DUNS 2nd XV 75 points, MUSSELBURGH 3rd XV 3 points.
Duns Second string entertained Musselburgh Thirds in the RBS Reserve leagues at the Hardens on saturday, and recorded an emphatic, 13-try win which maintains their unbeaten start to the season.
Call ups to the First XV had deprived the Seconds of three or four of the previous week's side, and other unavailabilities due to work commitments meant that the team was much changed from that which had beaten Livingston Seconds seven days previously.
Musselburgh arrived with only 12 players, but deserve enormous credit for travelling to Duns so short-handed. Duns had 16 players available at 3 pm, so the match started at 14-a-side with John Warren and Ben Foreman kindly agreeing to play for the opposition. Two late arrivals saw each team with a full compliment of 15 players by half time.
The visitors kicked off down the Hardens slope, and took the lead on 5 minutes with a well struck penalty.
Duns, however, were in almost total control of the match behind the scrum. It seemed that whenever the ball came along the back line they had the pace and guile to beat their opponents, and coupled with an apparent unwillingness to tackle throughout the Musselburgh team the scores came at regular intervals. By half time - blown early by the referee after only 35 minutes - Duns had scored 8 tries, through Jamie Semple ( 2 ), Mattie Taylor, Craig Renton, John Walker, Stevie Crawford, Jacob Cotton and Tom Swan. Two conversions from Stevie Crawford and one by Craig Renton saw Duns lead by 46 - 3 at the break.
At half time Mattie Taylor swapped places with Ben Foreman in the Musselburgh team, while John Warren politely declined to be replaced by Michael Burns, the hirsute Duns prop racking up more clubs this season than an employee at a Jacob's biscuit factory.
Playing down the slope in the second half, Duns took five minutes or so to settle and then began to score almost at will. Stevie Crawford and Tom Swan each scored their second, Jamie Semple registered his third, and there were also tries for Daniel Wright and veteran Jamie Renton, who raced around in the October sun like a newborn foal. Craig Renton kicked a conversion, and Michael Burns drop-kicked a conversion. Stevie Crawford's 14 points in the match makes him the club's top points scorer this season with 68.
At this point in the proceedings the referee spoke to both captains and blew for full time, which in the circumstances was probably the best thing to do. The clock said 3.55 pm so the entire match, including the half time break and the odd stoppage for injury, had lasted only 55 minutes which must be some kind of record.
The young Duns side now sit well clear at the top of their league, and have registered 5 big wins in 5 matches this season, scoring 270 points ( and 43 tries ) in the process. Their next fixture is this saturday when they travel to Haddington in the league.
The Duns team was :- Craig Renton; Ross Turner, Jamie Semple, Stevie Crawford and Darren Renton; Tom Swan and Jacob Cotton; Johnnie Thorburn ( captain ), Michael Burns, Stewart Calder, Scott Turnbull, John Walker, Mattie Taylor, Jamie Renton and Daniel Wright. John Warren and Ben Foreman also played, in the blue and white of Musselburgh.