Reds Just Miss Out in 13 Try Thriller
Royal High 48 – 41 Linlithgow
Saturday 17 November
(Match Report from David Mitchell)
The Reds turned in their best performance of the league campaign at Barnton and just missed out on a famous victory against the league leaders in a keenly fought battle last Saturday. On a perfect day for rugby, both teams displayed excellent attacking moves throughout.
Royal High opened the scoring in the 5th minute with a converted try but the Reds hit back immediately with a fine try after some slick passing and a clever jink by Rab Cairns created an overlap for Ross Plenderleith to cross for a try which was converted by Jack Frame.
Royal High regained the lead with a try before another excellent move involving forwards and backs resulted in an excellent pass by Cairns to send Frame over in the corner for a try. Frame then added a penalty to give the visitors a 15-12 lead.
However the Reds then had a very poor 10 minutes when they conceded 19 points without reply to go into half time 31-15 down. A combination of poor tackling and questionable defensive alignment contributed to the poor 10 minutes although some credit goes to Royal High who attacked at every opportunity and had some good players who capitalised on the Reds frailty.
In the second half the Reds continued to attack with real spirit and flair which led to excellent individual tries by John Chapman who collected his own chip ahead and scored by the posts and Rab Cairns who scored following a lung bursting run from half way. Royal High continued to score tries to maintain their now slender lead and despite 2 more converted tries from Chapman and Plenderleith, the Reds came up just short. Despite winning the second half by 26 to 17 the final victory went to the home side by 48 to 41.
Overall it was a very entertaining game with the attackers on both sides showing some great skills. The Reds scored 6 tries all through the backs but ably supported by the forward pack which played its part in the try bonanza. The Reds gained 2 points from the match, 1 for scoring 4 tries and the other for finishing within 7 points of the winners. There were some very encouraging signs from the Reds and but for the 10 minutes spell when they lost defensive focus, they may well have won the game. The next 2 league fixtures are at home and on this form, the Reds should be confident of success if they apply themselves fully for the 80 minutes of each game.
Rab Cairns; Jack Frame, Chris Ronalson, Mark Green, Ross Plenderleith; John Chapman, Jamie March; Calum McKeown, Stuart Cunningham, Colin Devlin; Neil Lockhart, Kieran Cochrane; Mark Caddle, Cal Thomson and Joe McKillion.
Subs: Steven Grant, Andrew Archer, Finbar Conway and Cammy Murrie.