DUNS COLTS 15 points, PEEBLES COLTS 13 points
Duns Colts entertained Peebles Colts at Berwickshire High School last saturday, and recorded a thrilling win by 15 points to 13 after trailing by 10 - nil at half time.
Peebles had defeated Duns by 50 points when the teams last met only 6 weeks previously, but they faced a much more determined home side this time round. Influential Duns centre Iain Sim, selected for the final Scotland trial at Under-18 level the following day, was left out of the side, although Peebles chose to start both of their Scotland triallists, and each played the first half of the match.
The small pitch at Berwickshire High School was soft, almost boggy in places, but despite this the sides served up an enthralling game which swung first one way and then the other, to be finally settled by an outrageous drop goal from almost the half way line.
Peebles opened the scoring after only five minutes of play. A kick ahead by Duns was gathered on the half-volley by the visitors' full back, with the unsighted referee missing a huge knock on as he fielded the ball. The Peebles player then set off on a run for the corner, outpacing the entire Duns side, for an excellent solo try. The conversion was missed.
After that early setback Duns did not panic and gradually they came more and more into the match. Man for man they were smaller than their opposite numbers but the tackling by the home side was fearsome, resulting in numerous knock-ons by Peebles. Honours were even until very nearly half time, when Peebles scored their second try close to the posts. The very kickable conversion attempt was missed and the visitors lead by 10 - nil at the break.
Duns seemed to step up a couple of gears in the second half, with some bullocking runs by their forwards getting the team's dander up. Scot MacEachen, Steven Markby and Charlie Marshall all charged into the Peebles midfield to gain valuable yards for their side, and after a spell camped inside the visitors' 22 Dylan Renton crashed over from close range for the first Duns try. The conversion attempt went wide of the posts.
Now with the wind in their sails Duns hit Peebles with everything they had. Dylan Renton made a break from just outside the visitors' 22 and as he was tackled he intelligently popped a pass inside to James Thomson. The Duns scrum half crossed for the equalising try, and Dom Ginn's conversion gave the home side the lead for the first time with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
Undeterred, Peebles came straight back at Duns, and were awarded a penalty just inside the home 22. The shot at goal glanced the inside of the right post, but it was successful and the visitors had the lead with time ticking away.
Duns then pressured the Peebles line, but coughed up possession only metres out. A long clearance kick seemed to relieve the pressure, but it was gathered by Duns full back Dom Ginn who steadied himself, took aim, and launched a drop kick at the Peebles posts. No-one could quite believe that he had attempted the kick from such long range, but it sailed between the posts to give Duns the lead again. This was only the second time that a drop kick had ever been scored by Duns Colts, the first coming from Keith Cockburn 15 seasons ago.
The home side then had to endure a nervy final couple of minutes to the match, but a knock on from Peebles heralded the final whistle to the match, and a hard-earned but desreved two league points had been won.
Duns entertain Kelso Harlequins at Berwickshire High School this saturday in a re-arranged league match. Please try to get along to see the youngsters in action - kick off is at 3 pm.
The Duns team against Peebles was :- Dom Ginn; Andrew Sanderson, Callum Redden, Steven Patterson and Angus Baker; Euan Fleming and James Thomson; Dylan Renton, Patrick Watson ( captain ), Ben Gray, Steven Markby, Chris Brown, Scot MacEachen, Charlie Marshall and Lewis Craik. The replacements were Rafael Goncalves, Rob White, Douglas Turnbull, Wesley Hirst, Jack Clayworth and Ryan Glennie.