Bad Day in Borders for Reds
Hawick Quins 17 – 11 Linlithgow
Saturday 20 February 2016
A respectable number of supporters followed Linlithgow RFC down to the Borders last Saturday to watch their team play Hawick Harlequins in the BT East League One encounter. The pitch was heavy and, with showers and gusts of wind, it was never going to be a day for champagne rugby.
The home side took an early lead in the fourth minute with a penalty. Nevertheless, Linlithgow were having the better of the early exchanges and it was no surprise when, in a move that swept the ball from left to right along the backs the Reds scored a try through full back, Jack Frame. The attempted conversion of his own try from out wide rebounded off the post.
On the half-four mark, Hawick applied some pressure close to the Reds try line. First, their forwards won the put in from the Reds and then, on their own put in, they gave the home-side scrum half a platform for a pass to his team mate to dive over unopposed for a score. The conversion was successful.
Linlithgow returned to the attack and, on the stroke of half time, the Reds forwards drove over the line. The referee judged that the ball was held up and that this was the last play of the half. The teams turned round with the home side leading 10-5.
From the restart the Reds went on the attack and a great break by Chris Bredin took play deep into the Hawick half. The Borderers held out but conceded a penalty which Jack Frame converted. Ten minutes into the half, Linlithgow had another break forward but conceded a penalty in their opponents’ five-metre area. Hawick took a quick tap to burst forward and in an instant Linlithgow lost all the territory they had gained, ending up having to defend against the break-out.
This was the story of the half. Linlithgow did not play to the wet, muddy conditions and were unable to sustain any passages of play. Nevertheless, their territorial advantage led, in the 22nd minute, to another penalty which Jack Frame kicked nudging the visitors into an 11-10 lead.
With six minutes to go, Hawick had an attacking line-out in Linlithgow’s 22 but the Reds stole the ball. Unfortunately, the ball went loose on to the muddy ground. Hawick kicked the ball ahead and a Hawick player won the chase over the line to score a try to take the lead again. The successful conversion stretched this lead.
The Reds now woke up and for the remainder of the match applied almost constant pressure in an effort to rescue a result. There was a succession of scrums out on the right wing which resulted in penalties. The Reds, needing a try, kept opting for another scrum which they were dominating but they could not force the ball over the line.
Linlithgow managed to work the ball into the centre of the field where they won another penalty in front of the posts. Opting for another scrum, once again, the forwards pushed Hawick back but lost control of the ball at the vital time. The ball was passed out again to the right and the forwards drove over the line. Linlithgow players acclaimed a try. The referee had a good look and decided the ball had been held up and, as with the first half, then blew for time.
The roar from the home crowd showed how much this last-ditch defensive effort had meant to them. It was a disappointing 17-11 defeat for the Reds and their supporters.
Linlithgow RFC: Jack Frame; Chris Bredin, Euan Richardson, Stuart Cunningham and Cameron Walker; Andrew Whitelaw and Jamie Livingstone; Calum McKeown, Billy Edment and Matthew Archer; Graeme McCallum and Craig Scott; Euan Mochrie, Stuart Bell, and Ross Martin.
Subs: John Pauley, Steven Grant, Fraser Mochrie and James Timlin.