League game @ Oatmill, 26/8/06
|Dalziel 1st XV:||11|
In this opening match of the season at picturesque Tillicoultry Public Park at the foot of the Ochil Hills, the only pretty aspect of the afternoon was the surrounding scenery.
In National League Division One, a League with no sponsor, no prizes and no money, the game never really emerged from its summer torpor with the hoary Hillfoot veterans playing their particular brand of ten-man rugby.
Dalziel again introduced products of their Youth System to the First Fifteen with David Aitken, Jamie Hillis and Kyle Mathieson joining last yearâ€™s under-18 Scotland Caps, Gary Strain and Craig Simmons.
The youngsters strove to play running rugby but with the ball rarely seeing daylight in the backs, their inexperience at this level drew them into conceding far too many technical infringements, allowing Hillfoots to rack up no less than five penalties in the course of the game.
Robert Simpson notched two penalty kicks for the Visitors and, from a steal ball at a line out, the ball was whipped along the Dalziel back division to winger, Kyle Mathieson, who scored an encouraging try wide on the left. This took the score at the midpoint of the second half to Hillfoots 9 - Dalziel 11.
Despite continuing to press for long periods, a string of penalty decisions against when the Dalziel forwards were pressing strongly, along with dogged Hillfoot defence, denied Dalziel further scores. In fact, shortly after the Dalziel score, Dalziel surges towards the line took them over but a controversial decision by the Referee disallowed the score for an alleged knock-on at a critical point.
Hillfoots closed the game down by scoring their fourth and fifth penalties in the last ten minutes to take the points, leaving the limited consolation to Dalziel of a single bonus point for being within the seven points of the winner.
With Barry Turnbull and Robert Simpson being the veterans in the Dalziel back division at twenty-two years of age, the Clubâ€™s Youth Policy will undoubtedly continue to pay dividends.
The hardworking and patient Dalziel Coaches, David and Jimmy Wiley, continue to be committed to running the First Fifteen with talent developed from the North Lanarkshire Community in accordance with modern thinking from the SRU at Murrayfield.
Dalziel look forward to several more experienced players returning to the team following injury and the whole Club are looking forward to another enjoyable season of open rugby.
Taken from Dalziel War Memorial Trust website
Les Barclay, Stephen Baird, Gary Strain, Graeme Morrison, Alan Love, Craig Simmonds, Paul Beer, Eddy Ferguson, Andy Hill, Robert Simpson, David Aitken, Barry Turnbull, Crawford Reid, Kyle Matheson, Jamie Hillis
Subs: George Sloan
Tries: Kyle Matheson
Penalties: Robert Simpson (2)
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