Tempers flare as stormy second half sees Dyce defeated.
Huntly loose their cool and end game with 13 men
Report by Keir Liddle
A full Dyce squad travelled north to face long time rivals Huntly full of optimism following improvements in training and recent matchday performances.
The Dyce travelling support cheered a strong start with Dyce applying some strong early pressure and putting Huntly under the cosh. Dyce's pressure was rewarded with three points and the lead, as Captain David Hay kicked for goal following a Huntly infringement in front of the posts.
Dyce continued to pile on the pressure in the first half but Huntly held out and fought back to score a try and conversion.
The general flow of play was fierce with plenty of big hits and strong carries resulting in injuries to several Dyce players. Every inch of territory was hard fought, and with the Dyce line-out not functioning properly territorial gains from penalty kicks to touch led to frequent turnovers.
Shortly before half time the animosity between the two rivals that had been flaring in the first half boiled over. An attempt to stamp and trip forward Cameron Smith who was retreating on-side, followed by a number of dubious tackles from Huntly players, saw skirmishes broke out across the field and the referee looked to have briefly lost control of the game.
A cynical tackle by a green prop not 10 m back from a quick tap-and-go penalty resulted in a yellow moments before the interval, meaning Dyce ended the first half, and started the second with a man's advantage.
With the handbags stowed for now, play continued to half time without further incident.
HT: Huntly RFC 7-3 Dyce RFC
Dyce were awarded another penalty immediately after the interval as more Huntly ill-discipline allowed another attempt on goal from just inside the 22' line. Captain David Hay seized the chance leaving Dyce trailing by a single point. The second half started with some further good pressure from Dyce again but an infringement in sight of the Dyce posts allowed Huntly to put another three points on the board. Dyce fought back with strong runs from Gregg Jack and half time replacement Jake Warden giving the travelling support a lot to cheer. However, a few phases later, a turnover at the breakdown and poor line speed meant Huntly were able to cross the Dyce try line again and convert to take them 11 points clear in the 50th minute.
Dyce kept fighting to regain control of the game but the match became a scrappy back and forth affair with stop start penalties breaking the flow of play.
In the 55th minute Huntly found themselves a Centre (12) down following a straight red card, shown for shocking spear tackle on David Hay. This was then shortly followed by another Huntly card, this time yellow, for a foul play; a Dyce player hit the deck via a judo style throw after the referee's whistle had blown. This ensured the hosts ended the game with only 13 on the paddock. Through a manly defensive sequence Huntly held out against the Dyce onslaught as Dyce failed to capitalise and cross the line.
Against the run of play Huntly managed to score a final converted try and left Dyce wondering what could have been.
The Dyce squad and supporters left the game feeling that they could have, and perhaps should have, been able to win this one.
FT: Huntly RFC 24-6 Dyce RFC
MOTM: Phil Horsfall / Gregg Jack
DOTD: Scott Brown
Focus now turns to next week's fixture where Dyce host a Gordonian's 2nd XV (Jolly boys) who have so far had a poor start to the league.