2s v Preston Lodge (Nov18)

Reds 2s Show Real Character in Holding Out for Hard Fought Win

Linlithgow 2s 13 – 12  Preston Lodge 2s

Saturday 03 November 2018

Linlithgow had a strong team available for this home fixture against an old enemy who we had always found stuffy opposition. And so it proved, from the kick off the Reds let the Preston Lodge team catch the ball and with some strong carries by them and weak tackling from the Reds, PL ended up inside the Linlithgow 22. Luckily for Linlithgow Preston Lodge had only one style of play which was to carry the ball with the forwards into the opposition hoping to rumble over the line.  Eventually mistakes can occur from this approach and from a turn-over some astute kicking from Robbie Thomson and Kev Wilson took the Reds down into the Preston Lodge 22.

Good work at the breakdown by Sam Buckley, PJ Singleton and Drew Sommerville resulted in a penalty which Kevin Wilson slotted to give the Reds a 3 point lead. The Reds were struggling to contain the Preston Lodge pack and this caused problems for them all afternoon as there was a lack of consistency with line outs, scrums and at the breakdown. This combined with the style of rugby PL wanted to play caused the game to be a tousey affair which did not suit the Reds.

PL managed to break through and gain a lot of ground due to weak support from the Reds. The resultant scrum provided clean ball for the opposition and after a series of rucks the Reds ran out of defenders and Preston Lodge scored a nice try which was not converted. (3-5)

The Reds fluffed another chance when Ross Oliver, one of the bright and sharp players for Linlithgow, made a lot of ground and chipped the ball through. Aaron Flucker following up tried his footballing skills but over hit the ball and the chance was wasted. Jack Frame took a blow to his arm and was replaced by Bruno Mochrie in the centre and before long the whistle blew for half time.

The game ebbed and flowed after half time and with Connall Black and Colin McMorrin on in the second row and Drew Sommerville (pictured left) moving to the back row the pack were slightly better but against the general run of play the Reds managed to miss a couple of simple clearances and allowed the PL pack close to their line. The eventual scrum came and PL got a push over try which they converted to give the visitors a 12-3 lead.

The Reds came back and after some good play, where they pressed the Preston Lodge line, they got another penalty which Kevin Wilson converted to narrow the gap to 6-12. Shortly afterwards, the Reds were back on the attack and awarded another penalty as PL tired under relentless Reds’ pressure, but Kevin Wilson was unable to convert the opportunity.

The game was now ebbing back and forward, with both sides making forays into their opponents’ halves but being rebuffed by stout defence. Then the Reds’ full back, Ross Oliver, picked up a lose ball on the wing made great ground (pictured right) before being caught and tackled just short of the line. However, Colin McMorrin was up in support to take the ball (see below left) and score near the posts. Kev Wilson slotted the conversion to give the Reds the lead at 13-12.

The crowd were on tenterhooks for the last 10 minutes as Linlithgow held on gamely to record the win.  This involved two goal-line stands and the commitment and courage of the Reds’ defence in these closing minutes was immense. “Phew”, said the Manager at the end of the match, however there were many positives to be had across the team.  Great defence at times, great attacking plays, but occasionally lacking concentration which resulted in missed opportunities.

This league poses more of a challenge for the players but if they stick at it and learn they should all become better players.

Linlithgow

Ross Oliver; Scott Kellock, Jack Frame, Ross Tulloch, Euan Murray; Kevin Wilson, Robbie Thomson (captain); Sam Buckley, Colin Devlin, Matt Sommerville; Drew Sommerville, Lewis McKie; PJ Singleton, Aaron Flucker and Finbar Conway.

Subs: Stuart Gordon, Colin McMorrin, Connall Black, Bruno Mochrie (pictured right), Rory McAdam,

Man of Match: Bruno Mochrie (pictured on right making another tackle)

Match photos courtesy of Graham Black