Reds Storm Back in Second Half to Claim Bonus Point Win
Broughton 20 – 23 Linlithgow
Saturday 20 October 2018
(Match Report by Craig Young)
The Linlithgow side had a more familiar look to it as regular players had returned to the fold. This was to be one of those “game of 2 halves”. The game started badly for the visitors as Broughton opened the scoring with an unconverted try in the corner, which could have been avoided if a clearance had found touch. Linlithgow almost got back into it as Ross Plenderleith broke clear, carrying the ball 40 metres but his final pass went to the opposition. Linlithgow were seeing a lot of the ball but unable to do much with it. The first half was strewn with penalties and it wasn’t long before Broughton got one in a scoring position.
Linlithgow then had a lucky escape when Broughton thought they had scored in the corner but the referee gave a drop-out much to the dismay of the home fans. As the half progressed, Linlithgow were seeing less of the ball, and had to defend desperately at times. Inevitably the home side scored and converted. Linlithgow did end the half inside the Broughton 22 but once again gave the ball away in an attacking position. HT 15-0.
Linlithgow had the advantage of the “slope” in the second half and what wind there was, and they pulled a score back with their first attack, Cal Thomson scoring in the corner after a rolling maul. The conversion fell short. Then Broughton scored in controversial circumstances. A long kick ahead developed into a foot race and both players seemed to get there at the same time. The referee awarded a drop out, but after listening to the howls of the home support, he consulted the home touch judge, then awarded the try which went unconverted.
At 20-5 down Linlithgow had it all to do. Credit to them, for the next 20 minutes they were all over Broughton. It started with a penalty which was kickable then declined. They went for touch, and from the resultant maul, Rab Cairns forced the ball down, the conversion going wide. The Reds were quickly back on the attack again, and following a penalty for a trip, they knocked on when 5 metres from the line. However, the next try was only delayed for a short time as Mark Green burst through and released Rab Cairns to go over for his second try, the attempted conversion again going wide.
Another Reds attack resulted in a knock on, but the bonus try wasn’t long in coming as Ross Plenderleith went over following good work from Rab Cairns and Chris Ronalson. Again, the conversion was missed. With the scores level and 10 minutes to play, Linlithgow were awarded a penalty on the 10 metre line in front of the posts. Normally a “gimme”, however under the circumstances it was a pressure kick, Rab Cairns stepped up and the ball sailed through the uprights to seal a remarkable comeback.
Broughton then tried desparately to get back into the game but the visitors defence was resolute, and to their credit did not concede any penalties in the danger areas. As the final whistle blew, there was a roar of relief from the sizeable away support and you could see how delighted the players were at the end.
After the match, Reds coach Matt Dixon was delighted with the comeback performance. “Everyone contributed and although we left a few tries out there again, we had the determination to get over the line.” He made special mention of Andrew Archer, who came on a a second half substitute and played “out of his skin” against the Club he had played with for a few seasons.
Rab Cairns; Ross Tulloch, Chris Ronalson, Mark Green, Ross Plenderleith; John Chapman, Peter Miller; Steven Grant, Stuart Cunningham, Colin Devlin; Neil Lochhart, Kieran Cochrane; Cal Thomson, Joe McKillion and Mark Caddle.
Subs: Calum McKeown, Cammy Dori-Muir, Andrew Archer, Lewis Herdman