Dunbar, unbeaten at home faced the undefeated league champions Hawick Linden at Hallhill in blustery conditions. Dunbar kicked off with the wind at their back and forced a knock on allowing them to exert pressure. Dunbar moved the ball well from the scrum and John Peebles crossed in the corner with Charlton converting. The visitors looked nervous and the re start did not go ten metres. Dunbar should maybe have scored as they bombarded the visitors line. Captain Greg Patrizio was held up over the line but Dunbar could not capitalise and it was the visitor’s next to threaten but good defence from Gary Peebles allowed for the clearance down field. Dunbar had looked good in defence but a slip up allowed Linden to score under the posts which was converted and the scores were level. Dunbar were awarded a penalty on half way and Charlton with the wind at his back converted to give his team a slender lead after 15 minutes. Both teams were guilty of mistakes and it was not until the 25th minute that the visitors regained the lead from a scrum. The number eight picked and drove over the line for the score. Back came Dunbar and again a penalty from Charlton saw the home side go back in front.Dunbar had a chance to extend the lead but the ball was turned over. The Hawick Linden got their noses back in front on 35 minutes with a penalty which was the last score of the half. Dunbar lost Jamie Peters to a shoulder injury and was replaced by Josh Nicol.
Dunbar started the second half with a bang and it was the substitute Josh Nicol who crossed for the try in the corner and Charlton again converted. Dunbar looked as if they could take the match as they dominated the scrums and the loose. The visitors were not top of the table for no reason and started to exert pressure which resulted in a score on 47 minutes to level at 20 points each. The visitors looked to take the lead but a cracking tackle near the Dunbar line forced a knock on and Dunbar cleared. Dunbar then brought on youngster Struan Lugton along with Jack Martin playing his first senior match.
Dunbar then lost influential front row forward Brandon Pollock and the scrum seemed to go to pieces. Linden then had a push over try for a 25-20 lead on 60 minutes but Dunbar hit back straight away with Gary Peebles scoring a great try. Matt Wilson gathered the ball from the restart and the forwards drove up field before an injection of pace saw the centre score.
Hawick regained the lead from a penalty on 66 minutes. Dunbar were trying everything and Antoin Penrose was at the fore but was forced to retire due to a head injury. The visitors finished the match as a contest with a minute remaining as their influential number eight drove over the line.
This match could have went either way but the champions showed exactly why they were unbeaten but Dunbar came them several frights on the way.
Match Report and Photos – David Wilson, Chairman Dunbar RFC