Earlston 27 Dunbar 29

DUNBAR kicked off life in East League Division 2 with a last-minute victory over Earlston in the Borders on Saturday.

The men from Hallhill had centre Gary Peebles to thank for their first league win – he burst clear late on to score the decisive try.

The match had been in some doubt immediately before kick-off. . . due to the lack of a referee!

However, a phone call to a suitably qualified local resident allowed the game to go ahead.

Earlston took a 3-0 lead with an early penalty but Dunbar struck back on the half-hour, veteran centre Jamie Peters going over. Ross Charlton converted to put the visitors four points to the good.

The home side hit back just moments later, re-taking the lead with their first try of the match, but Mark Coull’s Dunbar went back in front just before the break with a second try.

After the break, Dunbar extended their lead when Daniel Philp crashed over, Charlton converting.

Earlston hit back on 52 minutes after a pushover try, but 12 minutes later new Dunbar skipper Greg Patrizio put his side ahead with another try.

But the home side appeared to have snatched victory with a late try of their own, only for Peebles’ last-minute score to deny them and spark jubilant scenes among the travelling Dunbar contingent.

Head coach Coull praised his side for keeping calm and coming through to win their league opener.

He told Courier Sport: “Saturday was really good.

“The boys worked really hard and stayed in the game until the end and got their rewards.

“They could have given up when Earlston scored towards the end but they didn’t and they went away and worked themselves into position to win the game.

“It was the result they deserved.”

Coull’s side return to Hallhill on Saturday as they take on Trinity Accies.

Dunbar: N Craig, G Crawford, G Peebles, J Peters, J Peebles; R Charlton, J Walters; I Wightman, C Bryce, R Wight, D Philip, J Haughey, G Patrizio, C Champion, J Lister.