Match Report – Selkirk 28-8 Dundee High Rugby – 19 January 2019

The threatened big freeze had failed to materialise, meaning Dundee kicked off against Selkirk in cold but perfectly playable conditions at Philiphaugh, under one of the best sets of floodlights in Scottish Rugby. Indeed, the whole of Philiphaugh was looking in great nick, a credit to the hard work that this friendliest of clubs (off the pitch!) put into the game.

Dundee’s only ever present so far this season, Angus Thomson, was missing for the first time, Andy Clarkson taking his place. Andy Dymock started at scrum half as a late replacement for the injured Stewart Lathangie, and Jack Newth made his league debut at loosehead prop, becoming the 50th different player to have played for our 1st XV this season.

Dundee’s first few lineouts in Selkirk’s half went well, with South African hooker Dylan Whitcombe hitting his man, but a couple of penalties as Dundee struggled to clear out break downs let Selkirk ease the pressure. Selkirk’s No. 15, Rory Banks, pushed a penalty attempt wide in the 9th minute, but Dundee failed to take advantage of that let off. A charged down kick on our 22 led to too many Dundee players failing to secure the loose ball. Selkirk’s No. 7 Higgins had no such inhibitions, however, touching it down among a posse of Dundee players as it bounced back over our line. No. 15 Banks slotted the conversion, and it was 7 – 0 to Selkirk after 10 minutes.

After some midfield exchanges, Selkirk increased their lead all too easily from 1st phase ball, when a big gap opened up in Dundee’s midfield as Selkirk’s winger Anderson cut back inside, cantering over under the posts for a converted try to make it 14 – 0 with just 18 minutes gone.

Dundee regrouped, and worked their way up to Selkirk’s 5 metre line. Under pressure, our line out throw went wrong, but Selkirk knocked on, giving us a second bite at the cherry. And we took full advantage, good handling leading to a Fijian style flipped pass from skipper McKay to No. 14 Kieran D’Aeth, who went over in the far corner. Fraser missed the kick, but at 14 – 5  with over 10 minutes of the first half still to go, the Dundee supporters felt their side were coming back into it.

Dundee’s Man of the Match, prop Harry Meadows, was prominent with a number of good carries, and the Dundee scrum started to cause Selkirk all sorts of problems in the set, with prop Jack Newth giving his opposite number what might be called a good working over! As the first half drew to a close, a tremendous break by centre Ross Aitken nearly pierced the Selkirk defence, but he just couldn’t quite link with the supporting Kieran Scoular, and Selkirk held out, albeit at the cost of a penalty which McKay popped over to make it 14 – 8 to Selkirk at half time.  Could Dundee keep up the standard of that last 20 minutes in the second half?

Sadly, the answer is not quite. After starting well, and scorning a couple of kicks at goal for 5 metre lineouts which misfired, a series of 3 penalties in as many minutes took play from Selkirk’s 5 metre line to ours. In a good illustration of the difference between the 2 sides, Selkirk then executed their lineout well, attacked patiently, and after 4 or 5 recycles the Dundee defence ran out of men, letting Selkirk’s No. 13 Clapperton trot over in the corner for a well converted try. Selkirk’s lead was 21 – 8 with 52 minutes gone, after what was their first visit into Dundee territory in the second half. Andy Clarkson, who had tackled well all afternoon, had received a bang in the face for his pains in the build up to the try, and was replaced by Niall Hall.

More changes followed, as Kieran Scoular and Neil Turnbull also both suffered knocks (Turnbull’s coming as he was just stopped short of the Selkirk line), with their respective replacements being Paul Ritch and a happily restored Clarkson. Dundee were working hard, with No. 9 Dymock making some sniping runs from the base of the break down, and young No. 10 Harry Mercer (who drew high words of praise from former Scotland and British Lion stand off John Rutherford after the game) trying all he knew to break through. However, the well organised Selkirk defence stood firm, snuffing out one great Niall Hall break on their 22 as Dundee failed to get men there quickly enough to retain possession. More knocks meant Andy Hamilton came on for flanker Angus Farquhar, who like his back row colleagues Lewis Macnamara and Kevin Franco had never stopped competing all afternoon, and Kieran returned for centre Duncan McIntyre, who had made a couple of good breaks to no avail in the 2nd half.

Dundee were tiring as their efforts to knock down Selkirk’s defensive brick wall came to nothing, and as so often happens, it was Selkirk who had the final say against a weary Dundee defence, Borthwick going over for a try in the very last minute of the game. Bank’s conversion made it 28 – 8 at full time, which the Dundee faithful felt was an unfair reflection on Dundee’s performance over the 80 minutes. However, our lack of penetration, often caused by our failure to secure quick ball from the break down, meant we never quite pressed Selkirk hard enough.

