The Courier & Advertiser 5 Feb 2024 written BY GARY HEATLY
It was a Saturday to remember for Dundee Rugby’s men’s first and second teams. The first team edged closer to National One survival with their second bonus-point triumph on the spin, while the second team’s emphatic victory at Panmure saw them leapfrog the Forthill men and finish top of the Caledonia One Midlands Conference table.
At Mayfield, the first team were looking to build on the away win at Melrose – and they did so in some style.
This time around they saw off another Borders team, Gala, 56-19, with Thomas Armstrong leading the way with a hat-trick of tries.
Scott Doig, Max Raitt, Callum Nicol, Callum O’Hagan and Adam Flynn also crossed, with Stu Kirk converting all eight of them.
It all means that, with two leagues matches each left to play, Dundee are now eight points clear of relegation rivals GHK.
With just 10 points left to play for, ninth-placed Dundee know any sort of win over GHA on February 17 will keep them up and they may even be safe after that day if GHK lose at Glasgow Accies.
Quite a turnaround then and it has also been some turnaround by the Dundee second team to pip Panmure to the Caledonia One Midlands Conference top spot.
Dundee put in one of their best performances of the season to defeat Panmure, who have led the standings most of the way, 53-10.
On a negative note, the match was cut short just after the hour mark – with the result of the game still standing – after
Dundee’s Jack Hughes broke his leg.
However, the bonuspoint victory by him and his team-mates sees Dundee finish on 61 points from 14 games and Panmure on 59.
Andrew Hamilton, Ryan Cavanagh, and captain Jonathan Hicks all scored two tries apiece for the victors, with Tom Hall, Callum Elliott and John Dewar also going over and Hamilton kicking the rest.
Ross Hutton, who coaches Dundee’s seconds, said: “The boys played well, it was a good day.
“Panmure piled on the pressure for the first 10 minutes with us unable to get out of our half, but the boys dug deep and weathered the storm and after that it was probably the best rugby we’ve played all year.
“Unfortunately, our second-row Jack Hughes got injured, but it really good game.”
Dundee’s second team, Panmure and Grangemouth will now move on to play against the top three from the North Conference later in the season to crown the league champions.