National Two round-up: chasing pack close in as Dumfries Saints stumble

The gap between first and sixth is now just nine points in National Two following league leaders' home defeat to Peebles

Kirkcaldy picked up their sixth win on the bounce. Image: Michael Booth
Kirkcaldy picked up their sixth win on the bounce. Image: Michael Booth

NINE points now separates the top six in National League Two after all of the chasing pack won at the weekend and leaders Dumfries Saints lost.

The Saints had won eight from eight league games going into their home clash with Peebles, whole the Borderers were reeling from a couple of defeats at The Gytes, but they channelled that frustration to record a 22-18 victory on the road and are now sixth in the table on 30 points with Dumfries on 39.

Ryan Stewart, Richard Harrison and Murray Brown scored the Peebles tries with Greg Raeburn kicking seven points. The hosts had got off to a promising start when Rory Steele kicked a penalty, and tries from Andrew Whiteford and Bobby Douglas put them 13-7 up, but Peebles dominated the second half and despite a late try from Steele the home team ended up on the wrong side of an 18-22 score-line.

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“I think we were by far the better team in the game and I was disappointed not to get the fourth bonus point try,” said Peebles head coach Lewis Bertram. “We put Dumfries under a lot of pressure and they still managed to score 18 points which shows how good an attacking team they are.

“It is not a result I am surprised with as this type of performance has been coming. After the last couple of defeats, in this game we were much more accurate in attack and physical in defence and we showed the level we should be playing at each week.”

Second placed GHK are now just two points behind Dumfries after a bonus point 50-12 victory away at Gordonians. Tries from Hugh LindsayDanny Campbell, Ben Hutton, skipper Cammy Hughes and Hugh Parker made it 33-0 to the visitors to Countesswells at the break.

Hutton, Hughes and Jack Cuthbert added further tries after the interval with Jamie Wills and Tom Williams scoring consolation tries for the well-beaten hosts.

Kirkcaldy are one point behind GHK after they saw off Preston Lodge 26-18. It was the Fifers sixth league win in a row with tries coming from Steven Milne, Danny Jennings, Rhys Bonner and skipper Josh Laird earning them an important bonus point. Craig Letham kicked three conversions.

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Stewart’s Melville are in fourth, three points behind Kirkcaldy, after they won at Glasgow Accies 27-8. Cormac McCracken, the No.8, led the way for Jonny Else’s men with three tries, while Jamie McGurk also crossed and Euan Morrison kicked seven points. Scott Simmons scored a try and Fin Neilson kicked a penalty for Accies in defeat.

Hamilton Bulls are fifth after a 35-15 win over 10th placed Falkirk at Laigh Bent. Gary Adams, Andrew Crawford, Adam Ryan (2) and Ross Jamieson scored the Bulls tries as they secured five points with Owen McLeish converting them all. Falkirk’s tries came from Connor Faulds and Duncan Tompkins with five points from the boot of Finn Call.

Newton Stewart are seventh after beating both of the table Whitecraigs 45-25 in Newton Mearns. Thomas MacDonald, Liam Brawls, Mark McCornick (2), Russell Morton and David Gaw scored the Newton Stewart tries with Jack Gaw kicking 15 points.

“I was delighted for the team to get the bonus point win after recent losses,” said Newton Stewart head coach Martin Wallace. “The game was end to end in the first half and then we managed to gain some control. Whitecraigs pushed us all the way and deserved their four try bonus.”

Stuart Pollock, David McKelvie, Michael Christine, Daniel McPhail and Stuart Fisher were the Whitecraigs try scorers and they were just 17-15 down at one point until the visitors stretched away.

National League Division Two results  –

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Table as it stands –

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Talking points from round nine of the Tennent’s Premiership

About Gary Heatly 463 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.