OFF COLOUR REDS CONCEDE SIX TRIES
Dalkeith 43 – 28 Linlithgow
Saturday 26 April 2016
Another encouraging band of Linlithgow supporters followed the Firsts to King’s Park in Dalkeith where the Reds were playing the home side in the BT East League One encounter. With a number of players unavailable, the Reds pack had a very youthful look about it.
The visitors kicked off playing downhill with the wind at their backs on the tight 2nd pitch – a choice no doubt made in an attempt to nullify the Reds pace out wide.
Linlithgow raced forward and won a penalty in their first visit to the home 22 but scorned the easy penalty chance by opting to take a quick tap. Dalkeith successfully defended and immediately moved forward. The Dalkeith stand-off chipped the ball forward and ran through to collect his own kick and dived under the posts, leaving an easy conversion.
In the fifth minute the home side flanker ran up the right wing through too many tackles and touched down in the corner. A very good kick added the two points and the visitors were now 14-0 down. Linlithgow managed to register their first points in the tenth minute when Jack Frame converted a penalty.
Ten minutes later he doubled that tally with another successful penalty and the Reds were now beginning to string together some passing moves. Billy Edment burst forward and kicked the ball forward, then picking it up to find David Martin in support. Martin ran across the line and closer to the posts to score. This gave Frame an easier conversion which he notched to bring the Reds to within one point.
On the half-four mark Stuart Cunningham sold a tremendous dummy and Linlithgow looked set for another score but the final pass did not go to hand. Five minutes later, the visiting side paid the price when Dalkeith pressed on the Reds line. Drew Sommerville transgressed and was sent to the sin bin. One minute later, the Reds defence ran out of numbers when the Dalkeith back division played the ball wide to the right and scored a try that was again well converted.
In the last play of the first half, Jack Frame was successful with a very long penalty that meant the sides turned round with Linlithgow trailing 21-16. The visitors had not played well but had recovered from a disastrous start to stay in touch. Their supporters were hoping that Linlithgow might use their pace advantage more and avoid too much physical work where the Reds lighter forwards were coming off second best.
Certainly in the early stages of the second half, Linlithgow increased the tempo and things looked promising for the visitors for a short while. The reverse of this was that Dalkeith always looked dangerous when their bigger players burst forward and were not being brought down in the tackle. And so it proved in the fiftieth minute, when Dalkeith took the ball forward and scored their fourth try. This was not converted but the bad news for Linlithgow that the incident also led to a yellow card for David Martin.
The game was just over an hour old when another Dalkeith attack resulted in a scrum close to the Linlithgow try line. The Reds won this against the head but a mix up in defence allowed the Dalkeith players to grab the ball and score. The conversion took the score to a home lead of 33-16.
Five minutes later the Reds pressed forward. The referee was playing advantage to Linlithgow when quick thinking led to the ball being kicked through the defence. Fraser Rankine won the race to touch down. Jack Frame’s conversion brought the scores back to 33-23 to the home side.
With seven minutes to go, Dalkeith were awarded a penalty and they sensibly opted to kick at the posts. The successful lead stretched their lead by another three points. The Reds had not given up, however, and were trying to salvage something from the game. Robbie Thomson took a quick tap penalty and his brother, Cal, carried the ball forward. He was brought down short of the line but, following up, Drew Sommerville dived over to score the Reds’ third try.
The conversion was just wide and with two minutes to go the visitors were eight points behind. The Dalkeith restart resulted in a break down in communications amongst the Reds – not for the first time in the game. Two Linlithgow players did not claim the ball and Dalkeith managed to score a last try under the posts. The conversion brought up a home victory of 43-28.
There can be no hiding that this was a disappointing display by the Reds and the coaches will want to see an improvement this Saturday when Linlithgow visit Murrayfield Wanderers who sit one place above them in the league. The Seconds are also away to Edinburgh to play Liberton.
Jack Frame; Chris Bredin, Euan Richardson, Fraser Rankine and Cameron Walker; Andrew Whitelaw and David Martin; Calum McKeown, Billy Edment and John Pauley; Drew Somerville and Steven Grant; Stuart Cunningham, Cal Thomson and Euan Mochrie.
Subs: Mark Caddle, Fraser Mochrie and Robbie Thomson.
Fraser Rankine’s Try