Berwick RFC 59 North Berwick 7
Berwick earn bonus point with emphatic win over northern name sakes
With no game last week due to the structure of the league Berwick were keen to get game time under their belt before next week’s local derby against Duns. The Berwick coaches of Colin Young, Paul Pringle and Owen Weatherhead must have been pleased with the attitude shown from the off as Berwick started brightly. They had to allow the visitors some territory and possession but after five minutes they were able to break the deadlock and settle any nerves. Fly half Jack Webster finished off a series of moves which created space in the middle which Webster was able to use to the full by breaking past the defence to touch down. Andrew Skeen added the extra points to make it 7-0 after as many minutes. North Berwick again took the ball to the home side but yet again couldn’t find the necessary cutting edge and with a sense of déjà vu Berwick went back up the pitch to score another well worked try. This time it was winger Gareth Hill who was the beneficiary of some good controlled possession to create the gap which Hill was able to exploit. Skeen missed the conversion from near the touchline but Berwick were 12-0 up and looking in control. The third try came along mid-way through the first half and this time it was more of an individual effort as centre Duncan Hardie scored. The defence was well positioned when he got the ball and there looked no danger of a score. Hardie beat not just one man, not just two men but three defenders were left grasping at air as he jinked his way through to score near the posts. The conversion was added by Skeen and Berwick were 19-0 up. The bonus point try was scored after 25 minutes as Hill doubled his tally with a similar score to his first. Good forward attacks gradually sucking in the defence and then good ball recycling to set the backs free with Hill being the beneficiary of the hard work of the forwards. Skeen added the conversion and Berwick were 26-0 up and with the game looking as if it was won before half time. The forwards were providing a good platform for the backline with Captain Tom Jackson and second row Scott Owens leading the way, ably supported by Ryan Wilson, Mason Emery and Tommy McColl. However North Berwick showed that they didn’t think the game was over and fought back to mount some sustained pressure of their own and their hard work and commitment combined with their dogged attitude saw them score a deserved try. With the conversion being added by the scorer – Ben Moffat – the half time whistle blew with Berwick leading 26-7.
The heavens opened at the beginning of the second half and Berwick took the opportunity of a comfortable lead to bring on all of the substitutes to give them game time. Aidan Rosie was one of the players brought on and in playing at inside centre he provided pace and strength and earned himself a try. Having been a regular scorer in the second team this season so far, he plucked a loose pass up and set off like Billy Whizz down the pitch bursting passed the last defender to score a fine try. The conversion as good from Skeen and Berwick lead 33-7. Having got the taste of scoring Rosie added to his tally within minutes but this was built by the pack as they created the narrowest of spaces with some good drives from Euan Thompson and Stuart Gilchrist which saw the narrowest of lines for Rosie to pick up and score from two yards out right on the touchline. Skeen scored a peach of a conversion, given the angle, to make it 40-7. The weather got worse as the mist started to roll in but the visitors still didn’t give up and were able to mount attacks of their own but Berwick’s defence was well marshalled and kept them out but there were no scores for a good 15 minutes in the second half.
The next score eventually came with the match moving into the last ten minutes of play and it came from Rory Hindhaugh. Hindhaugh had a mixed bag of a game by his own high standards and was getting increasingly frustrated with some missed opportunities. Hindhaugh stuck at it and his determination got a just reward as he at last got to the try line to touch down. The conversion was missed to make it 45-7. The half century was secured with a good piece of rugby from one of the other substitutes – Jack Dalrymple. The score came from a lovely piece of running from the backs which saw Dalrymple step off his left leg to cut back inside to make the incisive break inside which left the defence floundering and with a ruthless edge he brought the score to 50-7. Skeen added the extras to make it 52-7. With time running out there was just enough time for Hill to bag his hat trick. A penalty on one side of the pitch was quickly taken and kicked across field where Hill allowed the ball to bounce high enough in the air to make it a simple catch and short run to score his third try. As Skeen’s conversion sailed over the bar the referee brought the game to an end with the full time score 59-7.
This was a good game of running rugby and the makeshift North Berwick team played their part with some good rugby but they just couldn’t find the cutting edge to give them more points. The home side were clinical, efficient and utterly ruthless in their play and with a settled side they are starting to create chances when it appears none are there. The forwards are winning enough quality ball from line out and scrum to provide a good platform from which attacks can be launched. The Berwick backline has quality all across it and the performances of the bench on Saturday saw that the depth of talent available to the coaching team is as good as it has been at Berwick for some time. But the formbook goes out the window this weekend as the Blacks make their shortest trip of the season as they travel to their local rivals for the border match against Duns. A 3pm kick off at Duns – all supporters welcome to travel!
1) Darren Goodfellow 2) Ryan Wilson 3) Tom Jackson - Captain 4) Euan Thompson 5) Scott Owens 6) Mason Emery 7) Adam Pearson 8) Tommy McColl 9) Cameron Rogerson 10) Jack Webster 11) Jamie Pick 12) Duncan Hardie 13) Andrew Skeen 14) Gareth Hill 15) Rory Hindhaugh
Jack Dalrymple, Aidan Rosie and Stuart Gilchrist. – All used.