DUNS 17 points, BERWICK 6 points.
Duns v Berwick is always a tense affair and it was plain from the start that both teams were very up for this game and it started at pace.
Berwick kicked off and there was an immediate scrum. For most of the first 4 minutes there was back and forth action on or around the halfway line with Duns a little on the back foot for most of the time.
On the 4 minute mark Berwick were awarded a penalty on the 18 metre mark and Berwick's no:15 Gareth Hill successfully completed the kick putting the visiting side into an early 3 point lead.
3 minutes later Duns were again judged to be holding on and another penalty was awarded. Unfortunately for Berwick the kick was missed so the score remained at 0-3 to Berwick. The kick was cleared off the line but failed to make touch and Berwick were right back at Duns.
Again 4 minutes later Berwick were awarded another penalty which was taken by their No:15 who this time successfully completed the kick to leave the score after 11 minutes at 0-6 to Berwick.
We only had to wait another 3 minutes for Duns to get their first penalty award and the kick was taken successfully by Keiran Wilkinson narrowing the score to Duns 3- Berwick 6
At this point Duns were starting to make an impression and really trying to probe Berwick's defences. Following a good kick from Keiran Wilkinson towards the corner there was a brief skirmish that resulted in a penalty being awarded to Duns. Unfortunately Wilkinson was unable to convert the kick and the score remained 3-6 at the 20 minute mark.
After 26 minutes following more sustained pressure from Duns the home team were awarded a penalty on Berwick’s 22 in front of the posts. The penalty was for coming in from the side. This time Keiran Wilkinson made no mistake so approaching the end of the first half Duns were now back level at 6-6.
Duns were awarded another penalty following the restart, kicked to touch but were unable to capitalise on it.
Duns then came under sustained pressure on their line and Berwick were awarded a penalty which they were unable to convert. The score remained at 6-6
3 minutes later unfortunately Duns’ Chris Blaikie was yellow carded. This had followed repeated warnings by the referee to Duns about coming in from the side so the resulting penalty was inevitable. Chris wasn't the sole culprit but was the offender at the time the ref blew and had to take the hit for the team. Duns were fortunate that Berwick failed to convert the kick
2 minutes into injury time Duns were awarded another penalty and Keiran Wilkinson successfully converted it. 2 more minutes of injury time were played before the half time whistle and Duns were now 9-6 in the lead.
Duns kicked off in the second half, but the ball failed to travel the required distance so they came back for a scrum. Berwick looked as determined as they had been in the first half but Duns had now settled down and were starting to look more composed and less rushed. There was all to play for from the start of this half
5 minutes into the half Chris Blaikie came back on and Duns were now back to full strength.
12 minutes into the half after sustained pressure by Duns, and some able defence by Berwick, Duns were awarded a penalty 23 metres in front of Berwick's posts. Keiran Wilkinson was unable to convert and the score remained at 9-6.
15 minutes into the second half unfortunately Scott Lindsay received an injury to his back came off. At the same time Scott McCraw was also substituted. The two replacements were Noel Hooke and Alexander Auld.
2 minutes later after more sustained pressure by Duns they were awarded a penalty which Keiran Wilkinson successfully converted moving the score to 12-6 to Duns.
The game was certainly not lacking any pace at this time and Duns had got the wind in their sails but Berwick were by no means finished and kept up their pressure on the home team.
21 minutes into the game Duns started to really pressurise the Berwick line. A run and a kick through by David Hutchison panicked the opposition a little and their defender tried to tap it back into play rather than let it go. Duns now had the line out and really started to wind up the pressure.
Berwick defended well and were able to clear their line.
For the next 5 -6 minutes they probed into Duns’ half looking for the opening. Duns, like Berwick before, defended well and were eventually able to clear the ball and move it back up well into the Berwick half.
After 29 minutes of the half Duns were awarded another penalty but failed to convert it so after sustained pressure which Berwick were able to absorb the score remained at 12-6
Again Duns were pressurising the Berwick line both left and right but Berwick weren't giving in but eventually following a fumble by Berwick in the left hand corner, the loose ball was pounced on by Stuart Thomson and Duns had got the only try of the match. So 36 minutes into the match Duns had moved the score to 17-6. This meant that with little time to go Berwick needed to score at least twice. Berwick were unable to do this. With about a minute to go Chris Williamson, who was later to be announced as Man of the Match, was substituted by Cammy Hill.
4 minutes of injury time was played and the game finished with the score Duns 17 - Berwick 6
This was a good natured game which did get bogged down in places due to penalties but a game nevertheless competed for vigorously by both teams. Early days but Duns certainly showing a new spirit and remain unbeaten this year.
Well done to both teams for an enjoyable and hotly contested Derby game.
The Duns team was :- Dale Robertson; Ross Turner, Jamie Renton, Scott Lindsay and David Hutchison; Keiran Wilkinson and Stuart Thomson; Scott McCraw, Allen Whellans, Andrew Connor, Duncan Budge ( captain ), Stewart Cockburn, Chris Blaikie, Richard Burns and Chris Williamson. The replacements were Alexander Auld, Cammy Hill, Noel Hooke and Neil Graham.