Forrester played with ferocity, passion and no little skill to thoroughly deserve the win. From the first minute their tactics were to throw men at the break down and then get the ball wide where their sizeable back line bashed up the field. When they were stopped the ball was recycled well and the same tactics repeated. The first score came within the first few minutes when their winger crashed over for the score. The conversion was missed but Forrester were 5-0 up. With their tails up Forrester continued their frenzied start putting all of the pressure on Berwick. The Blacks defence proved resilient and after 15 minutes the Blacks started to exert some pressure of their own. A superb Berwick scrum on the Forrester 5 yard line gained a turnover when they forced Forrester to touch down over their own line. Unfortunately the Blacks couldn’t repeat the job as the ball shot out of the scrum allowing Forrester to make a desperate clearance. The Blacks weren’t to be denied though and levelled the score just a minute later. The score owed much to a large slice of luck when a desperate attempt to clear the ball by Forrester was miscued to allow Lee Douglas
to pounce on the ball for the score. Berwick missed the conversion but at least the scores were even with 20 minutes played.
The game then became more physical and not all of it was legal. Lee Douglas
and Colin Young
both suffered from off the ball incidents with Douglas receiving a sizeable cut to his head. The referee didn’t spot a lot of the incidents and as a result both sides can count themselves lucky not to have more penalties awarded against them as the players started to take matters into their own hands. Berwick seemed to be the most unsettled of the two sides and there followed a passage of aerial ping pong between the two sides. After several kicks Berwick’s attempt at a clearance to touch failed to find the mark and this gave Forrester the ball in an excellent position which they exploited fully by scoring after punching through mid-field and spinning the ball wide. The Berwick error was compounded when the conversion was added to give the home side a 12-5 lead. Berwick couldn’t put together any sustained pressure and didn’t look like scoring until Webster narrowly missed a long range penalty as it came off the cross bar in the last 5 minutes. With the last kick of the half Forrester scored with a penalty attempt after Berwick were penalised for holding onto the ball. Half time score 15-5 to Forrester.
Both coaches obviously wound the players up at half time as both sides came out fighting. Unfortunately the game became more bad tempered as the off the ball incidents continued. Eventually Stuart Cockburn was sin binned along with an opposition player after a piece of foul play from Forrester sparked a frank exchange of views involving a dozen players. Cockburn could perhaps count himself unfortunate to be the one singled out by the referee for punishment when it could have been one of the others involved. The next score was likely to be decisive and it came from Forrester when after a solid scrum they exploited a gap out wide to touch down. The conversion was missed. From the resultant kick off Berwick found themselves permanently down to 14 men when Cockburn received a second yellow card and automatic red for tackling a player in the air when he was trying to catch the ball. With 20 minutes of the game to go it allowed Forrester to relax a little. Forrester added another converted try soon after to give them a 27-5 lead. Berwick continued to battle to the end and eventually Gareth Black
scored a consolation try in the last few minutes which was converted by Webster. The game ran out with Forrester winning 27-12.
Commenting after the game First Team Manager Owen Weatherhead
commented that “there is a lot of work to be done this week ahead of the derby game against Duns. We just didn’t seem to have the same desire to win the game as Forrester did. The way they cheered at full time it is obvious they were delighted to beat us. It’s just so disappointing to lose like that after the hard work we’ve put in.”
This weekend’s game is the local derby with Duns. There is a pre-match lunch and places can be booked via Lesley in the Club Office. With Duns posting a convincing 37-17 win against Portobello they will go into the game as favourites to put one over Berwick and so earn local bragging rights. Kickoff is 3pm at Scremerston.
Berwick Team: R McFarlane, J Webster, J Meechan, A Hamilton, M Brennan, N Graham, J Patterson, D Ord, G Black, J Young, G Logan, S Cockburn, A Grieve, C Young, L Douglas. Subs (All used) D Eagleton, C Lothian, T McColl.