2015/2016: Scottish National League One



C. MacRimmon15J. Edgar
I. Matacagi14R. O’Keefe
N. Alston13C. Binnie
N. Herron12A. Henderson (c)
R. Lemon11A. Auld
D. Leese10A. Goudie
A. Dymock9A. Gillman
G. Robertson1L. Archer
A. Kent2G. Campbell
(c) A. Brown3M. Robertson
G. Arnott4A. Barnett
N. Turnbull5C. McGeough
P. Redmayne6R. McKinstray
H. Livingston7G. Neilson
G. Hughan8G. MacDonald
J. Gibson16S. Usuda
D. Russell17J. Leslie
I. Robertson18A. Grant-Suttie
J. Rutnagur19M. Houston
C. Avis20C. Pringle
Matacagi (2), Brown, Herron, Hughan, LivingstonTryArcher, Houston, Pringle
Alston (3)ConGoudie (2)
PenGoudie (2)
Mr D. McClement


Dundee went into this BT National One match against GHA , looking to continue their good run , with 6 wins in their last 7 matches,  against a GHA side 4 places below Dundee in the league table . The fact that only 7 points separated the teams (Dundee on 28, GHA on 21) confirmed just how close the BT National One league was shaping up to be.

It was a dry day in Dundee –  contrary to the weather throughout the rest of the country – and Mayfield hosted a double header as both the Ist XV and the Titans faced GHA on the adjoining pitches.

The Dundee 1ST squad’s injury list had lessened slightly, with Duncan Leese , Neil Herron , Hamish Livingstone and Darrel Russell restored , but with key players Danny Levison , Tim McKavanagh and Blair Cochrane still out.

It was noted that the GHA team was captained by one Andrew Henderson, the ex Glasgow and Scotland player who gained 53 caps between 2001 and 2008.

As the players arrived for the match, it was noted that a juggernaut was parked outside the Mayfield clubhouse . This was the delivery of prosecco for the Rugby Club Annual Ladies Day , the day on which Dundee’s WAGS , weemin and sisterhood descended for a lunch , afternoon , evening and night of gossip , girlie talk and general mayhem.

In addition , with over 70 guests pitching up for the Lunch Club in the glasshouse , it promised to be a lively day and evening at Mayfield.

As the players warmed up , said WAGS and weemin  started arriving at Mayfield in their scantily clad finest in full view of the players-  the growl of coach JJ Van der Esch ensured that the players thoughts were concentrated on rugby as opposed to more lurid activities.

On a serious note, a minute’s silence was held before both Mayfield matches in memory of the victims of the previous night’s atrocities in Paris.

The match kicked off and Dundee immediately went on the offensive but the initial pressure did not yield any rewards, with Duncan putting a penalty chance just wide after 5 minutes.

GHA then forced play back to midfield and the next 5 mins were played out around the half way line, although it was becoming apparent that the Dundee pack were gaining the upper hand.

Then in 12 minutes , Neil Herron made a trademark scorching break from half way and although he was held up in the 22 , Hamish was in support to take Neil’s pass and score near the corner . The conversion was missed. 5-0 to Dundee.

Dundee continued to be on top and in 15 minutes the GHA 2nd row  was yellow carded , following the intervention of the assistant referee , after a mid- air challenge.

Dundee quickly exploited this one man advantage when the dominant pack forced play up to the GHA 22 and following a maul, Captain Broonie rumbled over . Nick nailed the conversion to make the score 12-0 to Dundee.

At this stage , the Ladies Day lunchers were setting into their lunch and high pitched laughter and much clinking of wine glasses could be heard wafting down from the Mayfield clubhouse.

The Dundee pack were now completely in control and with Andy and Duncan pulling the strings at half back  , some impressive high tempo rugby was being played.

Dundee then went further ahead in 21 minutes when following a turnover , winger Matagaci Ice , aka the Iceman , kicked ahead towards the try line. He then set off like Usain Bolt in pursuit of the ball as it ran into the goal area , with both the GHA winger and referee Duncan let trailing by the Iceman’s pace.

To the delight of the Mayfield faithful  , the Iceman dived on the ball before it crossed the dead ball area .

