It was a close affair – Sean McNee, Helensburgh’s hooker and vice-captain, was up against chris greco
, a man with whom he had shared a flat when they were sports science students at Edinburgh’s Napier University.
Sean ended up on the winning side. “It’s amazing. The supporters have been everything to this match from their send-off on Friday through to today. Dunbar played so well and put so much into it. It’s a dream come true for us,” he said.
In a frenetic opening, Dunbar’s supporters were first to be heard, as outside centre Gary Peebles
threatened with a hack-on.
The East Lothian side, RBS Club of the Month for March, showed confidence, opting for a kick to the touchline when they were awarded a penalty in five minutes, only to concede a turnover inches from the Helensburgh line.
That settled Helensburgh, who saw full-back David Sterry, miss their first scoring chance, when he miscued with an 11th minute penalty.
On the quarter hour, however, hands in the ruck enabled Sterry to land his second attempt at goal and Helensburgh had the lead.
Abortive drop-goal attempts from David Riding and Sterry kept matters close and in first-half injury time, Dunbar captain Jamie Peters
’ attempt to level the scores with a penalty rebounded off the upright.
Half-time: Dunbar 0 Helensburgh 3
Sterry eventually attuned his radar with a 55th minute penalty and as the game entered it’s final hour Helensburgh’s left wing set out on a voyage of discovery to hitherto unmapped territory this afternoon. It was fitting that a man named Drake should do just that.
From broken play, left-wing Johnny Drake hacked on into Murrayfield’s vast in-goal area and got the touch for the game’s first try. Sterry converted to leave the West Regional Division 2 side 13 points to the good.
Was that the tie in the bag? Try suggesting that to Dunbar. After a wave of same way attack, Dunbar switched right and then, at last, found space in midfield for sub Sandy Thomson
to dot down. Peters converted to set up a grandstand finale.
However, Helensburgh were the more collected in the remaining plays and emerged victorious with Dunbar substitute prop Andrew Lunam
sin-binned on the 80th minute.
Congratulations to Helensburgh for their success as it has been well deserved and we were beaten by the better team on the day. Hopefully it wont be too long before we can return to Murrayfield