Table Toppers Peebles Too Strong for Reds
Linlithgow 2s 0 – 17 Peebles 2s
Saturday 23 November 2019
Report by Des Martin
Linlithgow 2s were on the bottom pitch against Peebles as unusually for Linlithgow there were two home games. The day was dreich and damp and the pitch was greasy from midweek training sessions.
The Reds had lost a number of front line players through unavailability and as replacements for the 1st team but still had a combative team for this top of the table clash. The game started at a hectic pace with Peebles showing how they were at the top of this league. Strong carries from experienced players put lots of pressure on the Reds but great defence by all of the team held firm. Peebles kept working on the their strong attack and after sucking in the Linlithgow forwards, the centre ran a delightful line and scored underneath the posts. This was converted to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
The Reds came back from the KO and great carries by Adam Scott and Mayo Herdman took them into the Peebles 22 and near to their line. The Reds forwards were awarded a penalty and Russell Murdoch at standoff chipped the ball to toch on the 5 yard line. Unfortunately the lineout was deemed not straight and Peebles managed to clear their lines.
It was really a day for the forwards as the ball was damp and the pitch was exceptionally greasy, it did not make for a lot of flowing rugby and the Linlithgow centres of Ally Walker and Chris Bredin were supporting Russell Murdoch with strong tackles with so much of the game was played in the centre of the park. Linlithgow made it to half time only 7-0 down, having sustained a lot of pressure, and the Manager was upbeat for the second half.
However there were ominous signs that fatigue was setting in with certain players due to their robust efforts in the first half. Some had picked up niggles and indicated as such to the coaching team. Peebles on the other hand had a full bench of 6 extra players which they utilised wisely and gradually the superior numbers wore the Linlithgow team down. Matty Sommerville had received an early injury and was replaced by Hasan Ilter in the front row and George Carmichael had come off at half time with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Chris Bredin at scrum half. This utilised all of our team and replacements and meant we were up against it in the second half with no additional replacements when required. Astute kicking on the greasy surface gained Peebles useful ground and then forwards exerted extra pressure with strong carries from their no 6 and 8 which the Reds struggled to control.
Peebles eventually scored two more well set up tries out wide from this pressure which they didn’t convert to leave the final score 17-0 to the visitors.
A summary for the day was a good effort against a strong side which wasn’t enough to bother Peebles, who had the edge in guts and desire to win the game on a dreich day. Thanks to the young lady referee who controlled the game well and was praised by the players after for her clear and accurate decisions.