Dingers rue bad start

Berwick 29

Duns 15

RBS BORDER SHIELD

DUNS paid dearly for a woeful performance during the opening quarter of this seaside encounter.

Berwick kicked off and immediately had Duns on the back foot. A kick to the corner gave Duns a lineout less than 10m from their line, but they conceded a free kick which was quickly taken and Alex Frost crashed over for the game’s opening score.

After 10 minutes, Berwick again exploited their opponents’ rearguard frailties. From a scrum to the home side just outside the Duns 22, the ball was shipped along the Berwick back line before Gareth Hill, on the left wing, bagged another try.

Keiran Wilkinson brought some brief respite for the Berwickshire outfit a minute later via a penalty, narrowing the gap to 10-3.

But almost immediately from the restart, a diagonal chip ahead from the Berwick stand-off invited Hill to chase up the touchline and he crossed the line to increase the home advantage to 15-3.

Just before half-time, Berwick scored their fourth try, Dan Law touching down and Hill adding the extras.

The Dingers were by far the better side in the second period, during which Berwick were only rarely in the visitors’ half.

The first Duns’ touchdown came after 45 minutes when Berwick had a scrum on their own 5m line. The ball popped out at the flanker’s feet and scrum half Stuart Thompson was quickest to react, diving over from a couple of metres out to narrow the gap to 22-8.

Then David Hutchison, on the left wing, scored in the corner for his 98th Duns first XV score. Dale Robertson converted.

But with just five minutes remaining, the visitors were hit by a sucker punch. A speculative up-and-under from the home side was set to land near half-way. Two Duns players went for the same ball – the advancing winger and a retreating forward – and they collided. The ball bounced and the first player on hand was Frost, who galloped over for the five points. Gareth Hill converted to stretch the lead to 29-15.

Berwick: D. Law; G. Hill, R. McFarlane, T. McColl, M. Brennan; J. Webster, J. Patterson; R. Ayre, G. Black, G. Clark, G. Logan, J. Young (captain), A. Hall, D. Gilchrist, A. Frost. Replacements: R. Hume, T. McDougall, A. Grieve.

Duns: D. Robertson (captain); R. Turner, A. Hamilton, N. Graham, D. Hutchison; K. Wilkinson, Stuart Thompson; S. McCraw, C. Hill, A. Connor, J. Thorburn, S. Cockburn, C. Blaikie, S. Lindsay, R. Burns. Replacements: A. Whellans, C. Williamson, D. Budge, A. Baxter.