Richardson Hat-Trick Rounds Off Reds Win
Linlithgow 34 – 10 Duns
Saturday 14 February 2015
Wee Red, Cameron Fensom, led out Linlithgow Firsts last Saturday, as the Reds played their first league home game since November. Their opponents in this BT East League One encounter were Duns. The home side were captained for the day by Euan Richardson following a hamstring injury to Stuart Cunningham on Thursday night. They welcomed back Stuart Bell from suspension and winger, Jack Frame, who has been out for more than a year with a shoulder injury.
Bell was immediately in the game when he caught the Duns kick off and ran the ball into the visitors’ half. This began an eventful opening spell. In the fifth minute a darting run by scrum half, Dougie Thomson, broke through the Duns defence. He was well supported by Alistair Wood and Billy Edment whose inter-passing let Euan Richardson dive over for a try. John Strachan’s conversion hit the post but, in between, the referee sent the Duns coach away from the pitch, the second time in a row that this has happened in a Linlithgow game.
The Reds continued to press and Billy Edment broke upfield. His pass to Jack Frame was wayward but the winger managed to kick the ball into his hands before he was bundled into touch. Just after the quarter hour, a Linlithgow line-out was driven over the line and Stuart Bell capped his return with a try. The conversion was missed.
The Duns winger then broke dangerously up the wing. His kick ahead was asking questions of the Reds’ defence but he was eventually penalised for pulling Fraser Rankine back. A Duns score was not long delayed however, and on the same wing two minutes later the ball was kicked ahead again. Duns chased and although the ball squirted out of the grasp of the first player, the following player touched down for a score. The kick from out wide was well struck to bring the score to 10-7.
In the 33rd minute Linlithgow broke through again, when Stuart Bell burst forward and then passed to Fraser Rankine who grounded the ball for a try. John Strachan added the conversion. Duns cut the deficit soon afterwards with another excellent kick when the referee penalised Linlithgow. The kick was in front of the posts but the ball sailed through the posts from far out on the ten-metre line.
The Reds stepped up the pace just before half-time and Dougie Thomson caught the visitors sleeping when he took a quick tap-penalty and stormed forward, unopposed to touch down for the fourth, bonus-point try. The conversion was missed, leaving the half-time score at 22-10.
The home crowd were hoping that the Reds would continue their pressure and post a convincing score-line but it was not to be. Immediately from the re-start, both sides began to rush the pace and make mistakes and a spell of ten minutes of scrappy play finished with a penalty to the home side that was missed.
Spectators had to wait over twenty minutes before they saw another score when an excellent direct run by Euan Richardson led to his try under the posts. John Strachan added the conversion.
The game continued to be disjointed, with Alistair Wood sent to the sin bin, followed soon afterwards by a Duns player. After another Duns player had joined his team mate in the bin, the Linlithgow forwards drove the ball forwards over the line. Euan Richardson was last up with the ball, notching his hat-trick.
This took the final score to 34-10, which ended the Reds’ recent run of defeats. Although Linlithgow had secured a win and a bonus point, the crowd were disappointed that things fell away a little in the second half. However they will accept a similar result in Linlithgow’s next home game, against Langholm on the 28th February.
Fraser Rankine; Jack Frame, Ben Milne, Andrew Wood and Ross Oliver; John Strachan and Dougie Thomson; Calum McKeown, Billy Edment and Chris Archer; Pat Bennie and Stuart Bell; Tom Sneddon, Euan Richardson and Alistair Wood. Replacements: Scott Herdman, Ross Martin and Russell Murdoch.