Dundee HSFP head coach Colin Robertson was defiantly proud of his young team after they took unbeaten BT National League One leaders Selkirk to the wire before losing out to a controversial late penalty.
It looked at half time as though High were going to cause the upset of the day at Philiphaugh when they led 21-8, but Peter Wright’s Borderers rallied and full back Josh Welsh provided the winner with his fourth successful penalty of the afternoon, the last kick of the match, to edge it 22-21.
“What a performance from the youngest team in the league,” Robertson said.
“It’s a gutting defeat in the end as it was a pretty debatable penalty, but we frightened the life out of them with our commitment and smart play.
“It’s unquestionably been their hardest game this season and we had it won,” he said.
“The spirit and attitude of this team is tremendous, and we look forward to 2015 in great shape.”
Wing Matt O’Sullivan and flanker Jonny Petty grabbed the Dundee tries, Harry Miller converted one and slotted three penalties, but Selkirk cranked up their game in the second 40.
Angus Duckett had a first-half try for the Souters with Welsh adding a penalty, then the full back scoring a try and further three penalties in the second-half including the heartbreaking clincher.
“Our toughest game of the season so far and it needed a second-half performance of grit and determination,” said former Scotland prop Wright.
Dundee stay in fifth spot but that defeat means they now trail second placed GHA by 17 points, making a play-off place an unlikely proposition.
With the weather accounting for the BT National 2 clash between Aberdeenshire and Hamilton, the chance was there for Howe of Fife to take over top spot in the table, one which they grabbed eagerly as they ran out comfortable winners by 50-6 against Greenock Wanderers at Fort Matilda.
Kenny Diffenthal kicked two penalties for the home side to keep them in touch at 17-6 at half time but Howe cut loose in the second half and four tries for Graham Thomson and one each for Fraser Clark, Marcus Black, Ben Mitchell and Dom Martin, with Martin potting five conversions gave them a comfortable win.
At Aurs Road, Whitecraigs blew away Kirkcaldy in the first half, turning around 24-0 ahead and running out 43-12 winners.
Alex McEwan nabbed two tries for ’Craigs, Phil Nicol, Jake Fingers, Jamie Christine, Rick Winton and Ali Center had one each, with Center landing four conversions. The Kirkcaldy counters came from Kurt Littlejohn and Rhys Bonar, with Bonar converting one.
Ten points ahead of Kirkcaldy before this one, Whitecraigs move further ahead and although they are seventh to Kirkcaldy’s eighth, the gap is 15 points.
It would have rattled the top of BT National 3 if Dunfermline had kept up the first-half momentum which saw then turn around 3-0 ahead of league leaders Lasswade, but the Hawthornden men hit back to run out winners on their own patch by 13-6.
Zac Zropf had the two Dunfermline penalties. Stephen Hunter and Graham Cook had the Lasswade tries and Hunter sank a penalty.
Dunfermline had the consolation of a bonus point.
It was all to play for at half-time at North Inch with Perthshire and Dalziel at 19-19, but the home side were the only ones to add to that in the second half and ran out winners 34-19.
Ian Whittle had a brace of tries, Ed Salter, Mat Rae, Adam Pattinson and Duncan Clow had one each and Clow converted two.
The win keeps Perthshire in eighth but more importantly 14 points ahead of ninth, where the relegation struggle really starts.