Dundee Team: 15 Fraser Mackay, 14 Kieran D’Aeth, 13 Duncan McIntyre, 12 Ross Aitken, 11 Kieran Scoular, 10 Harry Mercer, 9 Andy Dymock; 1 Jack Newth, 2 Dylan Whitcombe, 3 Harry Meadows, 4 Andy Clarkson, 5 Neil Turnbull, 6 Kev Franco, 7 Angus Farquhar, 8 Lewis Macnamara

Replacements 16 Taylor Smith, 17 Niall Hall, 18 Andrew Hamilton, 20 Paul Ritch

Match Report – Dundee High 33-36 Cartha Queens Park – 12 January 2019

On a beautiful day Dundee hosted Cartha, the team propping up the division. But all knew this would be a difficult encounter; and so it proved.

The afternoon started fair with president Gerry in acerbic form so soon after his 70th birthday bash.

Then ex-players joined the fray with Paul Rouse, Bruce Mclaren , Gus Carnegie and Stuart Wright to the fore. Bruce had travelled all the way from Nepal, sorry Bruce.

So to the game:

The pitch was splendid, the wind soft and someone said if you cant play in these conditions etc!

It was obvious from the off that Cartha were up for it and dominated the first 10 minutes. Then a flashing move from the visitors saw Dundee lucky to remain 0-0 as a knock on at the line denied Cartha an opening score.

Dundee’s scrum looked solid but it was the midfield pressure from Cartha that promised better things.

And so it proved, with the Glasgow team going through 5 phases before scoring to the right of the posts; 7-0 after 15 minutes, Cartha were exerting lots of effort. could they keep it up?

Sort answer: yes.

From the restart Cartha again ran from deep with Dundee’s defence embarrassed but given a reprieve with a Cartha knock-on when a score looked certain.

Dundee infringed at the resulting scrum. Cartha choose to kick for a line out and 5 phases later had their 2nd score; 14-0 after 23 minutes.

Devoted fans were becoming very concerned and after 26 minutes their weird was drawn as Dundee’s first meaningful attack foundered on a bad pass, allowing Cartha to counter from deep; 19-0 after 26 minutes

Then Dundee woke up and scruffy but gritty play led to Duncan Mcintyre scoring Dundee’s first; 19-5 after 37 minutes,

Dundee now realised that effort was required and pushed hard for the remainder of the half.

A great break from deep saw young stand off Harry Meadows clutching a pass he had no right to hold, the move continued and harry saw the ball over the whitewash – converted; 19-12 at half time

Dundee’s high hopes suffered a harsh blow 46 seconds into the second half. From Dundee’s ko Cartha ran the length of the park to score; 26 -12

I am sorry, but there was only one team in it, but credit to Dundee’s young team for sticking to the task. A pressure pen saw Cartha stretch ahead; 31-12

Dundee upped their game with aggression but no accuracy. The subs from both sides indicated that crucial 20 mins to go period.

Then out of nothing Lewis Macnamara made a wonderful break and fed skip Mackay, who scored and converted; 29-19

A resurgent Dundee then started playing muscle rugby to good effect, Neil Turnbull came to the fore, and his feed saw Andrew Thompson score under the posts. skip converted; 29-26 game on.

Then all hell broke loose with Dundee playing sevens’ style, and a great move ended with the captain putting in a great kick which saw Cartha preventing a try, result: penalty try and a yellow to the visitors.

33-29 Dundee with 13 minutes left, game management now needed.

And then with Cartha tiring, an aberration occurred, and it went against Dundee. A blatant block was missed by the officials, and Cartha went through the resultant hole to score; 36-33
and that’s how it ended.

Cartha played for 83 minutes Dundee for 20 but could and should have won it.


Volunteer Manager Appointment

Dundee High Rugby are delighted to announce a new innovative appointment to look after and expand our growing band of 120+ volunteers over the 3 strands of our club. The Club’s first Volunteer manager is Willie Stoops. Willie who played for the senior Club back in the day as well as Panmure, Harris and Morgan, joins us with a vast experience of all 3 strands of the Club. He accompanied his son Ollie right through the Eagles minis and midis and is now at the 2nd stage of Ollie’s rugby journey at Dundee Rugby Juniors with Ollie, who is in S1 where Willie is one of the coaches. Willie, as many will know, is also is a well-known local Midlands referee. Willie knows all about service having spent the last 29 years in The Royal Marine Reserves. We wish Willie all the best as we construct this new position. The challenges of recruiting, rewarding and retaining volunteers is an increasingly important area. Good luck Willie and thanks for your service.

Dundee High v Dunfermline – 5th Jan 2019

Dundee High v Dunfermline on Sat 5th Jan at the Oriam located at Heriot Watts Uni in Edinburgh
KO 6pm
Post code EH14 4AS

Great opportunity to keep up the fitness for the next league game on the 12th Jan at Mayfield v Cartha. Bus leaves Mayfield at 3pm. The Oriam is a fantastic venue and a great experience for players and spectators. It will be great to see some old friends from Dunfermline Rfc again. A Crown Happy New Year to all.

