Dunbar v Linlithgow
Dunbar lose heavily in Shield match
Dunbar hosted Linlithgow in the first match of 2017 in the Semi-Final of the East Region Shield competition. This will be the third time these teams have met this season, having won one match each. Dunbar had to make some positional changes but had Captain Blair Mills
back from his spell at Boroughmuir.
Dunbar were put on the back foot from the start and had a set back after just 6 minutes when Jordan Lister
received a head knock and was replaced by Ally Brown
at flanker. The visitors did cross the Dunbar line after 9 minutes but the home defence held the player up. Dunbar took one against the head at the scrum and cleared up field. Linlithgow then had a penalty attempt go wide after 14 minutes. From the twenty two, Dunbar flanker Connor Forlow took a great catch and went deep into the Linlithgow half before John Peebles
took play to the visitors try line but a knock on allowed Linlithgow to clear.
With 24 minutes played it was Linlithgow who struck first with a well worked try from flanker Mochrie. The Dunbar tackling on this occasion was suspect to say the least. The conversion from Frame was good. The visitors then extended their lead with a penalty on 28 minutes. Dunbar then scored a try through Ally Brown
when Patrizio picked up at base of the scrum before giving the scoring pass. Dunbar then gave away a soft try almost from the kick-off where the tackling down the flank was poor. Mochrie got the score for his second and Frame again converted. With the half almost up Blair Mills
scored an opportunist try and converted to bring Dunbar to within five points at the break.
Half time saw Dunbar make a change in the front row with Ben Cairns
replacing Conlin McArthur
Dunbar kicked off and immediately put pressure on the clearance kick which was charged down but fortunately for the visitors it bounced their way. Rory Wood
then came close for Dunbar before a knock on halted proceedings. Linlithgow pressed forward but the ball went loose and Mills hacked on and Peebles raced to the line but decided to kick on rather than pick up. The chase for the touch-down was close and unfortunately for Dunbar the referee was not up with play and awarded an attacking scrum. Dunbar looked the more likely to score but play went the other way and the visitors scored another try from full back Frame who also converted. Linlithgow then extended their lead on 54 minutes with another penalty. Dunbar then gave away another penalty and were marched back 10 metres and again Frame punished them with a good kick.
Dunbar then brought on Ross Blair
, a promising under 18 player for his first senior match. The youngster was barely on the park when he scored a try from close range. Mills converted to bring Dunbar back into the match with ten minutes remaining.
Dunbar would then fall apart as the visitors scored three late tries to finish off proceedings at 51-19.
This was a match all about taking your chances and Dunbar had plenty. Linlithgow now meet Murrayfield Wanderers in the final. Dunbar will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday as they get back to League duty.