1st XV - Report
Lismore v North Berwick
For the final league game of the season, North Berwick headed for the new Inch Park community facilities that Lismore have been instrumental in building after their move from the Pleasance.
There were a few changes from the victory over Berwick, Matt Dudgeon moved to stand off, the centre partnership was normal No 8 Ben Inglis and Graeme Fairgrieve and teenager Rory King made his first start for the 1st XV on the right wing. Craig Gilroy was on the flank. Baxter Davidson was on the bench with Danny Thorburn and it was good to see Grant Spence there as well as he has been out for some time with a knee injury.
Lismore came out of the blocks hard and with the wind and slope in their favour, pressed the North Berwick line and in fact could easily have scored on a couple of occasions had their finishing been better.
However, North Berwick moved up the pitch and opened the scoring with a well taken try by Jonny Riddell. Back came Lismore to be held up over the North Berwick goal line and somehow the danger was cleared.
Matt Dudgeon was having a good game with ball in hand and it was from a break by him that the ball found debutant King and after a powerful hand off, his pace saw him in for a try with possibly his first touch of the ball!
The game became a little scrappy but was warmed up by an exchange of views amongst the forwards which resulted in Lismore’s inside centre joining the fray and being sin binned.
Just on half time, Dudgeon slid through the home defence and finished at the posts. Connor Johnson who had been pressed into goal kicking duties missed this one as well!
Half time, Lismore 0 North Berwick 15
Ben Inglis powered over soon after half time and there was a lull in proceedings until the final twenty minutes when Jamie Dove picked up from a scrum on his own 22 and made a smashing break before finding King who finished from about forty metres for his second try.
In between, Lismore had driven over for a try which was converted but their lack of fitness was starting to tell as North Berwick began to run riot.
Fairgrieve was next to score and there was a loud cheer from the visiting supporters as Johnson made the conversion.
There were two more tries to wrap up an excellent performance as Thorburn finished a move by scoring at the posts and soon after scrum half Nick Andrews sprinted over – both were converted.
Eight tries in all was about right on the day and there were good performances all round. Dudgeon was always dangerous and made space for all around him. Johnson, despite his goal kicking had an excellent match, Jamie Dove had one of his best games of the season, Inglis looked at home in the centre and it was terrific to see another youngster in Rory King on his way through the system, he will play many more games. Jake Boswell and Craig Gilroy both worked hard in the forwards and Iain Dove, who has carried injuries all season had another good game.
Fifth place should mean a tough league next year but all to play for as new opponents will include RHC, Linlithgow and Livingston.
There will be a couple of friendly matches over the next few weeks and then it is sevens season with the North Berwick tournament on 21st April.