Cartha QP 2nd XV v Dundee Titans
4 April 2015
On a heavy pitch, Dundee kicked off and were first on the attack, exerting early pressure in the Cartha 22. A drive to 2 metres out led to a Cartha scrum, but Dundee pushed them off the ball, allowing Stuart Barlow to pick from the base and score. 4 minutes gone and Dundee were ahead for a try converted by Finn Murphy, 0-7.
In only another 3 minutes, the lead was extended, when Callum Bowie pounced on a loose Cartha ball to scamper 40 metres for a try which Finn again converted. Dundee ahead 0-14 after only 7 minutes.
Handling errors were preventing a free-flowing game, but Dundee remained on top until Cartha gained the Dundee half for the first time, after some 18 minutes of the game. Penalty offences were preventing Dundee from capitalising on their early dominance and when Cartha gained touch 8 metres from the Dundee line from a penalty kick, a planned move round the front of the line-out led to their first score, an unconverted try which made it 5-14 after 27 minutes.
Dundee hit back from the re-start and were soon attacking in the Cartha 22. The ball was worked clear well and Fergus Wallace exploited a gap to burst through for a try which Finn again converted. 29 minutes gone and Dundee ahead 5-21.
Cartha won possession from their kick-off but handling errors led to a Dundee scrum. The feed was adjudged not straight and a quick free kick was taken by Cartha, who handled the ball left leading to a score in the corner, which was not converted. 29 minutes gone and the score was 10-21.
Handling errors and penalty offences were preventing any concerted periods of play until, on the stroke of half time, a break by the Cartha 13 found their full back in support and the try under the posts led to an easy conversion, reducing Dundee’s lead to 4 points.
Half-time: Cartha QP 17 Dundee Titans 21
A great start by Dundee, but lack of cohesion and consistency had let Cartha back into the game. Harder work in the second half, aimed at tiring the home pack, was the half-time encouragement.
In the event, it was Cartha who were the more dominant in the second half, but handing errors and penalties by both sides were preventing any spells of flowing play and, in the event, it was Dundee who came closest to scoring next. A fine kick into space by Finn Murphy gave Dundee an attacking opportunity. When Cartha cleared, a good break by Finn led to the ball being passed to Adam Lowrie, but a tackle in the act of scoring saw the ball spilled.
After Cartha kicked a penalty award to 5 metres from the Dundee line, they were penalised going for the score and Dundee took a quick penalty and ran the ball well out of defence, until the ball was lost and Cartha pounced to score a try which was converted. 72 minutes gone and Cartha ahead for the first time, 24-21.
Dundee hit back from the kick-off with strong mid-field drives, but knocked-on some 10 metres from the Cartha line. Although possession was won back, and Cartha were again penalised, Dundee ran the ball but lost it, and Cartha cleared to the Dundee half. Another penalty against Dundee and Cartha took the kick quickly to run in an unconverted try.
77 minutes gone and Cartha’s lead was extended: 29-21.
Several lengthy injury stoppages extended playing time, giving Dundee the opportunity for another score. A strong run by Scot Doig after a Cartha penalty led to a ruck from which Clinton Davey was able to burst over for an unconverted score which preceded the final whistle.
Full-time: Cartha QP 29 Dundee Titans 26
In spite of Dundee’s early burst, handling errors and penalty awards prevented any continuity and consistency developing. Although the pitch slopes to both ends from the middle, and the wind was more or less across the pitch, it seemed that the side playing towards the clubhouse was the more dominant, leading to something of a game of two halves. Two bonus points, however, and a sterling effort by coach Dougie Gray, who manfully played the whole game as hooker, stealing a couple of strikes against the head on the way.
Tries: Stuart Barlow, Callum Bowie, Fergus Wallace, Clinton Davey
Conversions: Finn Murphy (3)