Reds Win at Dunbar in Close Encounter
Dunbar 22 – 25 Linlithgow
Saturday 12 September 2015
Last Saturday, Linlithgow RFC travelled to Dunbar which hasn’t been a happy hunting ground in recent years. Still short of front row cover and still missing key players, the Reds must still have been confident after last week’s come from behind win against Forrester.
It was breezy and the rain threatening as Linlithgow kicked off. From the start it was the visitors who had most of the possession as they moved the ball quickly into Dunbar territory. Several attacks were thwarted until Dunbar made a good break. However, from a position inside their own 22, Linlithgow broke away and in a free flowing move involving most of the players, the ball ended up with Stuart Cunningham in his old position at wing. He chose the direct route through the full back to score in the corner. The conversion was missed.
Soon after Linlithgow were on the attack again, Stuart Bell powering through in between the posts, Jack Frame slotting the conversion. Mikey Walker had to come off having suffered a broken nose, to be replaced by head coach Dougie Thomson. Immediately after the restart Linlithgow were awarded a penalty just inside the Dunbar half. Jack Frame stepped up and put it right through the middle.
Dunbar came back into the game and scored a try in the corner after a clever crossfield kick, the conversion was missed. However Linlithgow came back and Stuart Bell scored his second try in similar manner to his earlier effort, after good work from Green who had to leave the field with a hamstring strain after the try. Jack Frame’s conversion was good. Linlithgow were playing some lovely expansive rugby at this stage, but just as Linlithgow were thinking of a healthy lead at the break, Dunbar came back and scored on the stroke of have time to make it 12-22.
Whatever the home team coach said at half time, Dunbar came out committed in the second half. Shortly after the restart Watson was injured, to be replaced by Kenny McKenzie. Injuries were beginning to disrupt Linlithgow’s play. Dunbar further reduced the deficit with a penalty , then in another over committed challenge, a Dunbar player went in on Fraser Rankine using his knee. With everyone expecting at least a yellow, the referee only awarded a penalty. Rankine was able to continue after some treatment.
The Dunbar tails were up and they scored another converted try to bring them within 3 points. At this stage Linlithgow were finding it difficult to come to terms with the many changes they had to make and were struggling to get upfield as the make shift team did everything to keep Dunbar out. As the game went on tempers frayed and it wasn’t a surprise when the yellow cards eventually came out to one player from each side, although It was difficult to fully understand why Linlithgow’s Kenny McKenzie, who was only protecting himself was carded. After the incident both captains were warned about the future conduct of their players. Thankfully there were no further problems for the referee as Linlithgow secured a memorable and deserved victory by 25-22 by showing some resolute defence and tremendous character in keeping the home side at bay.
Fraser Rankine; Chris Bredin, Mark Green, Scott Watson, Jack Frame; Jamie Livingstone and Mikey Walker; Calum McKeown, Stuart Cunningham and Chris Archer; Charlie Gillanders and Craig Scott; Josh Hares, Stuart Bell and Ross Martin.
Subs: Kenny McKenzie, Graeme McCallum and Dougie Thomson