Reds 3s Edge Northern in Cracking Match
Linlithgow 3s 22 – 17 Edinburgh Northern 2s
Saturday 08 September 2018
This was the first outing of the season for the 3s and they had to play at their best to edge a very tidy and competitive Northern side. There was little to separate the two sides in what was an enthralling and very physical, but fair, contest. The Reds 3rd string welcomed back three players who have played little rugby in the last two or three seasons – Ben Clarke at No. 8, Aaron Flucker at wing forward and Andrew Blyth at scrum half – all of whom made a telling contribution to the game. Indeed it was Aaron Flucker, with two tries and some great play around the pitch, who claimed the man-of-the-match accolade and deservedly so.
Led by the rumbustuous Dougie Thomson, playing at stand-off, it was the Reds who took an early lead after a fine break by winger Guy Sutherland set up the supporting Aaron Flucker for a fine try in the corner. Northern struck back 10 minutes later with a good try under the posts, which was converted to give them a 7-5 lead.
Once again it was winger Guy Sutherland who made the telling impact, as he took the ball at pace and beat three defenders to score a cracking try in the corner to give the Reds the lead back at 10-7. The ever alert Andrew Blyth was on hand 10 minutes later to finish off Reds pressure with a try, once again in the corner. This gave the Reds a deserved 15-7 halftime lead.
Northern started the second half with a real intensity and only excellent defending kept them at bay for much of the third quarter. It was backs-to-the-wall for the Reds for much of this period, but they dug deep and showed great character to hold their opponents at bay. Entering the final quarter, the pressure finally told and the Northern scrum half was able to squeeze in reaching out to just dot the ball down on the Reds line for an unconverted try. This brought the score to 15-12 for the home team with 15 minutes to play.
With Dougie Thomson leading by example the Reds took play to the visitors and running from deep in his own half, it was fitting that man-of-the-match Aaron Flucker claimed the important try, which with Andrew Blyth’s successful conversion took the Reds 2 scores ahead at 22-12 with 10 minutes left. Northern, however, wouldn’t give up and seized a late unconverted try after a break from their own half. However, there was only time for one more play and, although the visitors threw everything in to it, the Reds defence was up to the challenge and they closed out a cracking game with a 22-17 win.
Nathan Timlin; Guy Sutherland, Scott Kellock, Kyle Dunlop, Rory McAdam; Dougie Thomson, Andrew Blyth; Hugh Cochrane, Adam Scott, Ryan Wilson; Stuart Gordon, Adam Wilson; Lewis McKie, Aaron Flucker and Ben Clarke.
Subs: Euan Gunn and Dom Hamilton.