National Two round-up: Dumfries Saints recapture top spot

Gordonians pick up valuable bonus-point home win over fellow strugglers Whitecraigs

Dumfries Saints reclaimed top spot with a hard-fought win over Glasgow Accies. Image: Bob Johnstone
Dumfries Saints reclaimed top spot with a hard-fought win over Glasgow Accies. Image: Bob Johnstone

DUMFRIES SAINTS are back on top of National League Division Two and have hit the 50 point mark after they defeated Glasgow Accies 29-18 on Saturday. In the only other game that beat the weather, Gordonians got a big win at the bottom of the table against fellow strugglers Whitecraigs.

In Glasgow, Dumfries got off to the perfect start when they scored an early try through Sam Hiddleston, with Jack Steele converting to make it 7-0 after just 60 seconds.

Accies hit back through a Tadgh Power try, converted by Greg McEwan, then took the lead through a McEwan penalty, before Jordan Kerr scored an unconverted try and man-of-the-match Ewan Miller put the visitors back in front, but Accies weren’t finished yet with Ryan Sweeney crossing for an unconverted try to make it 17-15 at the break.

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Defences were stronger after the break, but a penalty from McEwan put Accies 18-17 up with 18 minutes left. The Saints knew they had to up the tempo and they did just that, with Hiddleston scoring his second try of the day and then Miller going over for his second – Steele converting that one – to secure the bonus point win.

“A good performance and result,” said Dumfries head coach Euan Mack. “Accies defended really well, but we stuck to our structures and scored some good tries late on in the second half. I was pleased there was no panic when Accies went 18-17 up and the players kept their composure well to get the job done.”

Accies are ninth in the table, but will take heart from this showing.

Eleventh placed Gordonians are now seven points ahead of bottom club Whitecraigs after the hosts came out on top 38-15 at Countesswells. Finn Lennox, Tom Williams (2), Graeme Crawford, Daryl Morrow and Alistair Stephen scored the tries for Gordonians in the bonus point triumph with Crawford kicking four conversions.

“I thought we were good value for the win,” said Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice. “There was a lot of pressure going into the match and the boys had to stick to their roles. Our defence really stepped up and didn’t let Whitecraigs get on the front foot.”

The game was in the balance until Whitecraigs started picking up cards and when they were shorthanded the hosts took advantage.

“Our ill discipline and lack of urgency cost us,” said Whitecraigs head coach Ian Hamilton. “We finished the game with 13 men and Gordonians played well and used their territory well.”

Whitecraigs three unconverted tries came from Jack Ramage, Ryan O’Neil and Liam Barbour. The defeat leaves them on nine points, eight points away from 10th place and safety, but they have only played 12 games, so have two games in hand on Gordonians and one game in hand on third bottom Falkirk.

Kirkcaldy v GHK, Falkirk v Peebles, Stewart’s Melville v Newton Stewart and Hamilton Bulls v Preston Lodge were postponed.

National League Division Two results –

Gordonians 38 Whitecraigs 15

Glasgow Accies 18 Dumfries Saints 29

How it stands –

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About Gary Heatly 455 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.