2s v Edinburgh Northern (Jan 20)

2s Dust Off Cobwebs and
Run in 8 Tries

Linlithgow 2s  52 – 5  Edinburgh Northern / Walkerburn

Saturday 18 January 2020

Report by Des Martin

The management and coaches had eventually managed to get opposition for Linlithgow 2nd XV who had not had a game since mid December. It worked out fortuitously that Walkerburn, who were only able to travel with 8 players, were considerably boosted by the Edinburgh Northern team who had a game cancelled against Queensferry at the last minute. This gave the opposition a total of 27 players and luckily for the Reds they had 21 on the team sheet for this friendly fixture. The Referee and Captains agreed that we would play three 30 minute sessions and that this would give all the players a fair allocation of game time.  

The Reds started with a well balanced team, if a bit short in the second row, in fact no member of the team was taller that 5 foot 10 inches! Mayo Herdman and Sam Buckley were given the task of lineout jumping and with Stu Young’s throwing managed to secure enough possession  when required. The Manager in his pre-game briefing suggested that we should avoid lineouts if possible and play the ball through the hands using the backs to gain ground and score.

For the first ten minutes the team was rusty having not played for a month and in that time the Edinburgh Northern stand off put the Reds under pressure. Strong carries by their big forwards resulted in a score for a team that overall looked to have played a bit together. However the Reds gradually came back into this and, near the end of the 30 minutes Kai Lenders, rounded off with a try after good interplay by Jeff Martin and Chris Bredin. Chris Ronalson converted  to make the score 7-5 to the Reds at the end of the first 30 minute period.

The Edinburgh Northern team interchanged with the Walkerburn players and the Reds changed to allow the other players from the bench to get a game. The second session started well for the Reds and Sam McAllister scored, looking nimble down the right wing, with Kevin Wilson, on at stand off, potting the conversion.  12-5 to the Reds.

The team were playing some good rugby with the ball being passed with sharpness and invention, Donald Bennie looking fresh after his recent honeymoon moved up the park with great style and skill, unfortunately not all his team mates were the same and the ball was knocked on. However before long the Reds were back on the attack again and big Craig Johnston, only on the park since the break, made a great burst towards the line. Unfortunately the sniper struck and Craig had to come off, hamstring gone, with Cammy Walker rushing back on to take his place.

The forwards kept working hard and Andrew Archer and Sam Buckley along with Stu Sommervail kept producing the ball from loose rucks. From one such ruck the ball came back to Jeff Martin who stood his man up and jinked past to score below the posts (19-5 to the Reds). Further tries followed in this session from Donald Bennie, Cammy Walker and George Carmichael all converted by Kevin Wilson and the score at the end of the second session was 40 points to 5 for the Reds.

The third session started with the original selections but the Reds had no forwards subs and Linlithgow and Edinburgh Northern were feeling the pace of the game. Marty Fairbanks for Linlithgow was beginning to suffer cramp as was Andrew Archer but the backs came into their own and started to make space outside the tiring opposition and soon Cammy Walker scored another and Adam Scott scored shortly after to leave the final score 52-5 to the Reds Seconds.

Not a bad day at the office for the Linlithgow 2nds who had to utilise the squad they had been dealt. Thanks to Ken Richardson for refereeing efficiently and with control and thanks to Edinburgh Northern and Walkerburn for coming out to Linlithgow, allowing 48 players to get a good game of rugby.