REGIONAL BOWL FINAL
EAST DIVISION ONE champs Duns lived the dream on Saturday when they added the Scottish Regional Bowl to their recent league victory.
An exhilarating first-half performance against their western counterparts ensured the bowl would return to Berwickshire after a gap of 12 years, with three scintillating tries from man-of-the-match David Hutchison and one from Ryan Selkirk.
After the break, defence was the name of the game as the Fintry-based club tried to come back into the game, but Duns were having none of it and a late try from Dane Ivison sealed the victory.
Speaking to TheSouthern after the match a delighted captain Dale Robertson told us: “We really came out the blocks in the first half, maybe a bit too quickly.
“We had to try and build the boys back up at half-time and came out a bit flat, but we got back into it in the last 10 minutes and did enough to win.”
“The guys have worked hard all season and they thoroughly deserved to win.”
Vice-captain Jamie Renton added: “We had never seen Strathendrick playing, so they were a bit of an unknown quantity, but we have been playing well all season and we went into the game quietly confident and it’s credit to the hard work everyone has put in that we were able to lift the Bowl today.”
A good crowd gathered for the opener and Duns had a chance to put points on the board after just a minute when Kirkcaldy referee Mhairi Hay awarded an early penalty. Robertson’s attempt sailed wide in the sharp breeze, but a minute later the Berwickshire outfit went ahead when Selkirk rounded the opposition to score out wide.
There was no let-up from Duns and more pressure saw them work their way back downfield. Hutchison was next to break right through the middle of the Strathendrick defence and sail through the posts in a stylish swallow dive to touch down. Robertson added the conversion, but minutes later Strathendrick closed the gap through a Sam Greenock penalty.
Straight from the kick-off Duns went on the rampage again and after creating a two-man overlap out on the left a stylish link-up between the backs allowed Hutchison in for his second.
It was a long seven minutes for the next score and it was Strathendrick who grabbed it through a second Greenock penalty. Like buses, you wait for one and two come along at the same time. Fortunately for the Borderers, the next was the Robertson express and another three points went the way of Duns.
Greenock missed a chance to close the gap further when a penalty went awry in the 33rd minute.
Looking to end the first half on a high, Duns dug deep and their perseverance paid off when Hutchison ran in for a third. Half-time: Duns 25 Strathendrick 6.
In total contrast to the first-half, the pace slowed down after the restart.
Almost to a stand still.
In fact, with both defences tightened up considerably, the next try didn’t arrive until three minutes before the end of game. And, deservedly, it was Duns who scored it, Dane Ivison scorching up the park to take the final honours, allowing Duns to lift the 2011 Regional Bowl.
Duns: D. Robertson; R. Selkirk, K. Aitchison, S. Lindsay, D. Hutchison; G. Lamb, D. Lamb; S. McRaw, C. Hill, A. Auld, J. Thorburn, J. Weir, C. Blaikie, J. Renton, R. Nimmo. Subs: C. Archer, B. Hamilton, C. Tait, R. Burns, S. Blyth, D. Ivison, S. Cooke.
Strathendrick: S. Bastock; D. Porteous, R. Kerr, J. Cuthbertson, R. McLaughlin; S. Greenock, P. Bastock; D. Spence, S. Forsyth, S. Cuthbertson, R. Clark, D. McEwan, G. Scott, J. Ogilvie, E. MacKay. Subs: M. Scott, C. Gibson, D. McGuffie, W. Kay, D. MacDonald, K. Campbell, P. Sunderland.