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Match Report: Corstorphine vs Dalkeith 1XV

Match Report: Corstorphine vs Dalkeith 1XV

Susan McGhee31 Oct 2023 - 10:12
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Author: Gary Smith

Dalkeith made the short trip to Union park, Corstorphine on Saturday as the second half of the season kicked into full swing.

Injuries & unavailability to key personnel led to changes in the Dalkeith line up since their last outing against Penicuik. Jamie Simpson featured in the back row for the first time this season whilst skipper Stephen McMillan and Euan Lockhart formed a new Centre partnership.

Dalkeith got proceedings under way with the benefit of the slope, wind & low sun in their favour. Play remained in the hosts half and on 3 minutes Corstorphine conceded the first penalty of the afternoon. Dalkeith opted for the shot at goal however Wilson was unlucky to nudge his attempt just wide of the uprights.

Soon after, Corstorphine enjoyed their first foray into the Dalkeith 22 off the back off a kick to the corner from a penalty. However, nothing came of this attack as tight Dalkeith defence forced a knock on and a clearance kick to half way from the resulting scrum.

It was evident from early on that this was a better drilled & far more capable Corstorphine team than the one that was on the end of a 69 -0 drubbing at Kings Park in September and more Corstorphine pressure had their no.4 who carried well all day smash up the centre of the Dalkeith defensive line. Stephen McMillan proved his worth at the breakdown by winning the turnover, this led to backchat to the ref from Corstorphine and them being marched back twice. Wilsons kick went deep but didn’t find touch, the kick chase done its job though and forced the full back to send an awful pass to his winger which bounced out of play giving Dalkeith great field position.

The resulting line out was secured and Dalkeith were on the attack. The ball was kept alive as Graham found Scott Rae on the hoof, from the breakdown Corstorphine left a huge gap at the side of the ruck and scrum half Clark Young needed no 2nd invitation to race through to touchdown for the 1st score of the game. Wilson converted to make it 0-7 with 15 minutes gone.

Corstorphine were next on the scoreboard with a penalty kick a few minutes later taking the score to 3 – 7.

Ill-discipline from both teams dominated the game for the 10 minutes or so after this with penalties being conceded regularly mostly for transgressions at the breakdown.
When Dalkeith did play to their shape & gameplan they built great phases of play and looked really dangerous but were guilty too many times of hurrying & trying 50/50 offloads when a cool head and composure was required.

Corstorphine kicked another penalty after 30 minutes to make it 6-7.

Dalkeith were on the offensive from the restart and pegged Corstorphine all the way back to their own 5-metre line where they conceded a penalty and their No.4 was yellow carded. Dalkeith now had the numerical advantage and opted for a scrum. Dalkeith’s scrum was solid and nudged the opposing pack backwards over their own line, No.8 Graham picked up but knocked on in the act of scoring.

Corstorphine barely cleared their lines from their own scrum and Dalkeith remained in the Corstorphine red zone. Right-on half-time Dalkeith earned a kickable penalty that Wilson knocked over for Dalkeith to stretch their lead to 6 – 10 at the break.

Dalkeith replaced Simpson with Sutherland for the 2nd half.

5 minutes into the half and the Dalkeith back line cut loose for the first time in the game. Neat passing in a move straight from the training ground sent winger Robbie Lockhart flying up the left hand side at full pace. Only desperate defence stopped him resulting in Corstorphine conceding a penalty in front of the posts roughly 35 metres out. Wilson stepped up and sent the bail sailing between the uprights for a 6 – 13 lead.

This sparked a reaction from the Corstorphine team and they brought the score back to 9 – 13 within a few minutes. The hosts had their tails up now and a 40-yard burst by their 2nd row was only halted when he knocked on whilst being tackled. The momentum continued as they applied serious pressure and for a good 15 minutes Dalkeith’s mettle was being seriously examined.

Play continued and Alex Selkirk was given a Yellow for a high tackle. A Corstorphine score seemed certain now and was delivered when their standoff strolled over from 5 yards out as the Dalkeith defence was stretched out of shape after a defensive scrum.

The conversion was good & Corstorphine took the lead for the first time 16-13

Dalkeith were back in defensive mode from the kick off as Corstorphine got back on the front foot and clearly fancied their chances of putting the game to bed with a score in the dying stages. Dalkeith were resolute with their tackling but give away a very kickable penalty which took the score to 19-13.

The referee signalled that the restart would be the last play of the game and Dalkeith were staring at defeat in the face.

Wilson’s restart was flighted perfectly to be challenged and up soared Clark Young to collect the ball beautifully. It was last chance saloon at this point and Dalkeith had wave after wave of players crashing up and denting the opposition defence. Davidson, Halliday, Rae all made ground. Walker took play even deeper into Corstorphine territory before a penalty was conceded. Young tapped and made a dash for the line only just being stopped short. Sam Sutherland then ran a tight line to the ruck and from a couple yards out to score under the posts to the delight & relief of the travelling Dalkeith support.

The job wasn’t done yet though as the kick had to be good to secure the victory. However Young made no mistake and the game was won sparking jubilant scenes on & off the park from the Dalkeith contingent.

Full time - Corstorphine 19 Dalkeith 20

Corstorphine are a much-improved team which for 80 minutes was really annoying.

However, we don’t need to play them again so we hope they continue to get better and do us a few favours later in the season.

The Dalkeith players can be very proud of the way they refused to accept defeat and fought back to claim the win against the odds. Winning whilst not being at your best is the mark of a resilient team and Saturday’s game might turn out to be huge for us come the end of the season.

All eyes are now on Saturday and the visit of Hawick Linden, the only team to have defeated us this season.

No doubt the squad will be fired up for this one and looking to settle the score.

Kick off is at 2pm.

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