Dalziel 7 Lasswade 29
By Richard Payne
No mistakes on our third attempt at Dalziel and the bonus point win moves us into second place.
The travelling support had good reason to be nervous about this fixture. In recent seasons this was Lasswade’s third attempt to come away with a win from Dalziel and the hosts’ fifty per cent record this season includes a win at St Boswell’s and a home defeat of Haddington. The form book leaned toward another home win.
On a well-groomed pitch and in brilliant sunshine Lasswade kicked off into a bitter cold breeze.
The first few minutes looked ominous as Dalziel demonstrated some slick inter-passing and smart angles to breech the Lasswade line a few times and force a scramble defence in their own half.
Against this run of play the visitors produced the first score when Lamont was given just enough space to speed down the right wing and touch down in the corner.
Dalziel continued to look dangerous but Lasswade settled and adapted and began to string together some possession of their own. On the quarter hour, a line-out ploy 15 metres out allowed Hunter to crash over and lay the foundation as Lasswade’s player of the match.
Dalziel responded and had their guests on the back foot for the next 5 minutes until a short range catch and drive had Clarke touching down and Glover closed the gap to three points with the conversion.
Lasswade probably had the slightest of edges in possession and territory for the remainder of the half but the game could still go either way.
With the wind now at their backs the visitors increased their grip on the game with controlled possession driving them down the park. One lengthy such cycle culminated with a Billingham charge to widen the gap to a still not comfortable eight points with half an hour still to play.
Most of the ensuing play was in the home half, though Dalziel continued to look dangerous when on possession but Lasswade’s defending was up to the task.
With five minutes of normal time remaining it needed Lasswade’s super-sub, Chris Blackie to ease the tension with a well taken try from a ruck 10 metres out, securing the try bonus point in the process. Matt Smith’s conversion extended the lead to a likely unassailable 15 points.
What turned out be another nine minutes of actual play was dominated by Lasswade and it was Blackie again who rounded off the scoring with yet another try to give himself a clear lead as try scorer for the side for the season so far, in spite of normally coming on into the front row well into the second half.
This solid, bonus-point performance moves Lasswade into second place, one point behind Dumfries after previous leaders, Highland, slipped up at St Boswells and slid to third.
League rugby gives way to the Autumn Internationals now with the next fixture being at home for Dumfries Saints, in a top of the table clash on 3 December. Kick off 2pm.