DUNDEE DRAGONS V HALIFAX
WHEELCHAIR RUGBY LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINAL
DUNDEE AND ANGUS COLLEGE GARDYNE CAMPUS
SATURDAY 8 JULY 2017 3PM.
Match Report by Kevin Rattray, DDWSC Vice-Chairman.
Both teams were slightly depleted of playing numbers for the match with only 7 players apiece but no shortage of enthusiasm and talent on display.
The match started with Peter Lowis and Bryan Johnson taking up their respective refereeing positions.
Halifax were first to show with multiple tries in quick succession and some excellent and clever drop goals from Jack Brown, who pulled the strings every time he was on the ball, he was ably supported by Halifax man of the match Nathan Mulhall, who’s pace was something Dundee had faced very rarely.
The Halifax attack was relentless and ruthless with every Dundee mistake being punished with points on the board with Robert Hawkins and Gavin Dobson also getting in on the scoring action.
Dundee Dragons for 40 minutes were being given a real Wheelchair Rugby league lesson, although they did unfortunately compound the situation with some comical defending and teamwork suggesting they had just met.
Half Time Score Dundee 0 Halifax 58
I don’t know what was said at half time to Dundee (I do actually but this is a family show) but they came out with a new-found determination to compete.
The second half was a tighter affair with Dundee getting on the scoreboard through Ronny Robb after 42 minutes converted by Ian McKeen.
What followed was defences on top, sets being played and hard fought at every tackle, with Dundee managing to disrupt Halifax previously imperious flow and also creating some chances of their own, often through the excellent play of Dundee man of the match David Birtles.
The difference in the match was palpable with no more scoring until the 72nd minute when Halifax managed another converted try, but this was quickly followed by an Ian McKeen try and conversion for Dundee on the 77th minute.
Tiredness was now a factor and Halifax ran in 2 more tries to bring their scoring up to 72 points.
With a first half of 58-0 and second half of 16-12, Dundee came away having learned so much from this excellent Halifax team and with an increased enthusiasm to get out on the field of play again.
The players and officials then retired to the adjacent sport hall for refreshments where stories were shared and respect given from player to player.
Dundee send best wishes to Halifax in the final, but as a work in progress feel that we know where the target is, and within the next few years we would plan to revisit the Challenge Cup semi-final and who knows maybe we can dare to dream about the Final.
From a Dundee perspective, many thanks due to our very own Ian Hall, Jen Muir and Kirsteen Burns for support, first aid, scoring and getting everything in place to make things happen.
A club is nothing without such dedicated volunteers.
Heres a little clip from the game: