ARBORETUM 14th DECEMBER 2019
Team: 15. I May, 14. N Wood, 13. S MacPherson, 12. M Cant, 11. D Waddell, 10. S Hainey, 9 D Jones, 8. M Brydon., 7. P McCaskey, 6 H Balcerak., 5.S Hanlon, 4. S McCullough (Capt.), 3. S Boendermaker 2. R Duncan, 1. I Kirby. Subs: 16. A Grasdepot*, 17. J Ryan*, 18. M Fahy*, 19. Connor Harrison & 20. , J Copeland* (* used)
Another dire day for rugby, wet, cold, heavy pitch and a strong wind blowing towards Arboretum Road. We played with the wind in the first half and a good start saw us 2 tries up in the first 10 minutes. The first was excellently executed from a scrum inside the 22. Stewart Hainey switched to Mark Cant who made ground and was able to feed out of the tackle to Paul McCaskey who had come in support at the perfect angle. The second followed pressure at a lineout on Langholm’s 5m line with Paul dotting down the loose ball. The first try was converted by Mark and we were deservedly in the lead 12-0. Five minutes later some slack play let Langholm in for a converted try making it 12-7. We had the better of the rest of the half but were often too flat to make the vital break through. Another score in this half would probably have been enough to see off a fairly demoralised opposition.
The second half got off to the worst possible start with Langholm scoring a converted try in the first couple of minutes to take the lead. Mark had a shot at goal to regain the lead but the ball was held up in the strong wind. Instead the opposition increased their lead with 2 converted tries. Our first up tackling was letting us down badly and the loss of Matt Brydon, who had been having a good game, hurt our cause. We did come back and Mark Cant crossed after a period of sustained pressure. The conversion was missed and we trailed 17- 28 without much time left. By the end we had also lost to injury Ryan Duncan, Sean Hanlon (although he did return), Stuart McCullough , Dan Waddell (a nasty broken ankle) and Iain May. Langholm finished the scoring with a penalty near the end.
Very much a missed opportunity for our first league win of the season. More patience and depth would have brought the scores that our hard work deserved and giving away soft scores due to poor tackle technique gave the game to Langholm. We have worked hard at training on both these areas but can’t seem to carry the skills forward to match day.
Sadly this was the last game for Ian Kirby who has been a stalwart for us for the last season and a half. He will be missed.
Despite the loss a couple of contenders for the man of the match but Paul McCaskey receives the award for his consistent hard work in defence and attack.