Tennent’s Caledonia Region League, Division One: Ellon 14 Dunfermline 30

DUNFERMLINE Rugby Club continued their bid for league glory by picking up a sixth successive win at Ellon on Saturday.

The McKane Park outfit’s first XV travelled north having secured a bonus-point victory over Aberdeen Wanderers the previous week, a feat that they repeated with a five-try haul.

The hosts had been beaten 22-3 on their visit to West Fife earlier in the season and Dunfermline anticipated a tough match as they sought to maintain their place at the top of the table.

They made the perfect start when Graeme Low notched their first score after only six minutes but a converted try four minutes later gave Ellon the initiative.

Dunfermline, however, responded just as quickly when Dennis Morrice went over, with Adam Fraser converting, before Low scored his second to give them a 17-7 lead.

A second converted try just before the interval brought Ellon back to within three points but a try apiece for Andrew McKenzie and Cammy Dunn, either side of a Fraser penalty, sealed what could be a vital win.

In-form Dunfermline have 47 points, eight more than nearest challengers Orkney, but have played three more matches than their rivals.

Skipper Dunn told Press Sport: “It was a fantastic result in the end.

“The opening 10-15 minutes were tit-for-tat. We scored early on in the match, Ellon replied with a try of their own after some consecutive penalties with a driving maul, then we scored with our next attack through our own maul!

“Half-time was just a three-point buffer to us so we knew we had to sort some things out because it felt like we had control in that opening half.

“The second half was much more clinical; scoring another 13 points, and being able to to hold them to nil for the second half, was a great final result for us.

“We managed to leave Ellon with nothing on the table to show for their efforts so it was a positive final result and another performance we can keep building on going into these final games.”

Elsewhere, Dunfermline’s second XV, who are second in Tennent’s Caledonia Midlands Region League Division Three, won the local bragging rights with a 26-14 derby win over Rosyth Sharks at McKane, but Dunfermline’s third XV were defeated by Aberfeldy in Division Four.

Dunfermline Press:

Action from Dunfermline second XV and Rosyth Sharks. Photo: Bill Blenman.

This weekend, Dunfermline’s first XV host Grangemouth Stags; the second XV travel to Perthshire second XV; the third XV are at home to Bo’ness; and Rosyth Sharks host Montrose/Arbroath, with all games kicking-off at 2pm.

Meanwhile, Dunfermline’s senior women’s side returned to action with a friendly against a combined Dundee/RDVC (Royal Dick Veterinary College) team on Sunday, losing 25-17.

Dunn, who also coaches the women's side, felt they performed "very admirably, and added: "We had a completely new lineup in the backline, with everyone being shifted about positions, and they really shone.

"I can’t praise them enough for how well they eased into their positions with just a few sessions to prepare them. Our forwards are a pretty consistent unit and they fronted up well with some great carrying to keep us moving forwards, but errors across the side effectively cost us from finishing off scoring opportunities in the opening half.

"The opposition had a quick winger, who scored two tries going outside our defensive line, so it’s hugely positive that there wasn’t an easy way through the middle of our wall.

"The players took on board the half time chat well and scored two of our own pretty quickly into the second half, scoring a third try later on in the match which left us just three points behind of a great comeback victory. 

"Another try was held up over their try line, and an opportunity was missed when the ball was dropped just metres from the line too, so there was all opportunity for the result but the performance and effort were top as always from this group."