National Two: Dumfries Saints march on as closest challenger stumbles

GHK climb to second in the table with narrow win over Newton Stewart, while Peebles suffer first defeat of campaign at Stewar's Melville

Hamilton Bulls took the game to Dumfries Saints but ultimately came up short against the league leaders. Image: Neil Mitchell
Hamilton Bulls took the game to Dumfries Saints but ultimately came up short against the league leaders. Image: Neil Mitchell

DUMFRIES SAINTS made it five wins from five in Tennent’s National League Division Two, but were pushed hard by Hamilton Bulls at Laigh Bent on Saturday. 

The visitors started well and tries from Lee Scott and Robert Neill plus one conversion had them 12-0 ahead, however Andrew Wilson converted his own try then kicked six more points to edge Hamilton into a 13-12, before well worked tries scored by Jordan Kerr and Bobby Douglas had the visitors 24-13 up at the break and with a bonus point already secured.

The Saints lost Scott to the sin-bin in the second half and while Alan Birdsall kicked a penalty for the visitors, Hamilton scored twice through Wilson and Billy Simpson, meaning it was Finley balanced at 25-27 with 20 minutes remaining. Then a second Birdsall penalty was added to by Douglas’ seventh try of the campaign and then, in the final seconds, a converted try from Callum Smith finished things at 42-25.

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The Saints are now on 24 points while GHK are now second after they defeated Newton Stewart and previously unbeaten Peebles lost at Stewart’s Melville.

Newton Stewart took the lead in Glasgow when David Gaw scored a try converted by Fraser MortonGavin McKirdy’s unconverted try got GHK on the scoreboard before they lost a player to the sin-bin, but Jack Cuthbert’s penalty put them 8-7 up at half-time. Cuthbert’s second penalty made it 11-7 before the hosts lost another player to the bin and a Newton Stewart penalty by Russell Morton made it a tight finish, with GHK holding on to win 11-10.

Across in Edinburgh at Inverleith, Stew-Mel were putting in one of their best performances of the season to defeat Peebles 27-17. Doug Randell’s converted try put Stew-Mel 7-0 up early on, but the Borderers fought back to lead 14-10 after 40 minutes. A Fraser Strachan try came for Stew-Mel after the interval and they took heart from that to score two more through Ruairidh Mitchell and James Ferguson to take the bonus point win. Euan Morrison kicked Stew Mel’s other points.

Peebles scores on the day came from tries through Greg Raeburn and Neil Hogarth while Raeburn kicked seven points. The result puts Stew Mel fourth in the table, two points behind Peebles who have slipped to third.

“The boys played well, especially in the last 15 minutes,” said Stew-Mel head coach Jonny Else. “Peebles are a clever side, but we managed to pull away in the closing stages and I am delighted with the bonus point win.”

Kirkcaldy are sixth after a comfortable home win against Gordonians. Chris Mann led the way for Kirkcaldy with two tries while Gavin McKenzie and Thomas Glendinning also crossed and Fin Smith kicked nine points in the 29-7 victory over the bottom side. Thomas Urquhart scored a try which Graeme Crawford converted for Gordonians.

“We have still got a lot to learn, but I think this was our most consistent performance so far with backs and forwards putting a shift in,” said Kirkcaldy’s Timmy Kennedy after the match.

Falkirk and Glasgow Accies up and running

It was a good day for Falkirk and Glasgow Accies, who both got their first wins of the league season.

At Horne Park, Falkirk saw off Preston Lodge 31-5 with Connor Faulds (2) and Harry Russell tries racing the hosts into a 19-0 lead early on. They never looked back and two close range tries by the forwards sealed the win and a bonus point.

Glasgow Accies were at home to Whitecraigs and with the score tied at 3-3, the home side scored the opening try through Colin TaylorRoss Cowan scored a second just before the break and when former Scotland Under-20s captain Tommy Spinks scored a third in the 46th minute it was 22-3 to Accies. Whitecraigs pulled things back to 22-15 before Accies made sure of the 29-15 win and a bonus point with try number four from Gregor McEwan.

“I am delighted for the boys, it has been a tough start to the season, but it was great to see them trusting their structures in both attack and defence and getting their reward,” said Accies head coach Andy Jackson. “There is a lot of work still to be done, but we are currently in a run of games against teams near us in the league and that is keeping us focused.”

In defeat Whitecraigs points came thanks to tries from Edmund Abekhe and Craig Perceval and a penalty and a conversion by Graham Murchie.

Gordonians slumped to their fifth defeat in as many outings, having no answer to the forward power of Kirkcaldy at Beveridge Park, losing out 29-7, and are now eight points adrift at the foot of the table.

National League Division Two results –

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Table as it stands –

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Talking points from round five of the Tennent’s Premiership


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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 175 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia