Another Excellent Performance from the Reds 2s
Linlithgow 2s 19 – 10 Peebles 2s
Saturday 23 October 2021
Report by Des Martin
This was the second home game in as many weeks and the opposition was another team from the Borders. Linlithgow had always found Peebles a difficult team to beat but, buoyed by their good game against Melrose the previous week, everyone was in a confident mood.
The team had a few changes from the previous week with Bruno Mochrie drafted into the firsts and Muzz Murray injuring himself at training. The team had a youthful look about the back line, led by Grant Findlater at standoff and the forwards were being guided by Andrew Archer’s knowledge and enthusiasm.
The game started at a fast pace with Linlithgow determined to carry the ball at the Peebles defence who held up well and invariably a break down would occur. An observation by the manager that some of the players seem to revel in finding players to run into rather than using the principle of running past them seems to the norm too often. The Peebles team were good in defence and held out on many occasions however the Reds broke through when from a scrum Kiki Cochrane picked up at number 8, went down the blind side, drew the man and gave the ball to Gregor McLean who committed the last defenders and offloaded to Callum Miller who took the ball down the wing and scored behind the posts. Converted by Tom Cole. 7-0 to the Reds
The Reds began to play a bit of good rugby and before long Kiki Cochrane had broken out of defence but was foiled by a last ditch tackle. Grant Findlater left the park after dislocating his thumb and Gregor McLean moved to stand off with Ally Walker coming on at centre. Jamie Currie came off on the wing and was replaced by Cammy Walker. Oh yes, it was a merry-go-round of changes at times, but from a good piece of play from Kiki Cochrane, Stu Young found himself 10 yards out in midfield, not fancying the sprint to the line he slipped a nice pass to Andrew Graham who scored a debutant senior try between the posts. This was converted by Tom Cole to make it 14-0 to the Reds.
Peebles, who were always in the game, stretched the home defence and just before half-time scored an unconverted try to leave the score 14-5 at the turn.
At half time the usual change of players took place, as you are trying to allow everybody some game time. The two second rows of Liam Park and Andrew Graham were replaced by Ewan Edwards and Hamsa Arif and the game started again after half time. Some good play with Jack McNair and Ali Reynolds, Tom Cole and Gregor McLean took the play down the park and from good work by the forwards, where Pooch Tulloch was always to the fore, Callum Miller was on hand score his second try. The conversion although near was missed. 19-5 to the Reds.
Shortly after this a spate of injuries saw all the bench used and the game badly disrupted, Jack McNair had a clash of heads with one of his own players and had to leave the field after being knocked out. Pooch Tulloch achieved his lifelong ambition of moving from wing forward to centre as there were no other backs available. Ciaran Wright, who was not long on the pitch and was showing up well, was tackled after a good run and fell awkwardly, there was a crack heard by most close to incident. Play was stopped for a period and an ambulance called with appeared about an hour later. Thanks to Alan Dowell, Ken Richardson, Hugh Cochrane, a John Doe and others who made Ciaran comfortable until we got the stretcher at the end and took him into the clubhouse were he was kept warm until the ambulance came to take him to hospital.
Play continued in a fashion for another 10 minutes or so and in that time Peebles scored again, but didn’t convert, to leave the final score 19-10 to Linlithgow.
A game that started well, promised much but didn’t deliver due to so many changes in players and positions, leaves us needing every fit player available for the game against Leith. Congrats to Gregor McLean who amid the mayhem and injuries played well for the full 80 minutes, a first full game for the Reds something we all hope will continue.