In front of a packed stand at Almond Park which was reminiscent of the Glory Days when most of the returning players last graced the field , Livingston worked hard for a bonus point victory against a hard tackling Dunbar side , The game kicked off in glorious sunshine with Livi playing against a strong wind away from the clubhouse , nerves and excitement were clear to see and although the boys in blue worked hard they found it difficult to get into a stride, on top of that too many knock ons and infringements meant they didn't have any real shape , however it was to be Livi who struck first and after Dunbar killed the ball just outside the 22 , Dean Edwards
stepped up an slotted the penalty to give Livi a 3-0 lead.
Dunbar had not travelled through just to make up the numbers and bounced straight back into the game , from some pressure they pushed into the red zone and scored a well worked try when their forwards drove a line out over the whitewash and Karl Mein scored to give the Dunbar men a 5-3 lead after 20 minutes. The lead proved to be short lived as Dean Edwards
popped over another penalty to give Livi a 6-5 lead. Livi were now working some phases and 5 mins before half time they executed a set move started off by explosive Aussie Aaron Johnston
who picked from the back of the scrum fed John Bruton
who then released Dean Edwards
to finish in the corner. The conversion was missed meaning livi went into the break 11-5 up.
Half time proved to have a calming influence on Livingston and they came out from the start of the second half more composed, The forwards were working hard in the rucks and stand off Bolan was pushing the ball into the corners putting more and more pressure on Dunbar in their 22 , to their credit the were still trying to throw the ball around from deep but this proved to be their downfall as Aaron Johnston
intercepted just outside the 22 and sprinted to the line finished by an Acrobatic swan dive, Edwards hit the conversion to put livi up 18-5. Within 2 mins Livi extended their Lead to 25-5 when this time Bolan intercepted from a long pass inside the Dunbar 22 and strolled under the posts to give Edwards his easiest kick of the day which he duly slotted.
Livi now had the Bonus point in their sites and 10 mins later it was secured when Ross Neil
showed the electric pace that the Almond Park faithful have missed and burst away on the half way line outstripping two Dunbar Backs for pace to cross in the corner. Edwards slotted the extras and Livi were 32-5 up. The Forwards started to come more and more into the game and the hard work paid off with 10mins left on the clock when an excellent driving line out put Captain Jason Watt
in to round off the victory and when the referee blew for no side Livi had secured a deserved 37-5 victory and a great opening to what is sure to be an exciting season.
A medial ligament injury to Hooker Ally Laird and a knock to Scrum Half Bruton took a bit of the shine off what was otherwise a good day but with Club Captain Andy McMahon
almost back to fitness and Lee Barrett
back for the match against Duns on Saturday Livi will be hopeful the their strength in depth can help them continue to improve.
Coach Graham Ferrier
commented "Its great to get a win under our belt , we are still gelling as a team and with more and more game time together we hope to see improvement week by week , the guys worked hard which is all I can ask for , and with a little more composure and better execution we should go from strength to strength"