Reds at Berwick (Dec 14)

No Excuses as Reds Lose Heavily

Berwick  61 – 12  Linlithgow

Saturday 06 December 2014

Linlithgow RFC travelled down to England to play Berwick in the BT East League One fixture last Saturday.  The Reds kicked off with a bitingly cold wind behind them and took the play into Berwick’s half.  There was an early sign of things to come when Berwick won the first scrum on Linlithgow’s put in and then won a penalty.  They kicked this into touch deep in the visitors’ half,  leading to the first score in the fifth minute.  Berwick secured the ball at the line out and passed it right along the back division leaving their winger to score in the corner.  This made the successful conversion from wide out a very good kick.

Six minutes later the Reds won their own line-out in the home side 22 and the forwards drove their counterparts back over the line for a try.  Euan Richardson was credited with the last touch and John Strachan added the two points to level the scores.  Berwick hit back quickly when a missed tackle let the Berwick centre crash over.  The conversion was missed as the kicker missed his footing on the run up.  

In the 20th minute Berwick won a line out in the same spot from which they scored, only this time they mirrored the Reds by driving the visitors back.  The conversion was successful.  At this stage, play was even in the middle of the park.  The Reds missed a penalty and then Chris Bredin was bundled into touch, when he looked as if he might have had space to reach the corner.

It was the home side, however, that had the cutting edge.  From a third line-out in the same place, they scored their fourth and bonus-point try with a mirror image of their first try, again scored in the corner and again converted.  The clock was ticking down towards half time as the visitors threw everything into trying to hit back.  Linlithgow  were pressing on Berwick’s try line when a Reds pass was intercepted. The Berwick player ran the length of the park but gave a team mate the opportunity to score under the posts.   The successful conversion ended the first half with the score at 33-7.

From the restart the Reds tried to get back into this game but their efforts only created a lull in the scoring and it was nine minutes before the Berwick winger, Gareth Hill, completed his hat-trick of tries followed by another successful kick.  Robbie Thomson then came on to join the growing ranks of former Academy players making their Reds’ debut this season.

In a scrappy passage of play a loose ball was spinning on the ground and Berwick were first to seize it and run forward to score. Another good kick added the two points.  After 25 minutes, Berwick added another try with a run from their own half to score under the posts.  There was respite for the Reds when John Strachan, who was now playing at full back, dummied the Berwick centres and scored but he was unable to convert his own score.

The Reds were pressing again when the Berwick winger seized the ball and raced up the wing.  He kicked ahead and ran to catch his own kick to pass inside, giving his team mate a pass to score under the posts.  The last successful kick finished the game.  The final score was 61-12, with Berwick scoring excellent team tries, fine solo ones and opportunistic scores.  There was no arguing with the result but the Linlithgow players might reflect that they should have made the home side work a bit harder for some of the points.

Linlithgow XV

Fraser Rankine; Chris Bredin, Mark Green, Ben Milne and Ross Plenderleith; John Strachan and Dougie Thomson; Calum McKeown, Chris Archer and John Pauley; Patrick Bennie and Logan Black; Cameron Dori-Muir, Euan Richardson and Alistair Wood. 

Subs:, Billy Edment, Nicky Cowan and Robbie Thomson