Merry Christmas from Dundee High Rugby

Dundee High Rugby wish all members, supporters, players (of all ages) sponsors, volunteers and all the great Clubs who have visited us this year a very merry Xmas and a healthy, happy, sustainable New Year. Rugby in Dundee is changing for the better and our collaboration with Dundee Morgan is proof of this. The HIGH-flying Eagles soaring up and the strong youth of Dundee Rugby going from strength to strength is itself festive delight! To all involved with running these great institutions…. thank you and enjoy the (short) break! Merry Xmas everyone.

If you are around on New Years day pop in and first foot us at the Clubhouse from 1.30pm. More here,

TFI – Friday 21st December

This is NOT a TFI Friday™ notice. The last TFI Friday of the year was last week! So if you missed it that’s tough! You missed the most extravagant FREE Nibbles© provided by our favourite Hultoon hooswifey. Chipolatas done 9 ways will not be surpassed any time soon. Nobody won the guess the wine competition©. The bar opened at 5.36 and there was a rush of bar staff enjoying their Xmas night oot. “OOT of it” is a more accurate description. What is the collective noun for bar staff on their nite oot? The best was a “hooligan” of bar staff with a “BLOOTER of bar staff”  coming a close 2nd but a prize remains for a description that more accurately describes them? We will need to buy a new pole as the old one is bent. We did get some new interesting ways to ask for your P45. This week do NOT turn up. Its “aff”. CCTV footage is for sale on B/Ferry Gumtree. Cash only NO refunds. Viewer discretion deffo advised!

Rugby. Last Sat we travelled to Hamilton and won in atrocious conditions. Great result and great travelling support helped spur the lads on to victory then helped them relax on the way home on a reflective bus. This win ends our account this year in 9th place and our next home game is v Cartha Rfc on the 12th Jan 2019. Please get down to Mayfield to support our brave young men. There is also a game planned for 5th Jan v Dunfermline so please keep an eye on the website for details.

Please support live traditional music at the Presidents New Years Day party in the Clubhouse at Mayfield. It starts from 1.30 on the 1st Jan 2019 and please click here for more details. PS. Bring some chums!

The new Club vision for the next five years is being worked upon and we welcome any and all contributions from 3 strands of the club. The HIGH-Flying Eagles P1-P7) and Dundee Rugby Juniors S1 – U18’s) This is about improving Rugby in Dundee so please if you haven’t expressed already your interest to contribute do so by emailing me or any other committee sort. Be a part of the future.

All that remains is to wish all our members, sponsors, players, parents of players and especially our 120 or so volunteers, spread out across the 3 strands of our great club, a very merry Xmas and a happy and healthy New Year. This of course includes our friends and great supporters at Abertay University.

Gerry Tosh

Match Report – Dundee High 20-21 Gala – 8 December 2018

It was a full Lunch Club as 84 early Christmas revellers descended on Mayfield on a raw December morning, including 3 tables of guests at well known Dundee High Rugby supporter Colin Dargie’s birthday celebrations.

President Tosh was in fine form, insulting, in turn, the sponsors, the honourable guests and the Gala committee in such a kind and caring way that they laughed along with everyone else.

As the chat turned to the match, it was felt that the young – and again injury hit – Dundee side would have to be at their best against a Gala side sitting in mid-table. Vice President McDonald’s programme notes provided a sobering reminder of how rugby used to be down Gala way when he stated that in March 1971 there were 6 Gala men in the Scotland team that beat England in 2 successive Saturdays at Murrayfield. However, as Sandy pointed out . Dundee High School FP were also represented in the form of our legendary Chris Rea.

Changed days indeed.

A glance at the Dundee team saw a new name at 10 –  Harry Mercer , a 17 year old Madras Academy schoolboy. In recent years , Dundee High have fielded a number of 17 year olds –  Euan Fox , Chris Jollands , Sean Gauld , Angus Fraser –  so we are certainly doing our bit for Scottish youth rugby.

To accommodate Harry , Ross Aitken moves to 12 where his centre partner is Marshall McLeod. Marshall is the grandson of club legend Gordon Bruno Burnett  . The fact that Marshall has graduated from Oxford University , led to the question being asked at the Clubhouse Bar –  “name another Oxford  –  or indeed Cambridge graduate who has played for Dundee High Rugby “?”. Answers on a postcard , please………

And so to the match :

Dundee were attacking the Dalgleish Road end and were immediately under pressure – indeed camped in their 22 , as Gala went through several phases. A pattern emerged whereby the Dundee defence held firm , eventually won the ball , then kicked it back to Gala. Time after time Gala recycled the ball , but Dundee’s defence was looking up for the challenge and was not breached.

