Late Try Gains a Hard Fought Win for Reds
Linlithgow 22 – 20 Forrester
Saturday 23 November 2019
Report by David Mitchell
Not for the first time the Reds left it late to win a home game when they finally overcame a gutsy Forrester side by 22-20. The home side started very well and scored 2 converted tries within the first 5 minutes of the game and the small band of home supporters were expecting a comfortable bonus point win and a relatively comfortable afternoon. How wrong could they be!
Neil Lockhart opened the scoring when he fastened on to a loose Forrester throw at a lineout and barged his way over the line. Jack Frame added the conversion and then within a couple of minutes he converted a fine solo try by Mark Caddle who picked a loose ball in midfield and charged through the defence to score at the posts. This had followed an excellent break by Kieran Cochrane who was well supported by Ross Martin who was Man-of-the-Match for the second week running.
The home side had a 14-0 lead, but then it appeared that they became over confident and individuals started to get white line fever and a number of opportunities to stretch the lead were lost. Forrester recovered from their poor start and scored a decent try involving their full back and outside half who touched down to the right of the posts for a try which he converted.
The Reds then began to concede penalties with regularity and over the course of the game 23 penalties were awarded against the home team! This killed any forward momentum and gave encouragement to Forrester who scored an unconverted try after a forward drive and then scored another from a lineout near to the Reds goal line. So from 14-0 up and looking like world beaters the Reds began to infringe on a regular basis and compounded it by being marched back 10 metres on 4 occasions by the referee for backchat. The only surprise was the referee’s reluctance to show a yellow card to the home team. With Forrester leading 14-17, Jack Frame replied with a penalty for the Reds to make the half time score 17-17.
The home team made a few changes with John Chapman, making a welcome return from time in the USA, replacing Aidan Rennison and Steven Grant replacing Colin Devlin.
The second half continued much in the same vein with indiscipline by the Reds and Forrester playing a simple but effective game to keep the pressure on their opponents. The visitors added a penalty mid-way through the second half to make the score 17-20 and it was difficult to see how the Reds could gain enough territory to find a score. When Frame missed a relatively straight forward penalty it seemed to sum up the day for the Reds and despite replacing Kieran Cochrane with Andrew Archer and Jamie Finlayson with the return of Rennison, it looked like the home side were heading for a rare home defeat.
However with less than 5 minutes to play full back Jack Frame carved a hole in the Forrester defence and then backed himself to run round his opposite number to score the winning try. With only a few minutes remaining, Fraser ‘Bruno’ Mochrie replaced Neil Lockhart and he made an immediate contribution when he forced a maul situation when tackling the Forrester full back giving the home team control of the final few seconds of the game.
Final score: Linlithgow 22 – 20 Forrester
Another nail biter for the home support to endure, but more disappointing was the poor performance particularly the lack of discipline that could have cost the team dear. There was also too much indecisiveness in the decision making during the game and the senior players need to get this sorted out before matches to avoid this problem. Next week the Reds head to Tranent to play the reverse fixture with Ross High FP RFC at 2pm and another tough game is expected.