PREMIER CUP POOL F
FIONA SCOTT reports from Riverside Park
SPARKS flew and the air turned blue at Riverside Park on Saturday as Hawick referee, David Crudge, enforced a zero tolerance policy on explosive expletives and called foul on the perpetrators.
Assistant coach Kevin Barrie and replacement back row player Scott Laidlaw were given their marching orders following their knee-jerk reactions to two separate official rulings in what was otherwise an entertaining encounter.
It was 2005 the last time these two teams met, also in the cup, with the score on that day going 41-12 in Jed’s favour.
Currently doing well in Premier Three, however, Dumfries were looking to show that they were more than capable of competing against higher opposition. And that they did in the opening half as Jed struggled to get to grips with some stuffy play from their opponents.
Jed coach Darren Cunningham told TheSouthern: “They obviously came with a game plan and stuck to it, and we just couldn’t get going. We sorted it out in the end, though, and I was pretty happy with the final result.
“It’s a win and that’s what we wanted to give us a bit of momentum for the game next week against Hawks.”
With only two minutes on the clock, Jed racked up three points through a Chris Laidlaw penalty, but Dumfries came firing back and soon had the hosts pinned in their own 22, and only some resolute defending moved play back to a safer position.
A midfield battle ensued before Dumfries managed to hack a loose ball down towards the Jed end with centre Rory Steel – son of former referee and Dumfries president John – hot on its heels. The Blues got to the ball first and touched down in the in-goal area, but an earlier infringement saw Dumfries awarded a penalty try which Steel duly converted.
Mr Crudge attracted further hostility from the home crowd minutes later when, after awarding a penalty against Jed for an apparent knock-on, he sent forwards coach Kevin Barrie to the stand for remarking on the decision.
Play continued regardless and Jed spent the entire second quarter pushing in the Dumfries 22. The pressure failed to pay off, however, and the score at half time remained at 7-3 in favour of the visitors.
After the restart, Jed continued where they had left off and this time their endeavours were rewarded, firstly by a break from Robert Hogg which saw them within striking distance, before Neil Cook carried the ball over the line from a scrum five metres out.
Minutes later, Jed had racked up another five-pointer – this time it was winger Gregor Young who did the leg work before touching down under the posts.
Laidlaw was unlucky with the conversion which rebounded back off the bar, but at long last the Riverside faithful had something to cheer about.
Once again Cunningham’s outfit took play straight back to their visitors and set up camp in the Dumfries half.
James Hogg was next to score after David Grieve had taken possession and made use of a two-man overlap out wide on his right.
Dumfries enjoyed a rare period of possession in home territory before the hosts continued on their merry way.
David Grieve crashed over in the corner for Jed’s fourth try of the game with Laidlaw receiving the loudest applause of the day when notching his first conversion.
Jed saw the game out, defending their own lines with 14 men after Scott Laidlaw was red-carded in injury time.
The replacement scrum-half had originally been shown a yellow for retaliating after an alleged stamping offence, but the card was changed to red when Laidlaw appeared to protest too much.
Jed-Forest: L. Young; G. Young, R. Hogg, G. Hill, D. Gobby; C. Laidlaw, R. Goodfellow; C. Hogg, David Grieve, A. Croitoru, N. Cook, P. Hill, A. Nagle, Donald Grieve, D. Gillespie. Subs: M. Weekley, R. Ferguson, S. Laidlaw and J. Hogg.