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:
On Sunday, we saw five wheelchair basketball teams from across Scotland arrive at the peak for an action-packed day of basketball. These championships form an important step in the talent pathway for many of our young players and there was a lot of exciting wheelchair basketball to be watched throughout the day.
With a range of abilities across the teams; from those newer to the sport to the more experienced players, everyone was given ample time on the court. The event was a great opportunity for some of the under-15 and under-19 squads to get some playing time against other teams. As well as this, the under-13 teams got a chance to hone their skills against some new competition in some more conditioned 3-on-3 games.
West of Scotland was crowned victors of the tournament, after beating every one of their opponents. Ben Leitch of Tayside &Fife took tournament MVP after a number of stellar performances on the court.
Our head of Wheelchair Basketball, Tina Gordon had this to say about the event:
“It was a really positive day all round, a lot of enthusiastic kids and supportive parents. There was a wide variety of players from 6 to 19. There are those who are looking for representative honors for Scotland and GB, as well as those just getting into the sport. This lent itself to a great atmosphere for the day which became a festival for basketball as the day went on.”
A huge thank you to all the teams from Central, Grampian, West of Scotland, Tayside & Fife, and East & Highland who all made their way to the Peak for the event.
Another big thank you is deserved to all the sponsors who made this event happen. RGK, Lord’s Taverners, IPro Sport, Hollister and Scottish Disability Sport – thank you for your continued support.
Here are some pics of the Dragons representing Tayside & Fife, including Ben Leitch collecting his MVP.
Grampian Flyers V Dundee Dragons: Play Off Final Match Report by Sally Lumsdaine.
With Grampian Flyers already having won the first ever Scottish Development League they were hungry to get the double by also winning the play offs which were held on Saturday, 17th of June at the Peak in Stirling. These two teams are highly competitive and with Dundee just having snatched victory at the Grampian Cup there was a score to settle.
Both teams came out fighting and the scene was set for a nail-biting game that saw baskets being traded either end. The first quarter saw Dundee just edge ahead finishing 14 – 12. The second quarter was equally tense but the Dragons held off the flyers to go into half time only 3 points ahead.
Emotion was running high at the start of the second half and the players had to keep their wits about them as the pressure started to build. Dragons started pulled ahead in the third quarter but in the final stages of the game the Flyers fought back hard to take the lead 29-28. With only a few minutes left on the clock both teams stepped up and battled for the win. It was the Dragon’s defence however that made the difference denying the attacking Flyers team the scoring opportunities they needed whilst the Dragon’s forwards ensured they got every basket they could. The game ended Dragons 38 to Flyers 33.
Gemma Lumsdaine (Captain); Ben Leitch ( 21 points); Michael Mellon (17 points): Steven Carling; Mairi Simms; David Birtles and Rhys Colliar: Jen Scally (Head -Coach); Conor Smart (Assistant Coach).
Wheelchair Rugby League Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Sunday 11 June 2017 2pm Grove Swim and Sport Centre
Dundee Dragons v Glasgow Panthers
Match Report by Kevin Rattray, DDWSC Vice-Chairman & WRL Coach.
The match started right on time with Peter Lowis refereeing and Ollie Cruickshank taking up the second referee role.
Play started very brightly with Dundee first on the attack, although some of the initial play was frantic with both teams feeling the pressure with mistakes aplenty,
Dundee were first to show on the scoreboard with Dundee’s Ulster man Ian McKeen scoring and converting his own try then converting a first ever try by David Birtles.
Glasgow were not deterred though and hit back through a Dylan King try converted by Kieran Higgans followed by a Higgans Try and Conversion.
The match was now wide open with some wild passing and kicking sending some of the coaches apoplectic.
Mckeen then restored some order, from a Dundee perspective, with 2 rapid tries one of which he converted but Glasgow with Adam Mould pulling the strings hit back through another Higgans try.
The first half concluded with the match starting to settle down, much due to the positive influence of Scotland captain Graeme Stewart, and the half ended with Stewart Squire squeezing in for a try converted by McKeen.
