Great Escape 2!
Linlithgow 14 – 11 Broughton
Saturday 01 February 2020
Report by David Mitchell
The original 1963 Great Escape was surpassed by events at Mains Park last Saturday. After 2 heavy defeats in their last 2 league outings, the Reds were keen to get back to winning ways. The game only went ahead after 2 pitch inspections and an expectant crowd were looking for a much improved performance.
However Broughton harnessed the conditions well in the 1st half and some strong ball carrying in particular by their back row forwards kept the Reds deep in defence for long periods. The visitors scored 2 early penalty kicks and eventually barged their way over for a try to take a 0-11 half time lead. The only bright spots for the home side were some excellent tackling by Andrew Archer and Jamie Finlayson who chopped the legs from their opponents on a regular basis.
The changes were rung at half time with Andrew Whitelaw replacing Aidan Rennison and Ross Tulloch replacing Ross Plenderleith. However Broughton continued to camp in the home team’s half of the field and only the width of the post prevented them from going further ahead when their kicker was fractionally off the mark.
The key turning point was the introduction of skipper Euan Mochrie and Adam Scott who both showed a controlled aggression and began to break down the visitors’ defence. With 20 minutes to go, Broughton could not contain the scrum push of the Reds and the referee awarded a penalty try to the Reds which made the score 7-11.
With Andrew Whitelaw beginning to exert territorial control though good game management, the home side dominated territory for the remainder of the game and it was no surprise when Adam Scott seemed to appear from a trapdoor under the posts and dotted the ball down for a fine try which was converted by Whitelaw.
In the closing minutes of the game Kieran Cochrane, Euan Mochrie and Scott again all came within inches of scoring another try however the Broughton defence held firm. Club captain Euan Mochrie, in particular, almost ran half the length of the field fending off tacklers on the way and was only thwarted by a last gasp tackle just short of the line.
The relieved crowd welcomed the final whistle and the 14-11 win continued the Reds’ excellent home record of being undefeated at home since January 2019.
For 60 minutes it was hard to imagine a home win and the spectre on another ‘nil’ seemed very likely. However the boys should be proud of sticking to the task and finally coming through for the win. After the match, the coaches awarded man-of-the-match to Jamie Finlayson. Normally a centre, Jamie was pressed into action as openside flanker and his defence was outstanding in both halves, with two cracking tackles to stifle dangerous moves standing out. The coaches also commended captain Euan Mochrie, who was outstanding for the 35 minutes he was on the field in the second half.
Next week there are no 1st XV or 2nd XV games due to the Scotland v England clash at Murrayfield.
John Chapman; David Martin, Mark Green, David Goudie, Ross Plenderleith; Aidan Rennison, Struan McLean; Calum McKeown, Stuart Cunningham (captain), Colin Devlin; Neil Lockhart, Kieran Cochrane; Andrew Archer, Jamie Finlayson and Mark Caddle.
Subs – Adam Scott, Euan Mochrie, Andrew Whitelaw and Ross Tulloch.
Referee – Paul Cyphus (ERRS)