Reds Score Four Tries but Lose Out at North Berwick
North Berwick 38 – 26 Linlithgow
Saturday 18 November 2017
Linlithgow travelled North Berwick unusually not knowing when the match kicked off, since both clubs were unable to agree. In the end the home side made a small concession and the game kicked off ten minutes early to allow for travel to Murrayfield.
In brilliant sunshine, Linlithgow kicked off against the very cold breeze and literally with their first carry they scored through Rab Cairns after good work by Mark Green. Cairns converted his own try. Then, a minute later, Cairns went over in the corner, this time missing the conversion. The home side were shell-shocked and immediately kicked into action, scoring an unconverted try in the corner. The home side levelled the scores with another forwards try, this time converted. Linlithgow were under pressure now, seemingly unable to deal with the strong North Berwick forwards, two of which in particular were very strong in the tackle. North Berwick took the lead half way through the half with another forwards try, and increased their lead by another 7 points soon after. It was Linlithgow’s turn to be shell shocked. With a lack of possession they were creating few chances, and the two good chances they had were squandered. However, as the half drew to a close, Linlithgow were awarded a penalty try as the home side were illegally bringing down the scrum down. Half time 26-19.
The second half was even, with both sides making changes and neither side creating many scoring chances. As the half wore on, good work from Sean Hagerty enabled Mark Green to score a great try, which was converted by Cairns. With the scores level, the next try would be crucial, and it came for the home side, with the conversion successful.
North Berwick had a penalty which hit the post and rebounded into play and at this point with barely five minutes to play, the away contingent were thinking maybe a losing bonus point to add to the bonus for four tries, but the home side scored late on in the corner to make the final score 38-26. To add to Linlithgow’s woe’s, Mark Green suffered a dislocated elbow in pretty much the last play of the game.
North Berwick were short of a number of regular players for this fixture, as were the Reds, but this was a match that could have been won. In the end, questions have to be asked about the tackling when defending set pieces inside your own 22, as five of North Berwick’s six tries were scored this way.
North Berwick have only suffered one league defeat this season and sit only 2 points behind the league leaders, Hawick Harlequins. It looks like the league decider will be when these two teams meet again later this season.
Rab Cairns; Peter Miller, Mark Green, Chris Ronalson, Gregor Stewart; Andrew Whitelaw, Jamie March; Ally Maclean, Euan Mochrie, Mike Robertson; Neil Lockhart, Sean Hagerty; Kieran Cochrane, Mark Caddle, and Ross Martin.
Subs: Steven Grant, Connall Black, Ross Tulloch, Andrew Archer