Reds Close Out 2019 with Bonus Point Away Win
Hawick Linden 10 – 31 Linlithgow
Saturday 21 December 2019
Report by Des Martin
This rearranged league fixture did not suit many as it was very near to Christmas and lots of the team were unavailable with other family and social events. 19 players made them selves available and the decision was made to travel down and full fill our obligations with the team that was keen to play.
It was a pleasant if slightly gloomy day when we reached Hawick. The players were enthusiastic and keen to show Hawick Linden what we were made off and beat them on their home plastic pitch which is very different from what we are used to on a regular basis.
The Reds took the first KO but failed to gather the ball cleanly which resulted in the Hawick team gaining possession and making a great charge up the pitch. The referee from St Boswells was keen to keep the Linlithgow team on their toes and a combination of enthusiastic refereeing and players getting used to the performance of the 3G pitch meant that any good work was often negated by a blast from his whistle.
Indeed it was 35 minutes before Linlithgow made it into the Hawick Linden half with any serious attacking intent. By that time Hawick had scored two tries and were leading 10 points to 0. But the Reds did eventually get near to the Hawick 22 and a good ball from a lineout where Bruno Mochrie carried forward resulted in Struan Mclean passing a crisp ball to Chris Ronaldson then to Mark Green and Euan Muzz Murray, the winger, had work to do to speed the last 20 metres and score in the corner. Not converted but the score was 10-5 to Hawick and everyone agreed we were still in the game as the half time whistle went.
The Reserve Manager had a word with captain Euan Mochrie at half time and agreed on a course of action which helped to change the game, on came Andrew Archer in the back row, Calum McKeown in the front row, with Ally Walker moving to centre and Ross Hoochy Tulloch moving to the wing. After half time the Reds changed their ideas and started to pressurise the Hawick team, with the forwards winning from the kick off and carrying to the opposition. From one such attempt Chunk supported well and Euan Muzz Murray ran a great line to surge and score between the posts, Struan McLean converted and the Reds were in front 12-10.
The Reds’ forwards, always dominant in the second half, carried the ball well and Struan McLean and Chris Ronalson were now beginning to control play. From a lovely switch move by Chris Ronalson, Cammy Murrie cut back inside and cruised in for another score converted by Struan McLean (19-10 to the Reds).
The Reds were on the attack again, but now some players were beginning to be too greedy and we were wasting opportunities. From a period of sustained pressure on the Hawick line the ball came back to Ally McLean whose ankle and foot caught in the 3G surface as he was tackled. He remained down and we all feared the worst. The game was held up for a period as Ally was attended to and left the park.
The game restarted and the Reds continued to pressure Hawick in the scrum and the loose and before long a great run from Stuart Chunk Cunningham resulted in a score which Struan McLean converted. The score was now 26-10 in the Reds’ favour and supporters were fairly convinced we could now retain the lead and win the match.
Pressure from the Reds resulted in another score from a no. 8 pick up from Kieran Cochrane and this resulted in a final score of 31-10 to the Reds away from home on the plastic pitch.
Job done and thanks to all the players that made themselves available on this weekend so near Christmas. We wish Ally McLean all the best as his injury, confirmed as a broken ankle, will most likely mean he will be out for the rest of the season.
Happy Christmas to all!
Cammy Murrie; Euan Murray, Ross Tulloch, Mark Green, Cammy Walker; Chris Ronalson, Struan McLean; Ally McLean, Stuart Cunningham, Adam Scott; Pat Bennie, Fraser Mochrie; Euan Mochrie (captain), Ally Walker and Kieran Cochrane.
Subs: Calum McKeown, Andrew Archer, Stuart Sommervail and Kye Lenders