Boroughmuir 3rd XV v Dundee Titans
1 April 2017
If there was anything familiar, it was another unfamiliar Titans line-up, which took the field at Boroughmuir, on a bright spring afternoon with a strong breeze blowing down the pitch. Traffic delays, firstly in Dundee, and latterly on the approaches to the Forth Road Bridge, meant a delayed kick-off, and, even then, two players had not arrived by the time the whistle went, forcing coach Dougie Gray to take the field temporarily.
Titans won the toss and elected to play with the wind in the first half. After firstly falling foul of over-kicking in the wind, Titans began to harness it better and kept themselves in the game, until a clearance kick failed to reach touch and the ball was run back by Boroughmuir, with their loose-head prop bursting through to open the scoring. The try was converted and the home side were ahead, 7 – 0.
Although Boroughmuir ran the ball back from the kick-off, Dundee stole possession and, when Boroughmuir were penalised, Yousif Alagilly slotted the kick to reduce the deficit: 7 – 3.
Dundee continued to use the wind to advantage and another offence by Boroughmuir gave Yousif a second penalty opportunity, but, this time, the kick was sent wide and it was Boroughmuir which were next to score. A good burst by their inside centre, followed by two passes, saw the ball touched down for an unconverted try, putting Boroughmuir 12 – 3 ahead.
Dundee were up to strength, but an injury to Scott Strachan brought Dougie Gray back into the fray and Titans held out until just on half-time, when a good burst by their outside centre brought a try which was converted, bringing the half-time whistle and a score of 19 – 3 in Boroughmuir’s favour.
Half-time: Boroughmuir 3rd XV 19 Dundee Titans 3
Titans would need to look after the ball better against the wind in the second half and would need to improve their tackling, as well as their speed of reaction.
In the event, it was poor tackling which allowed Boroughmuir to stretch their lead with but a minute of the half played. Their No 7 ran through several attempted tackles before off-loading and the inside centre claimed the try which the stand-off converted, and Boroughmuir were 26 – 3 ahead.
Although playing with little structure, as might be expected from the unfamiliar team which they were, Dundee held out until a miss-field in 58 minutes allowed Boroughmuir possession in the Dundee 22, the ball being gathered and passed for a second score by the outside-centre, converted by the stand-off. 33 – 3
Boroughmuir were in the driving seat now and further tries followed in 64, 67, 69 and 73 minutes, with three converted, to take the score to 59 – 3.
Titans’ closing efforts prevented further Boroughmuir scoring, but brought no further scores for the visitors and that’s how it finished.
Full-time: Boroughmuir 3rd XV 59 Dundee Titans 3
A disjointed, shapeless, ad hoc performance by the Titans, which is hardly surprising, given the make-shift nature of the side, and it is to their credit that they continued to give their all to the end. Special mention to coach, Dougie Gray, who played most of the game in spite of still recovering from a severe chest infection.
Penalty: Yousif Alagilly