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Dalziel First-15 enjoyed an extremely warm and sunny return to their home pitch for their first home game of the season and, in the first half, played at high pace and intensity, giving Border visitors, Langholm, a very hot welcome.

With the lowest penalty count which can be recalled in any game at Dalziel (ten in total throughout the match), the players from both sides put on a fine display of running rugby. In Dalziel’s case, this was marred in some instances by crucial handling errors at vital moments and when winger Czarnocki needed back up at critical moments, none was available.

With Dalziel spending the entire first half attacking the visitor’ line, Langholm responded with only sporadic breakouts and counter attack, which were ably dealt with by the Dalziel defence.

In the youthful Dalziel back division, it was ‘veteran’ 25-year old powerful Victor Czarnocki who contributed many eye catching efforts, both in defence and attack. On several occasions, Czarnocki bustled down his wing, fending off individual defenders but eventually succumbing to the attentions of a combination of four defenders. In one of these incursions on the visiting line, he was stopped only two metres out but, with no support present, Langholm defenders cleared the danger.

With the boot of the excellent full back, Andy Hill, giving Dalziel greater attacking positions, the sparse home crowd keenly anticipated a try. It was not to be, however, and it was not until forty minutes that Dalziel’s first points opportunity was presented to Robert Simpson. Unfortunately, the kick fell short. Two minutes later, just at the end of the first half, Andy Hill boomed a kick over from the half way line to put Dalziel 3 - 0 up at the turn.

In only the second attack following the restart, Langholm were awarded the inevitable penalty twenty five metres out and this was slotted home to make the score 3 - 3.

Inevitably, in the very warm conditions, Dalziel’s pace dropped allowing the bulky visiting pack to set up long stamina-sapping phases of forward play. Having dominated the first half in scrum and lineout, Langholm had worked out a way to disrupt clean lineout ball. Following a Dalziel lineout twenty metres from their own line, Langholm stole the ball and a long pass from their stand-off found their outside centre running hard at the Dalziel defence. From ten metres out he was unstoppable and Dalziel found themselves 3 -10 down following the successful conversion.

Dalziel kept pressing and, with an all-round excellent display from the forwards ably led by Graham Morrison and Alan Love, they continued to press Langholm, however it was to no avail. Two sets of exhausted players were happy to hear the final whistle with the Langholm Visitors being the happier of the two sides.

Coaches Jim and Davey Wylie included another of last year’s under-18s, Bellshill boy Stephen Paton in the side, putting him on half way through the second half. Unfortunately, with the ball being tied up in the forwards in the second half, Paton was not able to show his blistering pace.

Coach Davey Wylie commented, “we were the architects of our own demise. With the extensive pressure which we had in the first half resulting in no scoring, I knew that this would come back to haunt us. The boys, however, stuck to their task and I am confident that results will start coming, given the quality of players which we have in the side.”

Dalziel entertain Royal High Corstorphine, a composite side from Edinburgh, who have started the National League campaign very strongly. Kick-off next week is 3.00 p.m.
14th September 2006 00:00:00
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