Gallant Performance Not Enough for Reds 2s
Watsonian 3s 17 – 5 Linlithgow 2s
Saturday 21 February 2015
Linlithgow went to Myreside in Edinburgh on Saturday to play Watsonians. The day was bright and a frost in the morning had disappeared by lunch time. Everyone was looking forward to the game as the team had a mixture of returning injured players and the usual group of youth with some experience.
The team started well playing down the slope by exerting pressure on the opposition, but too often mistakes let them off the hook at the last minute. Matty McKenna and Russell Murdoch were to the fore tackling hard and defending well but some of the team were slow to follow their example. The team was taking time to gel with some people playing out of position which often disrupts the coherence.
Watsonians took advantage of this and scored the first try which they converted. (7-0 to the home team). This stung Linlithgow into action and John Strachan pushed the team into the 22 where from a line out the forwards managed to make a lot of ground. The ball fell out the back and Russell Murdoch for ever alert picked up and dived over unopposed. The try was not converted. (7-5 to Watsonians)
The manager made a few tactical changes moving Callum McKeown to his usual position of loose head prop and Tom Townend into hooker. Davie Syme came on for Donald Bennie and the forwards started to perform better, but we were still not taking full advantage of the slope.
A lapse of concentration allowed the opposition to drive up the field against the run of play and score another try just before half time. (14-5 to Watsonians)
We all felt it would be difficult playing up the hill and into the wind and we knew that the Watsonians team would kick the ball down the park. This was indeed the case, but fortunately good fielding and the resulting clearances by James Timlin and Jeff Martin ensured the opposition did not make any great advantage. Indeed, as is often the case when playing uphill and into the wind, some of the best back play occurred in the second half. Chris Ronalson and Ben Milne combined well with John Strachan and the back three of Timlin, Martin and Murray assisted when required. Unfortunately the efforts of the team did not result in any further scores for Linlithgow and Watsonians added a further penalty to leave the score 17-5 to Watsonians at full-time.
Another gallant performance but still some improvements to be made which hopefully will develop over time. There is no seconds game next week as Scotland take on Italy at Murrayfield and most of the team will be attending the match or cheering on Scotland in the hope of a victory after the previous two close defeats.