National Two round-up: Dumfries Saints defeat GHK in top of the table clash

Whitecraigs drop to foot of the table after heavy defeat at home to Stewart's Melville, while Gordonians and Glasgw Accies pick up vauable wins

Stewart's Melville ran away with a convincing victory at Whitecraigs. Image: © Craig Watson -
Stewart's Melville ran away with a convincing victory at Whitecraigs. Image: © Craig Watson -

DUMFRIES SAINTS now have a seven point lead at the top of National League Division Two and are still unbeaten in the league after a superb second half performance saw them defeat closest rivals GHK on Saturday.

And it was a case of keeping it in the family for the victors with brothers Jack and Rory Steele and their cousin Sam Hiddleston scoring all the Dumfries’ points in a 29-10 bonus point triumph.

The Saints got off to the perfect start against Peter Wright’s side at Park Farm when Jack Steele claimed an up and under to run in and score a try under the posts after just two minutes. Rory Steele converted.

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Jack Cuthbert got the visitors on the board with a penalty before a Rory Steele responded in kind to make it 10-3. Just before half-time a well taken try by Ben Hutton, converted by Cuthbert, made it 10-10 heading into the interval.

The second 40 minutes belonged to Dumfries and a Hiddleston converted try, scored after the team worked through a number of phases, made it 17-10. With 10 minutes remaining a neat chip and chase saw Hiddleston get his second try and Rory Steele scored and converted their fourth try in the dying stages.

Home back-row Ian Carlisle was named man of the match and head coach Euan Mack said:  “I was really pleased with our performance. GHK’s defence was really good, but we stuck to our game plan, stayed patient and ground it out in the end.”

Dumfries next challenge is against Newton Stewart away this coming weekend, who will want to bounce back after a heavy defeat at Pennypit.

Kirkcaldy are up to third spot on points difference from Peebles after they defeated the Borderers 31-29 at The Gytes. The Fifers got off to a flyer and were 15-0 up after half an hour thanks to tries from Marcus Salt and captain Josh Laird with Craig Letham kicking a penalty and a conversion.

A second Letham penalty made it 18-5 at the break before Peebles battled back to 18-17 behind. The day’s third penalty by Letham then a converted try by Fin Smith put Kirkcaldy 28-17 up, but Peebles were not done yet and in the end a final Letham penalty was enough to see the visitors home by two points.

As they picked up two losing bonus points, teenager Patrick Harrison impressed for Peebles with two of his side’s four tries.

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Stewart’s Melville were also in fine form as they won 47-5 at Whitecraigs. James Ferguson, Matt Watson, Doug Randell, Euan Morrison, Darren Miller and Jamie McGurk all scored tries for the rampant visitors while they were also awarded a penalty try and Morrison nailed five conversions.

After the bonus point victory, which leaves his charges seventh in the table, Stew Mel head coach Jonny Else said:  “We are delighted with the five points. We played well in parts, we started really well, but the middle part of the game went away from us before we finished strongly which was pleasing.”

James Baxendale scored a try for Whitecraigs, but they are now bottom after Gordonians edged out Falkirk 20-19.

The Aberdeen side led 14-5 at half-time at Countesswells and then were 20-12 ahead before a converted try for Falkirk made it interesting, but the home side held on for a vital result.

Tristan Jones and Danny Osugo scored the tries for Gordonians and Graeme Crawford kicked 10 points whilst Connor Faulds was amongst the Falkirk scorers.

“It was great to get this win because we didn’t want to get cut adrift at the bottom of the table,” said a relieved Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice. “We weren’t at our best and struggled to get any fluidity into the game, but the boys showed some real fight in the closing stages when it looked like things might slide away from us.”

Third bottom Glasgow Accies, like Gordonians, also got their second league win of the season. Tadhg Power was the hero for them at home to Hamilton Bulls, going over for a late try as they won 36-32 having trailed 32-29. The other try scorers for the Accies in a bonus point win were Tommy Spinks (2), Ross Cowan and a penalty try effort, while Rob McNaught kicked the rest of the points.

The Bulls picked up two points in defeat and scored tries through Ross Inglis, Andrew Crawford, Ben Plant and Gary Adams, with Inglis kicking the rest of the points.

National League Division Two results  –

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Table as it stands –

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About Gary Heatly 354 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.