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First defeat of season for Saints

Peebles 23 - 3 Dumfries Saints

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By Euan Maxwell
First defeat of season for Saints

DUMFRIES Saints finally lost their unbeaten league run last Saturday.

Saints were missing a number of key players through injury or availability for their important fixture against Peebles and several of the players who were brought into the team were in their first season playing senior rugby.

The new lads fitted in well and the overall opinion was that the final score didn’t give a true picture the game.

There had been early morning rain which made ball-handling difficult but the underfoot conditions were good for running rugby.

The first half was fairly evenly balanced with Dumfries, despite the half-time score, edging it slightly through some enterprising play by the youngsters.

Peebles opened the scoring on the half hour mark with a penalty and extended their lead five mins later with a try that was converted under the posts. Jay McGuffie narrowly missed a penalty for the Saints just before the interval.

After the break, pressure and possession were again evenly balanced but Peebles began to apply slightly more pressure in the final quarter as the Saints players tired and were hit with injuries.

Peebles added another penalty on 60 minutes – a second try that was converted – and a final penalty just before full time to take the match by 23 points to nil.

Saints pressed hard at times, but could only register a single penalty midway through the half by James Clyde to break their duck.

It was disappointing to lose the winning run but the score certainly didn’t reflect the effort put in by all the squad.

The Saints young players should be heartened by the way they fought to stay in the game.

Despite the defeat Saints remain in the top spot in the National League Two – and there’s still a lot to play for.

They have another massively important home fixture this Saturday against Edinburgh side Stewart’s Melville RFC who are in third place in the league. The kick-off is at 3.00 pm.