Sep 24 2010 Dumfries Standard Friday
SAINTS took a huge travelling party of nearly 30 players to say farewell to Martin Smith who heads off on a working holiday in New Zealand.
How times have changed for the better!
Saints took an early lead when Burgess punished an Accies indiscretion by calmly slotting the opening score.
From the re-start, Saints returned the kick and made ground into the Accies half.
Serious pressure kept the home side penned in their half. A further penalty was duly converted by Burgess to give Saints a six-point lead.
On the 10-minute mark, the Accies pack nicked one against the head and spun the ball wide to score in the corner and, as the conversion went wide, Saints maintained a slender lead.
With the Saints pack dominating the lineout they took the game back at Accies and after a five-metre scrum Eck Bryden crossed near the posts.
With Burgess converting a bit of daylight was appearing between the teams. As the first half drew to a close Burgess added yet another penalty to make the half time score Accies 5 - Saints 16
From the start of the second half Saints had to withstand some fierce Accies pressure as they tried to close the gap.
Heroic defence kept them at bay and the Dumfries side worked their way up field.
Saints backs and forwards combined to play some pretty special rugby in the process.
When Birdsall put a kick into the corner, Saints won the lineout to drive over with Mark McClatchey claiming the unconverted try although Freebody reckons he had his hand on the ball as well!
Accies, not to be outdone, came back at Saints time after time but the Saints defence was to remain firm.
With Accies pressing on the Saints five-metre line, and a three on two overlap beckoning, Alan Birdsall intercepted, drew his man and passed to Andy Whiteford who ran the ball in from fully 70 yards to score the final try.
No matter how hard Saints tried, the elusive fourth try failed to materialised.
The final whistle went with Saints convincingly winning a very good game of rugby by 26 points to 5.
Team: Sean Graham, Euan Mack, Simon Robertson (capt.), Stuart Kennedy, Will Greene, Dougie Crichton, Mark McClatchey, Clinton Freebody, Will Kelly, Stuart Burgess, Andy Whiteford, Eck Bryden, Dom Lewis, Martin Smith, Keith Riddick. Subs all used; Fraser Carson, Blair Thomson; Jonnie Campion, Alan Birdsall, Richie Davidson and Keiron Milby.