Half Time Score Dundee 28 Glasgow 16
The second half started with a little bit more organisation with Dundee starting to impose their structure on the match consolidated with 2 tries from Stephen Carling, a first ever by Jay Anderson all converted by McKeen.
Glasgow with King and Higgans a constant thorn in the Dundee flesh hit back again and again with 2 King tries and Mould kicking into dangerous areas upsetting the organisation of the Dundee defence.
Dundee continued to make multiple changes with Ronny Robb returning to the match and both Gemma Lumsdaine and Mairi Simms enjoying some game time as the match drew to a close.
Scoring didn’t finish there though with another Carling Try, 2 McKeen tries for Dundee sandwiched between a King try for Glasgow.
Full Time Score Dundee 58 Glasgow 28
The match was highly competitive with Dundee’s bench making an impact on the match, where Glasgow, shorn of replacements, played the full match with the same five, who never gave up and whose competitive instincts were a credit to the name of the Glasgow Panthers.
Players of the Day
Dundee – Stephen Carling
Glasgow – Dylan King
DUNDEE DRAGONS V KEIGHLEY COUGARS
WHEELCHAIR RUGBY LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP
DUNDEE INTERNATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX
SATURDAY 13 MAY 2017 2PM
Match Report by Kevin Rattray, DDWSC Vice-Chairman & WRL Coach.
Both teams were slightly depleted of playing numbers for the match with a number of Cougars regulars being unable to travel “The Road and the Miles to Dundee”. (It’s a real song, go and look it up)
Dragons had 2 call offs overnight as Mairi Simms and Conor Smart both declared themselves unavailable.
The match started right on time with Peter Lowis and Jamie Seery refereeing in figure hugging bright yellow kit reflecting a very bright start, (see what I did there?), by the Dundee dragons who scored very quickly through Stewart Squire making his Challenge Cup debut.
Tries quickly followed through Michael Mellon, Ian McKeen, another making his Challenge Cup debut and Ronny Robb taking the Dragons into a healthy lead.
Cougars then found the slip road off the A1 and started to put some excellent passages of play together finished off with a delicate chip from Sahail Ahmed, sending the Dragons defence into a spin, and a neat touch down from James Kaye.
The game then kind of got bogged down in a midfield battle with mishandling, kicking, some great some not so great, and Dragons continuing to build their lead, predominantly through McKeen and Mellon, although some of the place kicking would not have been out of place at a pre-school rugby session.
The first half stumbled to an end with Dragons 40 points to 4 ahead, but Cougars were not being rewarded for their considerable efforts to break down a tough and aggressive Dundee defence with David Birtles putting in tackle after tackle.
The Dundee defence had subsequently been bolstered by Scotland captain Graeme Stewart and Dundee’s player of the match from the Challenge Cup in 2016 Jen Scally.
The second half started in a very calm fashion with both teams starting to play with much more shape and playing out their sets in a more organised way.
Dragons remained on top with once again Mellon and McKeen adding scores, Scally getting in on the scoring action and Robb completing his double following a Gemma Lumsdaine miss pass, which may have knocked out a spectator or 2 if it hadn’t been plucked out of the air.
Lumsdaine then got in on the scoring action with her first competitive try for the club in her Challenge Cup debut.
The match came to an end with Squire completing his double and completing the scoring in what was a comprehensive victory for the Dragons but not without some real challenges and a few little angry moments which were consigned to history as soon as the final whistle was blown.
Cougars, although finding it difficult to break out off their half at times, fought with a real vigour and never gave up at any point during the game.
The match day finished with some food, drinks and rugby banter, always the best way to finish off, and plans finalised for a return fixture on 9 September 2017 in Keighley.
Dundee Dragons march on to the Quarter finals where doubtless a major challenge awaits, but the signs are good for this inexperienced group of players who simply crave game time.
Special shout outs to Dragons helpers on the day, it’s not only about the players, Jen Muir, Ian Hall, Deborah Mellon, Eve Mellon and Olive Ferris.