The Duns Mini Bears braved snow showers and freezing temperatures with a skeleton, illness and injury ravaged squad to take on the might of the Borders at the Greenyards in Melrose on Sunday. Although victories were few and far between those that made it battled hard.
The Baby Bears continue to turn up with good numbers even on a snowy day in Melrose. It was a tightly officiated tournament and scores were hard to come by for all. Duns again registered two victories and two defeats. The two wins saw Duns scoring a solitary winning try, the first against Berwick saw Kyle Taylor scoring his 10th of the season, and then a brilliant try by Liam Longstaff was enough to beat a good Hawick team. The two defeats were also tight affairs, both ending 2 - 1 against Langholm and Melrose with tries from Harris Mitchell and Callum Kenneally respectively. Progression through the group stage was only missed by try count. Man of the match for Duns was Ethan Craze who once again was like a tackling machine today.
There were also some encouraging signs of progress from the Fab Fours who had suddenly and mysteriously worked out ball placement in the tackle and recycling of the ball. The resulting continuity and some good support work saw every player that played in all four matches scoring at least once. Sadly defence was less impressive and the resulting try leakage meant a five all draw with Langholm was their best result although the 5-4 loss to Melrose was also a great match. Rio Akpokavi led the charge with some strong running resulting in 10 tries. Aron Dickson joined in with 2 and there was one each for Martin Vernon, Sam Brady, Ben Simmonds and Lewis Learmonth.
The Famous Fives were missing a few key stalwarts and the cold meant they were missing a few tackles as well. That said they had close run games with both Langholm and Watsonians, going down 7-5 and 5-3 respectively. As with the Fours there was some fine off-loading resulting in much improved continuity and some good running rugby despite the conditions. Finlay Hamilton added 7 tries to his tally, Connall Stanforth scored three and we are grateful to Johnny fra’ Berwick who helped out for the day and contributed 3 more.
The Super Sixes and Storming Sevens battled hard with limited numbers and showed great spirit. It was a good day for the Scott brothers with Ally running in a couple of tries for the Sevens and Dean one for the Sixes. Matthew Marwick also scored for the Sixes.
Next week we battle on to the Kelso Tournament at Poynder Park. Either meet at the club at 9.45 or in Kelso at 10.15. Kick Off will be at 11.