Reds Make it Three Wins on the Trot
Linlithgow 21 – 8 Broughton
Saturday 02 March 2019
Linlithgow hosted a Ladies’ Day on Saturday and they were rewarded with a great victory although only a few of 117 in attendance ventured out into the very damp conditions!
Linlithgow welcomed back Jack Frame and Mark Green, after injuries, and were close to full strength for this important league match.
The first 20 minutes were pretty drab as both teams struggled to get to terms with the blustery and wet conditions and the game was bogged down mainly in the Reds’ half. During this time, while the Linlithgow defence held out well, they were unable to exit their half despite a strong wind at their backs.
Linlithgow then had the first opportunity to score with a penalty, but the wind carried the ball high above the posts and as the crowd applauded the kick which looked good from behind the goal, the touch judges disagreed. As a result it was Broughton who took the early lead with a penalty one minute later.
Linlithgow came back towards the end of the half and began to put the visitors under some real pressure. In particular, the Reds’ scrum was dominant and turned over a number of strikles against the head. Following a sustained attack, the Reds were awarded a scrum about 7 metres out. A great drive by the forwards and excellent control by No. 8 Mark Caddle at the base of the scrum, resulted in a pushover try touched down by Caddle, with Jack Frame slotting the conversion to give the Reds a 7-3 lead.
Despite Broughton conceding a number of penalties for high tackles there was no more scoring. Half time 7-3.
The second half began slowly with neither team able to dominate, and the backs seeing little of the ball. However, the Reds pack was in the ascendency and kept the pressure on the visitors. The Reds’ front row of Ally McLean, Stuart Cunningham and Colin Devlin were dominating their bigger opponents, putting into practice some of the skills passed on by forwards’ coach Muff Scobbie.
Playing into the wind, the Reds drove at Broughton and from one such drive, started in their own half, Ross Martin broke through in a powerful 30 metre run. His inside ball set supporting scrum half Cammy Murrie free and just when he looked certain to score he was hauled down by a high tackle. The referee awarded the penalty try and the Reds had a 14-3 lead.
The Reds looked to have the match under control, but Broughton hadn’t given up. For once the Reds’ defence was exposed and Broughton scored a try, however the conversion slipped past the upright and the score was 14-8 to the home side.
The Reds then showed their mettle, going back to their strengths and driving the visitors back up the park with some trenchant play. It might not have been pretty, but it was mighty effective. Under so much pressure, the Broughton side conceded penalty after penalty and eventually, after another high tackle, the visiting prop forward was yellow carded.
There followed a sustained amount of Linlithgow pressure, as the forwards continued to dominate and it was only a matter of time before the Broughton line was breached. With a succession of rucks close to the visitors’ posts, scrum half Cammy Murrie spotted hooker, Stuart Cunningham, out wide on the right and a beautifully floated long pass picked him out and gave him an easy run into the corner for the Reds’ third try of the match. Kicking from the ‘wrong’ touchline into a strong gusting wind, Jack Frame’s conversion attempt was beautifully struck, sailing through the uprights to give the Reds a 21-8 lead as the match entered the last 10 minutes.
The Reds pushed for a fourth try, but finished the game defending resolutely to keep the score at 21-8 and make it 3 fine wins on the trot, moving above Broughton in Tennents East 1. This was a hard and well fought win for the Reds who showed real determination and effort to close out the match. One of the front row, prop Ally McLean, deservedly claimed the man-of-the-match award, but his front row colleagues couldn’t have been far behind in the voting.
With no matches next weekend as Scotland take on Wales at BT Murrayfield, the Reds next match is on Friday 15th March at home under the lights against Forrester.
Jack Frame; Ross Tulloch, Rab Cairns, Mark Green, Ross Plenderleith; John Chapman, Cammy Murrie; Ally McLean, Stuart Cunningham, Colin Devlin; Neil Lockhart, Ross Martin; Euan Mochrie (captain), Kieran Cochrane and Mark Caddle.
Subs – Calum McKeown, Cameron Dori-Muir, Cal Thomson and Chris Ronalson.