Outplayed in the scrum

Dunfermline 22

Langholm 6


THERE was not much to choose between the sides at McKane Park, but the odd defensive lapse by Langholm proved costly, writes John Smith.

Langholm played with plenty of purpose and determination, and flanker Scott Howatson was superior at the line-out.

In fact, the only department the home side appeared to have the upper hand was in the set scrum.

The Milntown outfit made a positive start and set up attacks through quick ruck recycle.

After nine minutes a high tackle on Langholm lock Alan Tyler brought a penalty, which Milntown skipper Niall Cubbon slotted between the uprights.

Dunfermline pressed with a number of scrums near the line, but somehow Langholm held out and new scrum-half recruit Rory Anderson eventually cleared.

Cubbon was unlucky not to put Langholm further ahead when a penalty attempt from 40m out dropped narrowly short.

Rather against the run of play, a missed tackle allowed the home centre Caine McIntyre to break clear for a try which was converted by Gregor McNeish. A successful drop goal by Dunfermline fly half McNeish made it 10-3 at the break.

Two minutes after the restart Cubbon kicked a penalty for Langholm to narrow the gap to 10-6. A missed clearance by Langholm allowed home full back Scott Swankie to attack, and he beat several defenders for a nice try in the corner.

Langholm set up attacks out wide, but a dogged Dunfermline defence held out. In the closing minutes the home side hit back and Swankie again beat several defenders for another fine try which was converted by McNeish to wrap things up.

Langholm: C. Jardine; L. Miller, A. Cavers, N. Cubbon, R. Mackay; K. Davidson, R. Anderson; D. Divers, S. Devlin, C. Little, A. Tyler, J. Ashton-Smith, J. Reid, S. Howatson, S. Graham. Subs: S. Kitching, C. Davidson.