncan Clow, Matt Croughan and Scott Alcorn.
However, Armit was successful with only one conversion while for Carrick, John Fulton added two conversions to tries from Rob Limond, Ian Parker, Blair Jardine and Connor Wylie to give the Maybole men a 24-22 win.
Perthshire and Orkney are 10th and ninth place in Tennent’s National 3 but such is the mid-table congestion, they are both only five points away from the top half of the league.