Reds Try Fest in the Borders
Duns 7 – 42 Linlithgow
Saturday 5th March 2022
Report by David Mitchell
The Reds took their only bus trip of the season to Duns to take on the bottom placed team in the league in a fixture originally scheduled for 6th November 2021. The sun shone all of the way to Duns and the match was played on a beautiful afternoon with a cool breeze blowing straight down the park. The pitch was not in great condition but this did not stop the Reds gathering an 8 try haul at a venue that has traditionally been a tough place to get a good result. Ross Martin was a late call off and was replaced by Ewan Mitchell. Freddie Adcock made a welcome start at outside centre on his debut.
Linlithgow kicked off with the wind behind them but seemed quite lethargic in the opening exchanges with the result that Duns had most possession for the first 5 minutes. However the visitors soon took control of the scoreboard with a well taken try by Lewis Wells who scored in the left corner after a clean midfield break by outside half Aidan Rennison split the home defence wide open.
Even at this early stage in the game, Linlithgow established scrum superiority, but Duns were still managing to win their own scrums with regular pick-ups by their Number 8. The Reds’ second try followed after 20 minutes with another barnstorming run by Lewis Wells being rounded off by him putting the supporting runner Mark Caddle in for another fine try.
Linlithgow continued to attack throughout the rest of the half with 2 further tries coming towards the half time break. Lewis Wells placed the ball over the line for his second try after a neat flicked pass from Freddie Adcock. Ewan Mitchell then scored his first try for the 1st XV when he ran fully 20 metres and fended off the last tackler to cross the line and then went round to dot the ball down between the posts. The opportunity was created by a good kick and chase and a superb ruck where the forwards drove over the ball to set up the chance for Ewan to score the bonus point try. Jack Frame added the 2 extra points with his only successful kick of the day.
Half time: Duns 0 – 22 Linlithgow
The 2nd half followed a similar path to the 1st half in that the Reds dominated possession and territory. Lewis Wells was now hungrily seeking his 3rd try and made a great break up the middle of the pitch, but when he realised that he was about to be tackled, he shipped the ball to Freddie Adcock who linked up with Ross Tulloch and then Cammy Murrie before taking the final pass to score a debut try after a great team move.
The stuffy Duns team were still battling hard in front of a sizeable home crowd and they deservedly scored a converted try to make the score 7-27. This try followed a period where the Reds gave away quite a few penalties in quick succession and after a quick tap from one of the penalties they breached the defence of the visitors.
At this point, Linlithgow made wholesale changes in their line up with Calum McKeown, Kyle Ormond, Ewan Mitchell and Aidan Rennison being replaced by Euan Gunn, Stuart Cunningham, Cal Thomson and Ross Plenderleith. These changes required some positional adjustments with Mark Caddle moving to the 2nd row, Jamie Tulloch moving to Number 8, Jack Frame moving to outside half and Ross Tulloch moving to full back. The changes did not hinder the Reds’ progress as from a simple miss move in midfield, Mark Green burst through the home defence and off loaded to Ross Tulloch who did well to hold on to the pass and he then made the scoring pass to Lewis Wells who went over for his hat trick of tries with the vociferous vocal support of his father ringing in this correspondent’s ear!
Replacement Ross Plenderleith completed the try scoring with 2 tries late on in the game. Firstly Lewis Wells became the provider rather than the scorer when he drew the last tackler sending Ross hurtling down the right wing to score wide out. Finally from a scrum under the home side’s posts, the ball was moved quickly along the line for Ross to complete the scoring.
Final score: Duns 7 – 42 Linlithgow
Overall a competent performance against a team that is obviously struggling for players this year. The forwards created a solid platform with the visiting scrum in control throughout. Fraser Mochrie made some powerful runs into the Duns defence and similar strong carrying was done by skipper Euan Mochrie and Mark Caddle. Jamie Tulloch was an ever present at the breakdowns and was a real nuisance to the Duns pack. In the back division, Mark Green’s direct running was excellent and he was also a defensive rock ably supported by Freddie Adcock who made a very satisfactory debut.
Although not getting on to the score sheet, Ross Tulloch continued to make inroads all day with his mazy running and his powerful left loot regularly moving the ball down well into Duns territory.
If there was mild criticism to be made, there were too many penalties conceded by the Reds and also still the occasional missed opportunities when giving the pass might have been more rewarding than individuals seeking a bit of glory.
Man of the Match was awarded to Lewis Wells for his 3 tries in a great display of power running. Ewan Mitchell and Freddie Adcock both received plaudits for their performances and after the match, prop Colin Devlin was awarded his 50 match hip flask – well done ‘Dev’!
The Reds next game is the return fixture against Duns at Mains Park on Saturday 26th March at 3pm.
Jack Frame; Ross Tulloch, Freddie Adcock, Mark Green, Lewis Wells; Aidan Rennison, Cammy Murrie; Calum McKeown, Kyle Ormond, Colin Devlin; Fraser Mochrie, Ewan Mitchell; Euan Mochrie (capt), Jamie Tulloch and Mark Caddle.
Subs (all played): Euan Gunn, Stuart Cunningham, Cal Thomson and Ross Plenderleith.