Given referee Duncan’s build , it is a safe assumption that he was not a winger in his youth , but what he lacked in pace , he made up with enviable eyesight to signify that the Iceman had got the touchdown from around 40 metres away.The conversion was missed . 17-0 Dundee.

Following the kick off, GHA, for the first time in the match , got a concerted period of possession and forced play into the Dundee half , then into the 22. Their pressure was rewarded when they were awarded a penalty in front of the Dundee posts , which Andrew Gouldie nailed . 17-3 Dundee after 25 minutes. GHA were then restored to full strength when lock McGeough returned to the fray.

Dundee continued to be dominant up front and play was again forced into the Musselburgh 22 . Following a  number of near things , defended desperately but successfully by GHA.

However , following a 5m scrum , number 8 Gavin Hughan displayed admirable skills by keeping the ball under control and dive over for a try. The conversion was missed, but this gave Dundee a commanding 22-3 lead.

As the crowd on the Mayfield bank reflected in quiet satisfaction at their team’s impressive first half performance , their peace was shattered by the cackling and screams emanating from Ladies Day ,as the assembled 61 “ladies” were served by lunch by topless waiters .

It transpired that included amongst the topless waiter servicing the “ladies” were injured young Dundee players Tim McKavanagh and Paddy Hamilton. The old cynics on the Mayfield touchlines suggested that there was a greater chance of injury at Ladies Day , than playing a full BT National One match.

Half Time – Dundee 22 GHA 3

As the Dundee team reappeared for the second half, Duncan had been replaced by Josh and Kenty by Daz.

This realisation started grumblings amongst the Dundee support that Sangster must have been at Ladies Day in the first half and sampled too much Prosecco.

Why on earth would he make these changes with the starting Dundee team having put in an impressive opening 40 ?

It transpired that following Duncan’s recent injury , it had been agreed before the match that 40 minutes was the maximum he would play. In addition , Kenty had taken a knock in the first half , so he was withdrawn as a precaution.

As was to be expected, the GHA team came straight at Dundee and initially the Dundee defence held firm. However the pressure was rewarded when the GHA prop barged over near the posts. The try was converted. 22-10.

Play was then concentrated in the Dundee half and after 55 minutes, the margin was further reduced when the GHA 10 nailed a penalty. 22-13 Dundee.

The realisation was dawning among the Mayfield faithful that this match was not yet over.

Meantime back up at the Clubhouse , the volume of raucous laughter and girlie screeches was cranking up and four of the Dundee sisterhood’s finest could be seen outside the clubby steps , having a communal smoke , while sinking their pints of Pinot Grigio.

Dundee then maintained possession for a number of plays for the first time in the second half and following pressure in the GHA 22, Neil danced in for a try under the posts. Nick converted .      29-13 to Dundee.

GHA , to their credit , had upped their game in the second half and  further pressure in the Dundee 22 , was rewarded with another try. The conversion was missed. 29-20 Dundee .

This gave encouragement to GHA who saw a chance to get something out of this match.

Captain Broonie then added to the interest value in the match by getting yellow carded. 9 point lead , but Dundee down to 14 man. Game on.

Meantime , back at the Ladies Day , events were taking a predictable path as the karaoke had started and the clubhouse , the Mayfield Sports Centre and  the Arbroath Road bounced to the sounds of the Oasis classic Wonderwall being mutilated. It was 3.15pm.

14 man Dundee however upped the tempo and took play back into the GHA 22. Following several plays, space was created for the Iceman to break away again and score near the posts . Nick converted . 36-20 Dundee.

GHA had the final say with an unconverted try in the last play to round off an entertaining match.

Full Time –  Dundee 36 GHA 25


This was an encouraging victory for Dundee , as they had spells of playing excellent rugby against a good GHA side.

However , the fact that GHA “won the second half” was not unnoticed by Head Coach Colin Sangster  whose  after match message to the players  was play at full tempo for full 80 minutes.

Man of the Match was new Mayfield favourite the Iceman ,  but as ex Scotland coach and Honorary Member of Dundee High Rugby Frank Hadden (a Lunch Club guest at the match accompanied by old mucker and mentor , Sandy Hutch) stated , this match was won in the first half by the domination of the Dundee pack and half backs.

Source: S. Liverback, Dundee HSFP, Sunday 15th November 2015

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