Saturday saw Davy Henderson’s side take to the field against a Shorts side who only a few weeks ago recorded a convincing win against the Dee. It was clear from the spirit in the changing room that everyone was up for a reversal of the previous result and the selection of both youth and experience proved successful with the Dee men chalking up a long awaited 38-5 victory.
The bigger Shorts side opened the scoring when their stand-off showed both skill and pace to score in the corner. This proved to simply stir the Dee team who very quickly came to life. The amount of kicking in the game was minimal which proved the winning tactic. Players such as Chris McGivern, Rory Garnham, Gareth McCormick and Curtis Danks were given space to run and show the effects of youthful pace. Mark Nixon, whose versatility saw him play in several positions, enjoyed two well taken tries. The first of these came from the vision of Nick Lord who linked well with Paul ‘Shandy’ McGimpsey who used his bulk to exploit the gap and head for the line. Undoubtedly last season Shandy would have reached the line with little effort but his recent conversion to soccer has obviously drained him of that once impressive yard of pace. As ever Davy Henderson was close in support until he pulled up with a stitch! The ball was sent wide to Nixon who finished the play off with a try under the posts. Shortly after this play John Thompson was to leave the field due to a blow to the head. It is always a setback to lose a front row forward and particularly a mobile player such as John but the pack re-set themselves with further determination. Mark ‘Rambo’ took to the field with great effect. With the continuing free running game Garnham showed the raw pace he possesses to simply out-strip the defence and score. At any level of the game it is a joy to watch a display of pace such and it left many of the older element wondering if they admired Rory for this or hated him. Further tries came from Gavin Wallace on the wing who showed that with ball in hand and a yard of space he can still stretch his legs to touch down in the corner.
The pack also showed how both experience and youth can combine to good effect with players such as Ian Welch, Stevie Montgomery and Vic Vinethorpe all combining well with the impressive Paul Ferguson and Adam Torrens. Vic like the unfortunate Thompson, was also to leave the field due to a head injury, something which the remainder of the team thought impossible!
It was indeed the pace and strength of big Ian which offered the second of Wallace’s tries on a plate. From a penalty 20 yards from the line Welchy saw nothing but the line and was unlucky to be downed by like a bull elephant only a yard out. The quick ball from the supporting Monty left little for Wally to do but touch down. The final try of the game was the result of a simple switch. Coach Ian Martindale had come on for the final 30 minutes of the game to take the ball from Davy Moore and gallop 40 yards to score under the posts.
It is fair to say that the season so far for the thirds has been disappointing for various reasons but Saturday’s win has undoubtedly lifted the spirits of the team and in particularly captain Davy Henderson.