Poor Performance in Season Opener
Unfortunate Injury in Warm-up Leads to Slow Start
Dunbar 34 – 20 Linlithgow
Saturday 3rd September 2016
Linlithgow travelled to Dunbar for the eagerly awaited season opener on Saturday. The Reds had finished 3rd last season and Dunbar had been mid table. Linlithgow would have expected to do better than they did in the match, but were perhaps stunned by the loss of prop Chris Archer who broke his arm in the pre-match warm up. A very unfortunate accident and we wish Chris all the best for a speedy recovery.
Linlithgow kicked off but lost a try from virtually the first play. A clever kick wrong footed the Linlithgow defence and the Dunbar team ran the length of the park to score. The conversion from the touchline was good. The Linlithgow forwards were being continuously penalised for entering the ruck illegally and the referee spoke with the Linlithgow captain. To an ironic cheer from the away crowd, Linlithgow were awarded their first penalty after 15 minutes and Jack Frame scored from quite far out.
The penalty count against Linlithgow continued to mount and when the referee awarded Dunbar a further penalty for Linlithgow slowing the play down, and with the Linlithgow players standing still, Dunbar took a quick tap and scored in the corner, the conversion going wide. However, Linlithgow were still in the game and won another penalty when a Dunbar player used his foot in the tackle. The referee said there had been no malice intended so didn’t go for yellow card. Frame scored the penalty, and then another one from just inside the Dunbar half. All the good work was undone when Dunbar scored a good try in the corner which went unconverted to enhance their lead. Frame scored another penalty and missed another from inside his own half to take the Reds to within 5 points at half time.
Half-time: Dunbar 17 – 12 Linlithgow
The second half began in bizarre fashion with Dunbar fielding 16 players, which was only noticed after 2 plays. At this stage the game was even, with Linlithgow dominating the scrums, but the backs were unable to capitalise or penetrate a resolute defence. Spectators were puzzled by the next play. A long kick forward by Dunbar resulted in the ball stopping inside the dead ball area, while Murray stepped over the dead ball line when picking the ball up, It was deemed that he had carried the ball over the line and a scrum 5 was awarded to Dunbar. Linlithgow successfully secured the ball from the resulting scrum and cleared their line.
Both teams went on to swap penalties and, with 5 points separating the teams, you felt that either team could win. However within 2 minutes, Linlithgow found themselves a further 14 points behind when after some slack defence and a charge down Dunbar scored a couple of tries which killed off any chance of a Linlithgow comeback. To their credit Linlithgow continued to force the game and were rewarded for their efforts when the forwards drove over in the corner with almost the last play, substitute Steven Grant coming up with the ball. The conversion went wide.
Full-time: Dunbar 34 – 20 Linlithgow
Jack Frame; Euan Murray, Russell Murdoch, Andrew Whitelaw, Ross Plenderleith; Jamie March, David Martin; Michael Robertson, Stuart Cunningham, Callum McKeown; Jake Tritton, Euan Mochrie; Craig Scott, Cal Thomson, Stuart Bell (capt).
Subs : Sean Hagerty, Steven Grant, Chris Ronalson