Dyce go third with win over Deeside
By Phil Horsfall
Second half comeback sees the hosts snatch the points
Dyce’s penultimate home match of the season saw fourth place Deeside RFC travel to Central Park where both sides were looking to focus on climbing the table to keep the pressure on second placed Fraserburgh. Dyce infringements in the first half let the visitors open a small lead before Dyce powered away in the second for the win, outscoring their opponents three tries to none in a comprehensive 21-12 victory.
Despite the cold weather and drizzle a reasonable crowd of supporters on the sidelines saw Dyce kick off uphill and pressurise the visitors into fumbling the catch. A penalty against the home team at the scrum for illegal binding allowed the Deeside Boars to relive pressure; this was quickly followed up another Dyce infringement on their own 22m directly in front of the posts. Deeside opened the scoring from the tee inside the first five minutes.
The early concession of points seemed to spur the home team into action, with dominant scrummaging and powerful carries around the rucks leading to Dyce building momentum and territory deep into the Deeside 22m. From an offensive scrum 8m out, it took Graeme Lowe two bites of the cherry to score the opening Dyce try; first held up over the line after a typically dominant scum saw Deeside going backwards, followed by a second phase play off fly half David Hay. Carrying two Boars players with him, the try was awarded to the left of the posts giving the kicker an easy conversion for Dyce to retake the lead after a quarter of an hour.
With the pitch in good nick despite the recent cold weather, the running was good for fast competitive rugby. For all of Dyce’s good endeavour and strong set piece play, ill-discipline across the park saw them surrender positive territorial positions and possession to Deeside who were happy to keep the scoreboard ticking over with points from the boot of number 10 Rhys Barker. An audacious attempt from just inside their own half was a stretch too far midway through the first half, although new opportunities presented themselves shortly after. With the Dyce defensive line much improved, the host’s tackling and rucking was ferocious. Rowan Myers marmalising Deeside ball carriers inside Dyce’s 22m a particular highlight. However, starved of any meaningful possession, two further penalties before the interval from Deeside Captain Graham Ainsley gave Deeside a narrow lead at half time.
HT: Dyce RFC 7-12 Deeside RFC
With the game very much in the balance, Dyce set about reducing the penalty count and increasing phase play to bring more structure to their game with the slope of the pitch behind them. With both teams fighting to assert their dominance from the kick off, it was Dyce who responded first; still dominant at the scrum and poaching lineouts in the midfield, the balance of play was in Deeside territory. With the penalty count reducing, the hosts were able to retain the ball and began to string together phases and exert pressure on the visitors in their burgundy and yellow strips. Despite the upper hand it took until the 58th minute for Dyce to resister the first points of the second half. After a Deeside turnover on their own 5m line, Rowan Myers charged down an attempted box kick and followed through to fall on the bobbling ball over the try line. The extras were added ably by Captain David Hay to edge the hosts back in front.
The second Dyce try seemed to be the catalyst for the home side to really press their physical advantage home; rarely in the second half was the play within the Dyce 22. A spooned clearing kick by David Hay, usually so reliable, went out on the full after travelling 3m. However the introduction of Dyce substitutions kept the tempo high and whilst the scrum was not as dominant as before, the pack was never in any danger of being muscled off the ball. For good measure Callum Robertson (SNAP Sponsorship) decided his day was not complete without a face full of turf following a tackle; his personal homage to Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.
Despite some fierce competition, the game was put to bed in the 70th minute with a Fraser Stevenson try; a product of the forwards’ industry in the bottom left corner of the pitch following an initial line break by Gregg Jack. With Adam Watt’s pick and go attempt thwarted by some last ditch defence, the forwards channelled their inner white line fever to probe the fringes of the rucks drawing in defenders. Finding himself in unusual territory at 9, Graeme Lowe fed Phil Horsfall at first receiver who bypassed a screaming David Hay to find Fraser Stevenson. With no defenders marking him, he waltzed over from 2m out, under the posts to give an easy conversion attempt for David Hay to maintain his 100% kicking record for the day.
Without any further dramas, Dyce set out to register their third try bonus point of the season and spent the remaining 10 minutes of the match in the Boars’ half. The match came to a close following an untidy lineout with Callum Robertson (SNAP Sponsorship) kicking the ball out of play.
FT: Dyce RFC 21-12 Deeside RFC
A win saw Dyce leapfrog Deeside into 3rd in the league, equal on points with Fraserburgh, with three games still to play. Second is still an achievable target come the curtain call on 2nd March in Elgin, with two tough matches against Fraserburgh; at home on 16th February and again away on 23rd February. Coincidentally the last time Dyce didn’t concede a try in the league was against North Scotland Police back in Jan 2014; a great defensive effort for the lads and demonstrates how far the team has come on in the last couple of seasons.
The next fixture is the last home match of the 2019 season and we welcome all to support us on the side-lines. There is a WaGs lunch in The New Greentrees ahead of the game from 12pm with sponsor presentations in the clubhouse after the match. We hope you can join us there!
Mon the Dyce!