Mayfield was in splendid nick on Saturday afternoon, the sun was out, the playing surface immaculate and a manageable breeze blowing down the ground towards the city.
The pre match lunch boasted an ex- president and ex-captain’s table with such worthies as Bob Gray, Gordon Low and Ally Nicol. Ally’s dad and ex-president Dave couldn’t join the gang as he was on duty at the gate, what service.
Also putting in an appearance: well freeloading at the school table, was a high school full back from a previous age, Robbie Arthur. Robbie looked to be in better shape than when he played but his chat was just as bad.
The good weather had brought out a number of spectators, many in summer outfits but the winner in the style stakes was Derek Gore for his splendid butterfly shirt.
And so to the game, Dundee were playing with the wind first half but got off to a dreadful start with the away team attacking from the off to score under the posts. The try goaled 0-7
The Dundee team looked busy in the backs but inexperienced and lightweight upfront which certainly dictated how the home side performed. Throughout the game High struggled to gain parity with the Muir pack but ran any possession they had.
This led to a game that was disjointed and peppered with errors, BUT very entertaining.
So back to the game, despite being under the pump in the tight, Dundee broke from scrum half with Danny McGinn surging forward before kicking ahead. The kick is only as good as the chase and this was a belter with Tim Brown harassing the away side into conceding a pen, duly converted by Paul Kerr 3-7.
Boroughmuir came roaring back with their man of the match and hooker Dylan Powell to the fore. Pressure from a line-out saw the away side slide left and score 3-14.
Now Muir upped the ante with greater intensity and structure, Dundee countered with fearless defence, with a special mention for full back Callum Nicol.
With the increasing pressure came a penalty for Muir, converted by their 10 Robin Werrsma 3-17.
Dundee continued to press with whatever ball they got and multiphase play in Muir’s red zone led to a defensive infringement and another 3 points for the home side 6-17.
Dundee finished the half running from deep with great ambition but poor accuracy. 6-17
The second half started as the first had finished with Dundee determined to play sevens and Muir powerful, structured and patient.
And so came another Muir score as a move from deep by Dundee foundered and Dundee went further behind despite a suspicion of off-side, 6-24.
I have seen Dundee teams drop their collective heads at this point, but not this young side. Displaying great heart they pushed deep into Muir territory to win a pen in front of goal. So what did the playbook tell them to do? Kick to the corner of course. They won it and after 3 phases scored beside the posts, touched down by Finlay Jacobs, extra 2 from Kerr 13-24
Substitute prop Graeme Craig went off injured leading to uncontested scrums, which favoured the home side. From their next possession Dundee surged from half way with lock Angus Thomson going under the sticks, duly converted 20-24.
Muir came straight back and scored off a scrum, was there a hint of forward passing? But with no assistants to help him the ref called it as he saw it, converted 20-31.
Boroughmuir finished the scoring late in the game to make the final tally 20-38
All in all a great afternoon’s entertainment but enthusiasm and guts are not enough. Points come from possession, structure and accuracy. Let’s hope this young Dundee team can harness these strengths and start to bag some points, their heart deserves them.