Despite losing home and away to Hawick PSA in the league, Duns Colts made it third time lucky in this cup semi-final with a crushing victory to reach the final of the U-18 Borders Bowl.
They will take on either Tynedale Colts or Peebles Colts in the final, a date and venue for which has yet to be decided.
In a semi-final tie played under the lights at Berwickshire High School on Friday, the home side were far too good from start to finish.
Duns had already lost twice to PSA in the league this season, losing the home match 29-12 and the away fixture by 13-10, but right from the start in this semi-final the Berwickshire side were on the front foot as they played the opening quarter almost entirely in the PSA’s half.
Duns opened the scoring on 15 minutes after a scrum on the PSA 22. A slight wheel to the right took out the PSA back row, and Duns No 8 Michael Thomson, who had another excellent match, picked up and sprinted over. Lewis Craik kicked a tricky conversion in the gusty conditions.
The Duns forwards, perhaps slightly smaller than their opponents, bossed the scrum where they took several strikes against the head, and were more aggressive than the PSA pack in the loose. From one forwards drive into the visitors’ 22 Wes Hirst crashed over from close range, and with Lewis Craik adding the conversion it was 14-0.
The final try of the half came from skipper Craik with a solo effort from the PSA ten-metre line. He popped a pass to Callum Redden in the centre, looped around him, took a return pass and then set off at full tilt towards the line.
With only the PSA full-back to beat he dummied to pass to Cameron Burnett, supporting on his outside, but instead cut inside and scored between the posts. His own conversion took the score to 21-0 at half time.
Duns seemed to think that the hard work had been done into the wind in the first half, and the tempo dropped noticeably after the break.
Hawick PSA came more into the contest, although they threatened only rarely and despite giving away a string of penalties Duns were able to keep their line intact.
The fourth try came midway through the second half. The PSA turned the ball over, and Duns reacted quickly to sneak up the left wing. The final pass went to Zander Martin who was able to cross in the corner for his first try for Duns.
Players from both sides then got involved in some unsavoury stuff towards the end which saw a flurry of punches being thrown. The referee, very sensibly, brought proceedings to a close a few minutes early to defuse the situation.
But at that stage the result was not in doubt. Duns were the deserved winners.