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.