Reds v Forrester (Dec 21)

Reds Dominate in Tough Encounter

Linlithgow  22 – 0  Forrester

4 December 2021

Match report by David Mitchell

The heavy rain that had fallen earlier in the day had largely relented by kick off time although it was obviously going to leave a greasy surface that would test the players. Both sides are sitting mid table in Tennents East League 1 and the home team were determined to return to winning ways after a 6 week break from league rugby.

Andrew Archer had a fine game after his promotion to the 1s

The home side made a very good start with strong scrum work and effective line-outs creating the platform for some excellent direct running and support play. It was no surprise that a home score followed quickly as a result of a solid scrum and a nice break by Cammy Murrie who sent Lewis Wells through a gap in the visitors’ defence to score a fine out wide on the right hand side of the pitch. 5-0 after 5 minutes.

Lewis Wells opens the scoring for the Reds

Jack Frame then pulled a penalty kick just wide of the left hand post but the Reds had a stranglehold on the game at this point with Ross Plenderleith being tap tackled as he went for the try line and then Euan Mochrie being denied a try when the referee was unsighted. The home crowd did not have to wait long for another score as Aidan Rennison spotted a gap in midfield and scuttled in for a lovely try without a hand being laid on him. Frame added the conversion and the 12-0 score line was a deserved lead.

Aidan Rennison adds a second try for the Reds

Forrester then had a period of time in attack but the solid, patient and well organised home defence held them out without too many problems. The Reds then began to dominate the ball again and several strong runs were foiled by a combination of good defence but also some inaccurate passing. However Aidan Rennison spotted a gap behind the Forrester defence and kicked ahead with Lewis Wells in hot pursuit and he managed to charge down the defender’s attempted clearance kick and he then controlled the ball well and dibbled it over the line to dive over and win the race for the touchdown to give the home side a 17-0 lead as the game approached half time.

Lewis Wells about to claim his second try after a charge down and chase

The first half ended with some tremendous defence with special mention to Andrew Archer for a tireless performance and Neil Lockhart who stole some great line-out ball in particular just before half time when the visitors had a line-out just a few yards from the Reds line.

Neil Lockhart was superb in the line-outs and was named MotM

Half time 17-0

The second half was a bit of a damp squib as both sides struggled with some refereeing decisions and also the gathering gloom as the light faded. Most of the game was played in midfield for about 20 minutes before Forrester came close to breaking their duck but the Reds defence held out well. The coaches freshened up the team by introducing Stuart Cunningham, Jamie Finlayson and Cal Thomson and 3 all made their presence felt as the game progressed. Eventually the Reds created a fourth try when Mark Green made a trademark break up the middle of the field and after a patient build up, the ball was moved to Ross Tulloch who cruised over in the corner. Ross’s try was a fitting way to celebrate his 50th appearance for the 1st XV. Cammy Murrie also reached the 50th game milestone and put in another great shift at scrum half for this consistent performer. 

Ross Tulloch adds a fourth try to claim the bonus point for the Reds

This was the last score of the game although a few more potential tries were missed mainly by players carrying the ball too far when they should have used the available supporting runners. The coaches will be pleased with the result and performance but know that with more composure and awareness, a more comprehensive and clinical win was possible.

It was so dark in the second half that the training lights were switched on to help

Next Saturday the Reds are at Tranent to play current league leaders Ross High (2pm). A good travelling support would certainly help the boys prepare for the challenge.

Reds Team

1 Calum McKeown
2 Kyle Ormond
3 Colin Devlin
4 Fraser Mochrie
5 Neil Lockhart
6 Euan Mochrie
7 Andrew Archer
8 Ross Martin

9   Cammy Murrie
10 Aidan Rennison
11 Ross Plenderleith
12 Mark Green
13 Lewis Wells
14 Ross Tulloch
15 Jack Frame

Subs: Stuart Cunningham, Jamie Finlayson and Cal Thomson

Photos by Graham Black