They say a week is a long time in politics....... well 100 minutes at Dumbreck can be quite a long time too!
With the scores level at 18 all at the end of regulation time this BT Cup game went into extra time where Cartha Queens Park scored three further tries, albeit one from a forward pass a Quarter Back in American Football would have been proud of, to record what was ultimately a well-deserved victory.
Early scores, a Greg Raeburn penalty in five minutes, after Cartha had missed a similar effort just minutes earlier, and tries from Ryan McConnell and Cal Scott, the latter converted by Greg Raeburn, gave Peebles a 15 point lead and seem to calm the nerves.
Maybe this was the week Peebles were going to get the monkey of their back and record a long awaited victory. However with Cartha ringing the changes to their front row around the 20 minute mark what was always going to be a difficult game for Peebles became a whole lot harder.
As the game progressed the Cartha forwards became more dominant and Peebles were struggling to cope with the pressure giving away several scrum penalties. Poor handling skills from the opposition though let Peebles off the hook on several occasions and half time came with Peebles 15-0 up.
However it did not take Cartha long to register their first score after the break with their winger touching down in the corner after 6 minutes, the ball having passed through a number of hands. The conversion was missed from wide out. It only took a further five minutes for the second of their tries, this one coming from lineout ball and a maul Peebles could nothing to stop. Again the conversion was missed to leave the score at 10-15 to Peebles heading into the final quarter of the game.
A second Greg Raeburn penalty for a deliberate knock-on eased the pressure a little and gave Peebles an eight point buffer but the game was becoming a scrappy affair and a knock-on from Peebles in the 70th minute gave Cartha the opportunity to peg three points back to bring the score to 13-18.
On 75 minutes Cartha were awarded a scrum penalty which they kicked to touch and from the resulting line-out the ball was spun wide to give the winger his second try of the day and bring the score to 18 all. The conversion was missed.
With little more than a minute remaining and the scores tied the game descended into farce and controversy in equal measure. With the Peebles line under siege once again Cartha were awarded a very kickable penalty. The ball drifted wide of the posts but the Cartha touch judge obviously though it was within acceptable tolerances and put his flag up. The referee didn’t agree and disallowed the score and extra time loomed.
Perhaps it might have been a merciful relief to everyone if he had given the score and we could have all gone home 20 minutes earlier.