PL Finish Strongly to Hold Off Reds’ 2s
Preston Lodge 2s 34 – 14 Linlithgow 2s
Saturday 16 February 2019
Match report by Des Martin
The Reds 2s departed for Preston Lodge with a good side but with the Manager unsure of the final numbers he might have. Some players still seem to think that the Manager has some sort of physic powers and will understand completely if they go direct, call off or are generally not available due to other urgent domestic issues. Rant over!
Luckily Neil Dori Muir and Hugh Cochrane are always keen to help out and both brought the boots and their skills to the fray. On arrival at Pinkie Park we had 16 men, including the aforementioned duo, and the Manager decided that Hugh would start first with instructions to hold up the scrum and generally wander about in the midfield so as to conserve his energy! He lasted 20 minutes and did well, being replaced by Neil Dori Muir for the rest of the game.
The game started brightly with Preston Lodge bolstered by a couple of senior players pushing hard for the Reds line. PL have always had a strong forward dominated team and their big ex golf professional, in the second row, managed to play havoc with the Reds’ line out causing great problems in securing clean ball.
From a drive close to the goal line, the PL scrum half scampered over to give the home team a 5-0 lead. Linlithgow kept working through Cammy Dori-Muir, Lachlan McCall, Matty Sommerville and Sam Buckley in the forwards and, before long, Linlithgow were awarded a penalty which was narrowly missed. The backs were all making an effort and some good runs from Muzz and Ross Oliver gained ground which was all too often lost again when mistakes led to turnovers with the attacking moves breaking down. The home side were playing the simple game of taking advantage of the Reds’ mistakes and pinning them back into their own half. From such play, the home side scored again through the forwards to give them a 10-0 lead.
A missed kick to touch resulted in another score for PL and when half-time came the Reds found themselves 19-0 down. However, the players felt that they were still in the game and positive as they had the slope and the wind in their favour for the second half.
The Reds started well with pressure, but PL were carrying the ball out of defence when Lachlan McCall stripped a PL player of the ball and, against the direction of play, scampered below the posts for a try, converted by John Strachan, to pull back the PL lead to 19-7.
This encouraged the Reds further and good pressure on the PL line resulted in Muzz diving over for a score near the posts, which was converted by John Strachan to bring the Reds to within 5 points of PL at 19-14.
Game on and PL were now looking worried. Unfortunately, the Reds managed to give the ball away cheaply on many occasions and PL’s more senior and experienced players knew exactly what to do. They just stuck the ball up their jumpers and drove at the Reds with power and aggression. Although the Reds’ players tried their best to hold out, this tactic worked and PL added three unanswered tries near the end as the sky was getting dark.
The final score was 34-14 to PL, however the Reds had competed gamely for 60 minutes until the physical approach taken by PL had sapped their strength. Thanks to Hugh Cochrane and Neil Dori-Muir for their contributions. Until the next time, due to the stop start nature of the season, it’s very hard to get continuity in any team.