Duns welcomed Berwick to the New High School pitches for the teams 3rd meeting of the season to play the 1st round of the Border Cup. The home team were looking to avenge their two earlier defeats to Berwick in the league this season. Duns kicked off with the wind in their favour but as with many games this season found themselves behind early on. Berwick’s first score came from a scrum on the home 22 when woeful tackling allowed the visitors to cross the line. The second score on 5 minutes came from an interception as the Duns backs tried to run the ball from their own line. The Colts narrowed the gap on ten minutes when Dom Gin slotted a penalty award when the Berwick pack were found guilty of entering the ruck from the side. The gap was narrowed further when after a good spell of pressure the ball found it’s way out to Iain Sim
who did well to score in the corner as he was almost decapitated by a high tackle in the process of scoring. Gin reduced the Berwick lead to a single point when he converted his second penalty as the visiting forwards went off their feet at a ruck, something they were guilty of all match but weren’t always penalised. The last fifteen minutes of the half saw Duns try to take the lead but errors cost them at the crucial moment. Half time Duns 11 Berwick 12.
Berwick started the second half well and put the home side under pressure, they elected to kick a penalty on ten minutes but it went wide. From the restart the Duns pack switched off and as they had the chance to pressure their opponents, who made a hash of fielding the kick, Berwick ran the ball back from the half way to score almost unopposed. Three tries conceded from poor defence, which in the end cost Duns the match. A glimmer of hope came from some outstanding play by Greg Gillan on fifteen minutes, Duns started an attack from their own 22, the ball was fed out to Angus Webster
on the wing, and just when he seemed to be tied up he slipped the ball to Gillan who set of from his own ten yard line and as the defender showed him the outside, with only a couple of yards to work in he stepped round his flailing arms and scored beside the posts. Gin had the chance to take the lead with the conversion but his attempt was blown wide by the strong wind. The home side tried to get the winning score and with ten minutes left to play were given a numerical advantage when, just as Berwick looked to be going over to score, the referee penalised them for foul play and sent one of their pack to the sin bin. Any thoughts of a win were dashed two minutes later when the Berwick pack again found themselves near the home line and from a penalty the quick tap allowed them to go over, again all too easy. Berwick ended the match with another score to win 27 to 16.
Duns now face Langholm at home this Saturday in the consolation competition. No doubt the players will be keen to get a win under their belts before the season ends and should need no motivation after Langholm had called off the league fixture as the bus was about to leave Duns a few weeks ago.