Jed-Forest’s roller coaster season continued today when they beat league high flyers Dundee High School by the narrowest of margins in a highly entertaining fixture at Riverside Park.
The hosts applied some early pressure but the damp conditions made handling difficult with several chances being lost through dropped passes.
Fortunately the visitors didn’t fair any better and after six minutes it was Jed who notched the first points through a Gregor Mein penalty goal.
Dundee had there chance next, again due to a Jed handling error, and spent the ensuing 10 minutes trying to make ground in the home 22. It was mainly thanks to some brutal tackling by the hosts that they didn’t cross the try line. Their efforts were eventually rewarded however with a penalty goal from Nick Alston to level the scores.
Two minutes later Dundee did manage to cross the Jed tryline. Neil Herron pouncing on a loose ball from a Jed attack in the visitors 22 and running threequarters of the pitch to touch down at the posts for Alston to convert before adding a penalty goal midway through the half.
Stung into action Jed went on the attack again and this time some slick passing ended with Robbie Shirra-Gibb dancing through the Dundee defence to touch down in the corner.
Joy from the home crowd, when Gregor Young looked to be well on his way to another try, turned to frustration when referee Kevin White pulled everyone back for a mystery penalty in Dundee’s favour in front of the home posts. Alston duly complied to make the score at half-time Jed-Forest 8 Dundee 16.
Half-time team talks have a way of changing the pattern of a game and whatever Jed coach Jammie McFarlane had said to his team appeared to work. The appearance of some Autumn sunshine may also have helped. A five minute spell of forward force in the Dundee 22 resulted in the ball being retrieved from a collapsed maul a metre from the try line and being sent out to the patiently awaiting Mein who plunged over to score and convert himself.
The same man slotted a penalty six minutes later and suddenly the whole dimension of the game had changed with Jed moving into a lead that had looked highly unlikely prior to the break.
Just in case anyone was in any doubt that the hosts were now well and truly in control the ball was once again worked down to the Dundee half of the field and this time it was the ever alert Fraser Harkness who was on hand to weave a fine line to touch down, Mein making the conversion.
Poor discipline almost did for the hosts when a string of penalties, some of them all-be-it slightly dubious, saw Jed short handed with Gregor Law having been sent to the sin bin. Visiting sub James Mulligan took advantage of some uncharacteristically poor Jed defending to crash over and score. Alston converted to bring his side to within two points with just over 10 minutes remaining. Alston had the chance to put his team ahead just minutes later when Dundee were awarded a penalty but the full backs kick went wide much to the relief, and subsequent delight, of the home crowd.
Jed-Forest: L. Young; R. Marshall, G. Young, R. Hogg, R. Shirra Gibb;.G. Mein, D. Ritchie; P. Alves Ferreira, S. Raeburn, R. Jackson, J. Hynd, G. Law, G. Stewart, G. Robson, M. Weekley.