Reds Edged out at Haddington
Haddington 22 – 10 Linlithgow
Saturday 19 October 2019
After a pitch inspection at 11am the match went ahead despite the rainfall that led to many postponements elsewhere. The pitch held up surprisingly well and did not really affect the result.
The home team started quickly and were camped in the Reds 22 for the first 10 minutes before the visitors began to win some possession and from a kick ahead, Jack Frame collected the ball on half way and weaved upfield but failed to reach the try line and was unable to offload to his support. Haddington took the lead with a penalty in front of the posts. However within a few minutes, the Reds took the lead following a trademark Ross Plenderleith midfield burst from a set move and he released Ross Tulloch to score near the post and Jack Frame added the conversion to make the score 3-7.
The next score was from the home team but was a controversial one. The scrum half made a good break but the touch judge raised his flag to indicate that he had stepped on the side line. However the referee overruled the touch judge saying that he thought the try was fair. The Reds defence noticeably hesitated when they saw the flag going up but if earlier tackles had been made then the scrum half would have been stopped in his tracks. This gave the home side the lead but the visitors responded and after a high tackle on Aidan Rennison, Frame added 3 points from a penalty.
Haddington then pinned the Reds back into their own half and following a number of pick and drives, they scored a try which was converted by their useful left winger. This completed the scoring and made it 15-10 to the home team.
The second half was a very even affair with defences dominant. Linlithgow lost Frame with a blood injury and he was replaced by David ‘Jeff’ Martin who slotted in at full back. As has been the case all season, the Reds pack began to scrummage very effectively and the larger home pack were under pressure. From a scrum won against the head, the ball found its way to Cammy Walker on the right wing and he was unlucky not to gather his own chip ahead when only 2 yards short of the line.
The visitors were creating quite a few openings out wide and Ross Plenderleith, Ross Tulloch and Ross Martin all came close to breaking through the home defence. The coaches rang the changes with Russell Murdoch, David Martin and Matthew Sommerville all getting a run out during the 2nd half.
Haddington made a couple of breaks into Linlithgow territory in the last 15 minutes and following a quick tapped penalty, they moved the ball wide to allow the left winger to score a try which he converted himself. Despite some real pressure exerted on the home defence, the Reds just could not cross the line in the last few minutes and the game ended with a 22-10 win for the home team.
A close game where both sides tried hard to break down a couple of solid defences and where the soft pitch did not seem to hinder either team. The Reds again suffered from some overly passive work at the breakdown and being unable to find a cutting edge in the opposition 22 but overall a reasonable effort.
Jack Frame; Cammy Walker, Ross Tulloch, Mark Green, Ross Plenderleith; Aidan Rennison, Struan McLean; Ally Mclean, Adam Scott, Colin Devlin; Ross Martin, Duncan McClymont; Euan Mochrie (captain), Cal Thomson and Kieran Cochrane.
Subs: Russell Murdoch, Jeff Martin, Matthew Sommerville.
On Saturday, the Reds visit Royal High RFC in the Quarter Finals of the Edinburgh Shield and with the last 2 encounters with them having ended in a draw, the expectation is for another tight match.
The 2nd XV are scheduled to play Lasswade at Mains Park with a 3pm kick off.