Dunfermline 12 - Bannockburn 13
Scottish summer at it's best whilst Dunfermline plays on both sides
Dunfermline 12 Bannockburn 13 (Two Dunfermline players in opposing team)
Match Report by Alan Parker
The skies were grey and the rain at times horizontal. Had this been 24th June 1314, the auld enemy would probably have gone home rather sooner. The boys did not let the cold and rain trouble them to begin with. After a pre-match warm up they were in fine spirits to take on the might of Bannockburn, which consisted of four players and a dog! Adam and Ruaridh volunteered to even the sides and the game kicked off with a lovely try from Lewis with a neat little side step past the dog and over the line. Great start for Dunfermline.
Adam quickly sets the score back to evens with a nice try for Bannockburn but Sam takes the second pass from kick off and quickly uses the space on the right wing to score another for Dunfermline. The Bannockburn coach filled the time between tries with a slightly unorthodox coaching style that could see him entertaining audiences at the Apollo. Bannockburn came in for their second try but it was knocked off and the play brought back as the player had went into touch. Dunfermline boys, including Adam and Ruaridh for Bannockburn, demonstrated some very good ‘rings of steel’ in their tackling. Adam scores another try and evens the score to 2-2.
The rain got heavier but all the players were fully committed to the game and didn’t let it put them off. There was plenty of enthusiasm and positive play all round. Sam scores another try taking the ball for a run up the right wing almost unopposed, with excellent support from Euan and gives Dunfermline back the lead. Bannockburn give a quick reply and even the score yet again. Findlay, with both hands on the ball, puts in maximum effort and drives towards the Bannockburn line. The opposition just manage to get him into touch and it prompts a mini coaching session from the coaches on ‘hitting the deck’. The boys lap it up and crack on through the wind and rain with James making a lovely weaving run all the way to the line making it 4-3. Euan makes an early tackle at the kick off but Adam, for Bannockburn, opens the legs all the way to the line and evens the score yet again. Exciting stuff. Arthur looks to give the Dunfermline the lead again with one eye on the try line but a Bannockburn player just manages to force him into touch. The cold is taking its toll and a number of unforced errors are made by both teams, however, James takes the initiative and gives Dunfermline the lead and the ref blows for full time. 5-4
The coaches decided to break the players down into two groups and do some focused coaching on passing and defence.
The coaching session has paid dividends. The game starts with some nice passing and tackling from both sets of players. Bannockburn eventually settle on the ball and Adam, the honorary Bannockburn player, gets them off to a flying start with a well-run in try. Again, the play is exciting and both teams have good spells with the ball but wee mistakes coming in now, as the players suffer from the Scottish summer.
Arthur draws the scores back to even with an elegant run up the right wing and over the line but Ruaridh puts Bannockburn back on top with another try. 2-1
Euan once again shows great determination and strength in the middle of the park. He provides Lewis with a nice pass which sees boy and ball cleverly outmanoeuvre two opposition players and Dunfermline even the score again. Unfortunately, at this point Euan picks up an injury (only because of sheer determination to stay on his feet whilst being tackled) and goes off for some motherly treatment. Bannockburn see an opportunity here and Ruaridh slides it over for 3-2.
Euan appears back on the pitch with gusto. He drives for the line after a nice pass from Lewis and drags two Bannockburn players over the line to even the score. Ruaridh runs in Bannockburn’s 4th try and they also score a 5th after some clean passes between three players before going over the line.
Lewis shows fighting spirit as the game time runs down and gives Dunfermline a try to close the gap. James quickly evens with a good run from the centre of the pitch. Bannockburn reply with a run straight through the middle and touch down for number 6. It’s touch and go here as James gives Dunfy another equaliser.
The boys continue to work hard but the cold is beginning to tell and the game is coming to a close with Adam and James both capitalising for their respective teams and Bannockburn increase the gap by another to finish the game 9-7
All in all, a fantastic performance by our young players in testing conditions. It was unfortunate that Bannockburn provided a small team but this gave Dunfermline an opportunity to field all players for both games. Once again the coaches interspersed with coaching tips that helped the youngsters to learn during the match.