2s v Gala 2s (Nov 21)

Reds 2s Claim Another Border Scalp

The Reds 2s once again drew top billing with a third successive home match against Border opposition, who’s 1st XVs play at the top level of amateur rugby in Scotland. Another cracking performance resulted in another win, this time with a try bonus point.

Andrew Archer played a captain’s game, leading from the front

Linlithgow Reds 2nd XV  29 – 19  Gala 2nd XV

Saturday 06 November 2021

Report by Ian McLean

Saturday’s fixture saw the Reds 2nd XV hosting Gala who where two places above them in the league. Conditions where challenging but fortunately the rain stopped before kick-off and both teams only needed to battle with the wind. 

The early exchanges where even with the Reds taking the more direct route playing into the elements but Gala scored first after 7 minutes with some slick handling along the back division allowing them a converted try. (0-7)

The Reds then began to dominate the play and pressured the Gala defence with some good running angles and support. Off good line-out ball Andrew Archer hit a great line cutting the Gala midfield in two and, from the quick ruck, Gregor McLean manufactured a perfectly weighted grubber kick behind a rushing defence for Cammy Walker to touch down. (5-7)

Cammy Walker dives in for the Reds’ first try after a Gregor McLean grubber

The Reds maintained their pressure for the rest of the half and following some good phase rugby, Lewis Wells found space on the outside to score a well-constructed try. (10-7).

Almost immediately after the restart Lewis again found himself with the ball in space around the Reds 10m line. Bullishly fending off 4 Gala tackle attempts, Lewis Wells ran 70 metres, sprinting into the corner to touch down. Half Time (15-7).

Lewis Wells sets off on his 70 metre run for a try

The second half saw Gala playing into the wind and they showed their intent to handle early on, putting the Reds under pressure with several outside breaks. Some good cover defence from Jamie Tulloch and Tom Cole prevented scores.

The Reds soon managed to find some field position using the wind and from a scrum on the Gala 22m line, Tom Cole broke into midfield and timed his pass to the galloping Lewis Wells who smashed through the defence to get his hat-trick try and claim the try bonus point for the Reds. Converted by Tom Cole. (22-7)

Following several injuries, the Reds lost their shape a little and Gala came back into the game. A great run from the Gala fullback and several missed tackles saw Gala inside the Reds 22 and after several phases they scored wide on the right. Try was converted (22-14).

Moving into the last 10 minutes the Reds managed to get a grip of the game and some good play and line kicking found them with a line-out 5m from Gala line. An excellent catch and drive from the forwards allowed Stu Young to dive over for Linlithgow’s 5th try. With the recognised goal kickers off the field, Kieran Cochrane stepped up and slotted the conversion. (29-14).

All a blur! Too fast for the cameraman, Stu Young crashes over for the Reds’ fifth try

Following the try there was an altercation between players ending in a Reds’ player receiving a red card. Gala were awarded a penalty on half-way and, catching Linlithgow unawares, quickly moved the ball wide to eventually score in the corner. (29-19). There was only time for one play following the restart before the referee brought the game to a close.

In difficult conditions the Reds played some good rugby (five tries against Border opposition is always good) and showed that the shape and style being set down by the coaches is working. Some ill discipline and back chat needs to be eradicated as this is costing field position and points.

Fulltime score: 

Linlithgow 29 – 19  Gala

Linlithgow

Cammy Walker; Neil Thomson-Mitchell, Aidan Wan, Lewis Wells, Callum Miller; Gregor McLean, Tom Cole; Matthew Sommerville, Adam Scott, Colin Devlin; Patrick Bennie, Andrew Graham; Andrew Archer (captain), Stu Young and Jamie Tulloch.

Subs (all played)

Jamie Currie, Ewan Edwards, Fraser McIntosh, Rory McAdam, Kieran Cochrane and Ally Walker.

Photos courtesy of Graham Black