2s v Leith (Nov21)

Reds 2s Continue with Winning Ways – More Fireworks One Week On!

Linlithgow 2s 62 – 0 Leith 2s

Friday 12 November 2021

Match report by Des Martin

This fixture was played on a Friday night under lights at Lower Mains Park. This was the first evening game since Covid and gave a great opportunity for players to still play a game and then attend the Scotland v South Africa match at Murrayfield on the Saturday. The team was stronger because of this arrangement, however we were sure that Leith would be in the same position.

There was a minute’s silence at the beginning of the game in respect of a number of supporters of the club who unfortunately had passed away over the last few weeks – Martin Archer a past player and youth coach, Danny Keevins a former Club Treasurer for many years and Hamish Ferguson a lifelong supporter. Our condolences go to all the families.

Minute’s Silence before kick-off

The game started well with Gregor McLean trying his best for the a 50:22 from nearly the first KO, unfortunately this was unsuccessful but the tone was set for a strong attacking and running game. From a dominant pack, including Neil Lockhart and Liam Park in the second row and with Pooch Tulloch and Andrew Archer in the back row the ball was released and given down the blind side where Lewis Wells released Cammy Walker for his first try, converted brilliantly from the touchline by Gregor Stewart  (7-0 to Reds).

The next phase saw a break down for a knock on but from a resultant scrum Cammy Murrie passed to Gregor McLean who slipped the ball to Lewis Wells who strode in through the Leith defence from 20 yards out (12-0 to the Reds). Then, from a great break in midfield, Pooch Tulloch off-loaded the ball to Lewis Wells who scored another try after a powerful hand-off (17-0 to the Reds).

Both packs contained a lot of experience

The front row of Colin Devlin, Adam Scott and Calum McKeown were being somewhat curtailed by the under 19 law which states that you are only allowed to push for a metre and half from any scrum, but they were dominant which meant a great platform for the Reds. From one such scrum, Gregor Stewart came in from full back and scored a nice try in the corner (22-0  to the Reds).

The next try allowed the young Ruaridh Stewart to unselfishly give the ball to his older brother Gregor who scored again (27-0 to the Reds). The younger Stewart came off with a sore shoulder and the backs were reshuffled with Rory McAdam coming on. Ally Walker, who had been a thorn in the Leith side all game, scored two tries after the pack dominated possession and control of most aspects of play to leave the score 41-0 at half-time.

Neil Lockhart was playing his first match for nearly 2 years, but it didn’t look it!

The team was changed considerably at half-time as the subs came on and Leith started to play with a greatly improved style built on a strong ‘pick and go’ approach. That they failed to score was down to heroic defending by the Reds 2s as they held out for a sustained period of pressure on their own goal line by the visitors. It looked like Leith must score, but then Lewis Wells took matters in his own hands where, after a sustained period of pressure by Leith, he burst out from near the Reds’ goal line and handed off a couple of Leith players to run almost 100 metres to score between the posts, a try which Gregor Stewart converted (48-0 to the Reds). 

Leith came back again, but once more were held out by trenchant defending by the home team. Play then got a bit stuck in the midfield with both sides giving their all but getting nowhere, until a nice break from Lewis Wells set up Cammy Walker who finished a nice move by the backs to score, with Stewart again converting (55-0 to the Reds).

Cammy Walker then scored his third after a nice chip and chase created by himself, with Gregor Stewart again converting (62-0 to the Reds) and the Leith players at this stage were wishing that full time would come soon.

To their relief, the final whistle did come soon after, and both sides were able to head to the Clubhouse for a shower, food and refreshment! Thanks to Leith for travelling out on a Friday evening and also to the referee, Adam Evans, who officiated very fairly for both sides, resulting in an enjoyable game for all.

A great performance by the Reds 2s and especially the young Lewis Wells and Pooch Tulloch who both deserve mentions for different reasons – Lewis for his strong runs and try scoring and Pooch for his aggressive tackling, carries and dogged determination in every aspect of the game.