Dumfries 18

Peebles 22

Allan Beveridge

at New Abbey Road

AFTER recent performances Peebles' trip to unbeaten Dumfries should have been a daunting one.

Not only have Saints won ever game this season they sit pretty at the top of the table.

But this was a different Peebles on Saturday - one that has learned from previous mistakes and played positional rugby at every chance.

The only downside of Saturday's win was missing out on a deserved bonus point.

Dumfries opened the scoring after only five minutes with a Kerr penalty.

But Peebles were quick to reply with Ryan Stuart touching down during a catch and drive from a lineout.

Greg Raeburn added the conversion.

Dumfries also responded quickly as, despite calls for obstruction against the home pack, Kerr raced in for the try.

With the conversion missed, the hosts only had a single point lead.

Approaching the half hour another catch and drive led to Peebles regaining the lead.

This time it was Patrick Harrison who crashed over.

Raeburn's conversion was just wide.

Dumfries managed to get their noses back in front before the interval.

Winger Robert Neil was stopped short of the line, but a penalty was conceded during the ensuing ruck, and Alan Birdsall's quick tap allowed him to score.

The 13-12 advantage was an accurate reflection of a fairly even 40 minutes.

But Peebles looked the better early in the second half.

Only a try-saving tackle from full-back Steele prevented Scott Stoddard racing away.

And a few minutes later Richard Harrison was stopped inches short after a powerful burst.

Dumfries' defence was being tested to the limits by the Peebles play.

But the visitors were dealt a blow approaching the hour as Willie Aitken was shown a yellow card.

Even when a man short, Peebles continued to look the more dangerous, and it wasn't long before Murray Brown crashed over for the try.

Raeburn's conversion gave Peebles a 13-19 lead.

Raeburn all but secured the win in the 77th minute with a penalty to give his team an eight points advantage.

Dumfries did manage to score once more through Rory Steele deep into stoppage time.

But Peebles held on for a moral-boosting victory.

Tomorrow Peebles are at home against Whitecraigs with a 3pm kick off at The Gytes.

While Whitecraigs are in the lower reaches of the league, the Peebles coaches will take nothing for granted and they will have the team fired up for another juicy encounter.