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The accurate kicking of Pirates' burly full-back Ted Mortimer gave the team its 6-3 win against Marist in the main game at Rugby Park. Mortimer kicked two penalty goals whilst Marist could do no better than a try by winger R. Flynn which was not converted.
Marist's first chance of getting points came before the game was a minute old. An infringement by Pirates gave Marist a chance of goaling, but the angle was a difficult one and the ball fell short That was the last time for 20 minutes Marist looked in the least dangerous.
They were bustled into mistakes by the fast breaking Pirates forwards and they were on the losing side of the battle for possession in rucks, scrums and lineouts.
The first points came after 22 minutes when Mortimer goaled from 25 yards out to put Pirates in front.
Then it was Marist's turn to take the initiative. The try that followed was a perfect example of team work, the forward whipping the ball out of a ruck and the backs sending it swiftly out to the wing with an overlap. Flynn went across wide out to even the score.
Pirates hit back immediately and took the lead when Mortimer sent the ball dead between the posts from 40 yards out.
At this stage Marist was being penalised frequently int he scrums and lineouts and skipper H. O'Neill on more than one occasion sought clarification of rulings from referee North.
L. Ward had his third shot at goal for Marist with three minutes to the end of the half, but he hooked the ball badly and Pirates were still three points up at the interval.
Marist looked the bettter team for the rest of the play and the Ward miskicked a penalty shot at goal, however, Pirates punted upfield where Mortimer went close with a long shot from a difficult angle.
Pirates tried desperately to cross the line. The lock Greig Spencer broke away but winger Barry Dawson was crowded out almost on the line. There was another close call for Marist when full-back Bewley fumbled over the line and another when Dawson made a bid on the blindside and went across though possession of the ball was disputed.
A penalty allowed Marist to break clear of this patch of trouble and determined play by first McAlister and then Ward almost yielded tries.
With 15 minutes to go Pirates were deep in Marist territory and hammering at the line. But the defence was always equal to the task though at times tit was in desperate straits. one of these occasions came when Pirates breakaway Norman Smith snatched up the ball and dived for the line.
Pirates claimed a try but the referee thought differently.
Marist supporters were raised in an instant from the depths to the heights when winger J. Ward kicked hard downfield and went in pursuit of the ball. It was a toss up who would get to it first as it rolled over the line. Fortunately for Pirates, Barry Dawson won by a whisker and booted it into dead-ball territory.
Mr J. North was the referee.
Pirates: Ted Mortimer, J. Cowan, D. Hayes, Barry Dawson, C. Dobbie, Owen Brown, Norman Smith, Barry Slade, R. Smith, Greig Spencer, Charlie Fraser, M. Dempster, Ted McDowell, Lex Thomas, L. Diack.
Marist: R. Bewley, Robert Flynn, B. McLeod, J. Hanning, E. Bone, Ron Wills, K. McAllister, L. Ward, B. O'Connell, B. O'Neill, M. O'Neill, P. Cody, H. O'Neill. W. Hawke, P. Sheehan, J. Ward.
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