Hard Fought Win for Reds at Wardie
Broughton 8 – 15 Linlithgow
Saturday 09 October 2021
Report by Craig Young
Linlithgow travelled to Broughton having won two and lost two games so far, but boosted by the return to the starting XV of Mark Caddle and with Jack Frame on the bench for his first league appearance of the season. A sizeable away support had travelled through to watch this Tennents East 1 league match.
Linlithgow kicked off, conditions were overcast and the pitch was pretty soft. The visitors were the first to press and earned a penalty after 5 minutes, Ross Martin hitting the outside of the post with his kick. Linlithgow continued to dominate the possession but the home defence was resolute. After 20 minutes the home side took the lead much against the run of play. A loose ball was picked up in midfield and the Reds defence parted like the Red Sea, giving Broughton a try which went unconverted.
Linlithgow were soon pressing again and it wasn’t long until the Linlithgow backs managed to move the ball quickly out to the wing for full back Ross Tulloch to score in the corner. The conversion fell short. The home side were being made to defend well, as attack after attack came at them, but Linlithgow were unable to find the gaps. Broughton had a brief spell of pressure near half time when the visitors fluffed a drop out from their goal line and conceded a scrum on the 5 metre line. At this point there was some controversy as Broughton took off one of their props and claimed uncontested scrums. Fortunately for the visitors they cleared their lines and half time came with the score at 5-5.
The controversy raged over half time. The referee consulted the Broughton team sheet and as the players took the field there was a “meeting” in the centre of the pitch between both coaches, both captains and the referee. The upshot was that the scrums would remain uncontested, Broughton claiming the only front row player on the bench was a hooker. This in fact gave Broughton a big boost as they had lost nearly all of their own scrums in the first half.
Broughton pressed first, and missed a kickable penalty before Linlithgow took off Devlin and Finlayson for Stuart Cunningham and Kieran Cochrane. Cochrane only lasted 2 minutes before earning a yellow for a high tackle. One of the home side was binned soon after that for preventing what looked like a Linlithgow scoring situation. The game was very intense and there were some niggles. Broughton were clearly “targeting” the Linlithgow stand off, Aidan Rennison, who was the recipient of several meaty late tackles. Linlithgow still had the upper hand but nowhere near the amount of possession as in the first half.
The game boiled over in midfield, when in a maul one of the Broughton players appeared to head-butt a Linlithgow player. Once everyone calmed down the referee only gave the Broughton player a yellow card, accompanied by boos from the away support. Jack Frame came on and was quickly in action, missing a long penalty. Eventually the visitors made the breakthrough with a fantastic run from Ruaridh Stewart who scored in the corner, superbly converted by Jack Frame. Two minutes later Frame made the points safe with another penalty. Broughton had a late flurry but were running out of time and when they were awarded a penalty they chose to kick to try to get within 7 points. The kick was good, leaving the final score at 8-15.
This was a hard fought win, but in truth the game should have been safe by half time with 80% possession and with the amount of dominance in the scrum. Next week it’s Royal High at home who are currently unbeaten.
Ross Tulloch; Ross Plenderleith, Ruaridh Stewart, Mark Green, Lewis Wells; Aidan Rennison, Cammy Murrie; Colin Devlin, Kyle Ormond, Euan Gunn; Mark Caddle, Jamie Finlayson; Euan Mochrie (capt), Cal Thomson and Ross Martin.
Subs (all used)
Stuart Cunningham, Kieran Cochrane, Ewen Mitchell and Jack Frame.