REDS PROGRESS TO NEXT ROUND OF BT SHIELD
Edinburgh Northern 16 – 25 Linlithgow
Saturday 08 November 2014
Linlithgow RFC travelled to the capital to play Edinburgh Northern in the quarter final of the BT Edinburgh Shield with their injury woes mounting. Captain, Stuart Cunningham, had joined the long list of injured and unavailable players. The Reds were, however, at least able to welcome back last season’s Player of the Year, Ross Plenderleith, for his first competitive first team action of this season.
The early exchanges were even and play remained stuck in the middle of the park before Edinburgh Northern, who play in East 2, a league below the Reds, mounted the first serious attack of the game. The home team then capitalised on this by scoring a penalty in the ninth minute. Their lead lasted only two minutes before stand-off, John Strachan, equalised with a penalty of his own.
Five minutes later the Edinburgh Northern forwards pushed their Reds counterparts back leading to another penalty award which the home side converted to regain the lead. On the half hour mark they stretched that lead with another penalty but this seemed to wake the Reds up. Linlithgow mounted their first spell of sustained pressure and it was not long before scrum half, Mikey Walker, dived over a pile of bodies to touch down. The conversion was missed and then John Strachan became the latest casualty and had to leave the field of play due to a shoulder injury. The backline was reshuffled and he was replaced by Keiron Faulds who became the latest young player to make his 1st XV debut.
As the half was drawing to a close, Linlithgow were let off when, first, the Edinburgh side missed a three-man overlap and then, later in the move, they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but chose to take a tap penalty which came to nothing. The home side still had time to miss a penalty on the stroke of half time, leaving the score at 9-8 at the interval.
Half time saw some stern words from Coach Dale Lyon and the introduction of Cameron Dori-Muir into the back row. Another player returning from injury, Cameron brought some much needed urgency and intensity to the game and sparked his teammates into action. The Reds set about the game with more purpose. After a couple of penalty misses from them, they set up an attack that saw Mark Green power through to score a try. Soon afterwards, the Reds pack drove forward and allowed Chris Bredin to score in the corner. Neither try was converted but Linlithgow had taken an 18-9 lead.
Keiron Faulds then had a surging run up the wing and tried to link with Billy Edment. Logan Black followed suit and was well-supported by Garry Anderson. However they couldn’t press home the advantage. The referee then sent Billy Edment to the sin bin for a high tackle and, while he was there, Edinburgh Northern managed to score a try that was converted to bring themselves within two points of the visitors.
The travelling support, which matched the home crowd in numbers, were looking nervous. By this stage too Calum McKeown had come off also with a shoulder injury, but Billy Edment returned to the fray so that numbers were even again. And it was Billy Edment who finished off a move by scoring under the posts and then converting his score. What gladdened the hearts of the Linlithgow crowd was that this try came after a typical surging run from winger, Ross Plenderleith.
There was no further scoring and Linlithgow ran out winners 25-16. This Saturday, Linlithgow travel to play North Berwick in the next round of the Shield in what will be a very difficult encounter. The coaching staff will be hoping that Saturday’s game has not added to their injury list which is stretching the playing resources of the Club.
Fraser Rankine; Chris Bredin, Mark Green, Ben Milne and Ross Plenderleith; John Strachan and Mike Walker; Calum McKeown, Billy Edment and Chris Archer; Garry Anderson and John Pauley; Logan Black, Lewis Herdman and Patrick Bennie.
Subs: Scott Herdman, Conall Black, Cameron Dori-Muir and Keiron Faulds.