Reds Give Fans Early Christmas Treat with Eight-Try Win
Dalkeith 19 – 54 Linlithgow
Saturday 17 December 2016
After the previous week’s heavy league defeat to Murrayfield Wanderers, Linlithgow changed competitions last Saturday and travelled to Dalkeith to play a rearranged BT Edinburgh Shield game. Dalkeith are in the league below but the Reds were well aware that they had lost to the Midlothian side on their last visit to King’s Park.
From the kick off, Linlithgow surged into the home side’s 22. An early line out was driven over but the ball was held up behind the line. In the 5th minute, Linlithgow spurned an easy penalty kick and opted to kick for a five-metre line-out. Dalkeith probably expected another drive but the ball was passed along the backs until Andrew Whitelaw stepped round his opposite number to score, with Jack Frame adding the conversion.
Two minutes later, a flowing move involving Ross Martin, Billy Edment and Euan Mochrie culminated in a pass to Jack Frame who raced over for the second try, before picking himself up to add the two points. In the 11th minute Stand –off Chris Ronalson gave a super pass to Andrew Whitelaw, allowing him to run under the posts, leaving an easy conversion.
The home side now dug deep and, for the first time, Dalkeith began to press forward. Several times they threatened to score, with their heavier forwards trying to strong-arm their way over but the Reds defence held out. The siege was relieved when Billy Edment hacked the ball upfield. Dalkeith returned to the attack but the Linlithgow forwards stole a Dalkeith line-out and the ball was kicked clear with Cammy Walker giving good chase.
On the half-four mark the Dalkeith spell of pressure was brought to an end when Ross Martin gathered the ball in the Reds 22 and raced upfield. An outrageous dummy enabled him to breach the defence and run all the way to score a try. Jack Frame kicked the conversion again. One minute later, Andrew Whitelaw completed his hat-trick following a good run by Pat Bennie supported by Edment. Frame kicked his fifth successful conversion.
Linlithgow’s domination continued on the stroke of half-time when Chris Ronalson used a ”show-and-go” to race through the defence to touch down. On this occasion Frame’s kick failed but, when the referee blew for half-time, the score was 40-0 in favour of the Reds, a point a minute!
At half-time Stuart Young and Sam McAllister came on for Linlithgow and, when the game resumed, Linlithgow continued where they left off. A blistering run by Billy Edment came to nothing when the support play could not secure the ball. In the 48th minute, Dalkeith pressed forward and won a try close to Linlithgow’s try line. The home side forwards managed to make their weight count when they scored a pushover try. The visitors were stung to a response with Andrew Whitelaw weaving his way through midfield before offloading to Jack Frame who touched down under the posts. Again he added the kick.
Duncan. McClymont came on for Euan Mochrie and joined young team-mate, McAllister, in making his First XV debut. Ross Martin intercepted a pass but was tackled before he could reach the line. Dalkeith then burst up the right wing to score in the corner which was followed by an excellent conversion kick from out wide.
Two minutes later, Ross Plenderleith burst through the home defence for a trademark try with Jack Frame adding the afters. Sam McAllister then followed suit with a good run forward before the home defence snuffed out the threat. There was time for Linlithgow’s head coach, Dougie Thomson, to make a rare, cameo appearance from the bench before Dalkeith finished the scoring with another try five minutes from the end.
While a convincing 54-19 score line in their favour will please the Reds, so must some aspects of the performance as well. The eight tries included some excellent passing moves, and when they were under pressure for a spell in the first half, Linlithgow’s defence proved equal to the task. The Reds are now in the Edinburgh Shield semi-final which will be away against Dunbar on 7 January.
Jack Frame; Cameron Walker, Andrew Whitelaw, Ross Martin and Ross Plenderleith; Chris Ronalson and Jamie March; Steven Grant, Billy Edment and Calum McKeown; Sean Hagerty and Patrick Bennie, Euan Mochrie, Mark Caddle and Craig Scott (c).
Substitutes: Duncan McClymont, Stuart Young, Sam McAllister and Dougie Thomson.