2s at Peebles (Jan20)

2s Run Out of Steam after Strong First Half Showing

Peebles 2s  34 – 3  Linlithgow 2s

Saturday 25 January 2020

Report by Des Martin

The team set off in cars for this Tennents Reserve East 2 league fixture against Peebles who are sitting at the top of the league. The Manager and the club had been scrapping about all week to ensure we had a team for the day and managed at the last minute to secure a youthful Borders’ prop (60+) to ensure the game could take place.

The last members of the team eventually arrived at Peebles (what’s happened to sat navs?) just before KO and the game kicked off with the Reds woefully under prepared and barely out of travelling mode.

However when the game started the team stuck to the task and pressurised the strong Peebles side, indeed in the first half the Reds were in the Peebles half the majority of the time.  Peebles managed to spoil any opportunities by skilful if sometimes illegal sacking of the lineout and handling on the deck and eventually had 2 yellow cards issued at different times.

The Reds persisted in kicking for the corner for lineouts and although Duncan McClymont caught the ball successfully nothing was achieved as Peebles managed to disrupt any Linlithgow plays. Stu Young went close but was held up and after all the possession the Reds could only show a penalty for their efforts.

In the first half the Peebles team had one attempt that got them into the Reds 22 and the strong and speedy winger picked up from the loose ruck and sprinted in. The score at half time was 7-3 to the home team and the Manager felt we had left a lot of points on the park and we would rue the decisions.

The team turned round at half time with Chris Bredin feeling his old injuries and Gus McNab with a dead leg. With only 16 men in the original Reds’ squad and facing a Peebles’ team with a bench of 5 strong players, the odds were heavily stacked in the home team’s favour.

Peebles did the same as they had done at Linlithgow where they started to grind down the forwards and they scored a couple of tries from close in. By now Chris Bredin was off, Gus McNab was limping and some of the others had let some of their small errors affect their performances. 

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This can often happen as heads go down and although most players struck gallantly to the end, the combination of fatigue, injuries and mindset took its toll and Peebles gained a few more soft tries that they wouldn’t have scored in the first half.

The final score ended up 34-3 to Peebles, a disappointing result after the Reds first half performance but a catalogue of factors contributed to the result – player availability, squad numbers, travelling away by cars and infrequent matches were only some of the reasons. That said good performances again by Matty Fairbanks, Matty Sommerville and Stu Sommervaille  and Chris Bredin all who tried extremely hard.

Next week internationals and no scheduled games for the Twos over the next couple of weeks. Not the same for the border teams, eg Peebles who now play in the Border League in the gaps left in our league. Interesting! In support of the argument for regular games to keep players interested and involved. Is the league designed that way to appease our Border friends!!!!!!!