Eventually , Gala were awarded a penalty which seemed eminently kickable.

However Gala 10  Keddie –  in possibly his only mistake of the match –  pulled the kick wide.

However , rather than relieving the pressure , the Dundee drop out went straight to Gala who ran it back and the same pattern emerging. Once again the Dundee defence held firm , with the back row –  Gav , Gus Farquhar and Baz to the fore.

Unfortunately , Baz was deemed by the referee to be too much to the fore as one of his tackles was deemed to be a “no arms tackle” and a yellow was brandished.

This would not be the last of the menage a trois between the referee , his cards and  Baz…….

Although a man down , the Dundee defence held firm and eventually a Ross Aitken kick freed the pressure.

This allowed Dundee to spent time in the Gala half , but came up against determined Gala defence until Gav Hughan secured a turnover and a penalty.

Fraser nailed the kick.

Dundee High 3 Gala 0,

This seemed to give the young Dundee side confidence and they went further ahead , when following an Aitken  break  , the ball was moved wide and Harry combined with Marshall to send Gus Farquhar  over in the corner.

Fraser converted

Dundee High 10 Gala 0.

This was an impressive performance by Dundee given that they were down on 14 men and Baz then returned to take them back to full strength.

Things got better when following a Stuart Lathangie break , Gus was in support to take the ball forward  with Fraser set to take the ball on , Gala were penalised for blocking Fraser .

This seemed to upset the Gala bench and shouts of complaint were heard in an unfamiliar language –  not English – but thought to be a particular dialect of “Borders speak”.

Regardless , Fraser was not deterred and kicked the penalty.

Dundee High 13 Gala 0.

The pattern of the opening phase of the first half was then restored with Gala maintaining possession around the Dundee 22 , going through several phases , bur the Dundee defence in good form.

The Dundee defence stood firm to half time.

Half Time –  Dundee High 13 Gala 0.

At half time, Dundee brought on Franco for Stewart at hooker and Neil Turnbull replaced Euan Grewar in the second row.

The second half commenced in the same vein as the first half, with Gala basically having the ball and keeping the ball.

The feeling amongst the Dundee support was that this could be a long half if Gala continued to dominate possession and Dundee conceded early, particularly if Dundee conceded early in the half.

Unfortunately, 10 minutes into the second half Gala did score and it was unnecessary from a Dundee perspective. A squint thrown in near their line gave Gala a scrum, their number eight Euan Dodds picked up, and fed 9 Fairburn who waltzed unchallenged over the line.

Keddie converted with a super kick.

Dundee High 13 Gala 7.

Dundee then tried to force the play into Gala’s half , with young 10 Mercer showing admirable confidence in throwing the ball around.

Then , following a passage of play in midfield , Stuart Barlow did what seemed like a “tip tackle” on the Gala 9 . This did not go down well with the Gala players and there was a bit of handbags between the forwards. After the referee had resumed order , he went to have a consultation with the assistant referee. This episode was unlikely to end well for Baz who had already been yellow-carded in the first half , with the only question being which colour of card would be produced this time.

This question was answered when the referee flashed a red card and it was jotters for Baz.

Was it a red card offence ?

Your reporter took the views of 3 Mayfield legends on the touchline –  Harvey Wright , Sandy Hutch and Neil Paddy Paterson  and each confirmed that it was in their view a red , so it was difficult to complain about the ref’s decision.

This would undoubtedly make Dundee’s task harder  and Gala took advantage quickly .

After a period of possession near the Dundee line , one of their forwards burrowed over for a try.

Fly half Keddie’s conversion hit the post and in keeping with Dundee’s luck this season , dropped over the bar to get the extra 2 points.

Dundee High 13 Gala 14

With 10 minutes left , Gala went further ahead when centre Edmunds broke from midfield and went over.

Keddie again converted.

Dundee High 13 Gala 21

Gala were continuing to enjoy the majority of the possession at this stage and were looking to add to their lead , when a loose pass was intercepted by Dundee winger Paul Ritch who raced away to score , with Fraser converting well.

Dundee High 20 Gala 21.

This seemed to set things up for a grandstand finish , as the consensus of opinion amongst the Dundee supporters on the touchline was that there were around 5 minutes left,

However , after 2 minutes play in midfield , the referee’s whistle went for no side, to put the tin lid on a disappointing afternoon for Dundee.



It is always desperately disappointing to lose a match by  one point , but this was particularly agonising given that a conversion hitting the post and dropping over as opposed to short was the difference between Dundee winning and losing the match.

Gala could point to the fact that they had by far the greater share of possession , but the Dundee defence was strong and committed throughout.

The efforts and commitment of the Dundee players could not be faulted and more of the same will be required as the team head for Hamilton and a crucial match next Saturday.