Border Reivers 9, Ulster 33 The Border Reivers continued to show great spirit and determination in extremely difficult circumstances as they went down to a talented Ulster side in front of a patriotic Borders crowd at Netherdale tonight. The Reivers supporters came out to show their support for the team as 3,252 Borderers came through the gates at Netherdale in an effort to show their commitment to the club.Border Reivers 9, Ulster 33
The Border Reivers continued to show great spirit and determination in extremely difficult circumstances as they went down to a talented Ulster side in front of a patriotic Borders crowd at Netherdale tonight.
The Reivers supporters came out to show their support for the team as 3,252 Borderers came through the gates at Netherdale in an effort to show their commitment to the club.
However, it was the Ulster supporters who were singing after the final whistle as David Humphreys clocked-up 18 of Ulster’s 33 points from the boot.
Speaking after the game, Reivers head coach Steve Bates said: “The score doesn’t really reflect the overall game.
”It was a very good effort from the players; they reacted very positively to a strong Ulster side.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t get the ball away from the breakdown quick enough which would have brought a bit more continuity into our game,” he added.
The game got off to a nervy start with the Reivers conceding an early try to Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris which Humphreys converted.
Reivers stand-off Stephen Jones proved reliable with the boot as he put the first points on the Reivers’ end of the scoreboard with a 13th minute penalty. Humphreys followed suit four minutes later.
Just as Samoan international Opeta Palepoi left the field with a blood injury to be replaced by Stuart Grimes, who got his first few minutes of rugby after a knee operation, Jones slotted the Reivers’ second penalty of the evening.
However, minutes before the break, Humphreys kicked another penalty for the visitors to take the half-time score to 6-13.
With Ulster in front going into the second period, Ryan Caldwell threw a spanner into Ulster’s works as he was sent to the sin bin for slowing the ball down in the ruck.
Jones notched his third penalty of the night from the half-way line in the 54th minute.
It was three minutes after Jones’ sweetly taken kick that the crowd were brought to their feet for the move of the match.
The ball was in open play, the Reivers in possession. Steve Jones found himself with the ball, but had no passing options, so he chose to kick for territory.
Winger Dougie Flockhart was positioned wide on the right and burned up the flank at pace, collecting the ball en route to the line.
Flockhart was brought down inside the visitors’ 22, having made at least 40 yards from the move that Jones initiated.
The Reivers kept the ball alive with a series of pick-and-goes before the ball was held up over the line.
It was in the following ten minutes when Ulster began to pull away as Humphreys kicked two penalties and converted two tries, the first from Andrew Maxwell and the second from Bryn Cunningham.
Man of the Match: Ben MacDougall (Border Reivers)