Linlithgow 24 – 17 Hawick Harlequins
Saturday 14 November 2015
Wee Reds mascot Corran Fraser led Linlithgow RFC out at Mains Park where the home side were playing Hawick Harlequins who were only four points behind the Reds. The BT East League One game was sponsored by long-term supporters of the Club, GHI Contracts Ltd.
A late change forced by the withdrawal of Mikey Walker following the warm up, saw Russell Murdoch move up from the 2s to play scrum half for the Reds. This left Mikey to operate the scoreboard – a task which he carried out with great aplomb!
Before the game started there was a minute’s silence for the victims and families of the recent Paris atrocities.
Linlithgow launched into attack from the kick off and after five minutes the referee awarded a penalty. The kick was far out and off-centre but Jack Frame slotted it home to give the Reds an early lead. He was called into action soon afterwards when, from the restart, Hawick kicked the ball requiring Frame to secure a good catch under pressure.
The game was being played in midfield with the Reds having the balance of play, although the visiting side were showing an appetite for running the ball at every opportunity. Linlithgow missed another penalty just before the half-hour mark but their pressure continued.
On the 35th minute, the ball was being spun out to the right where the home side had an overlap. Ross Martin, however, did not need this advantage as he cut inside to score, leaving Jack Frame with an easier kick. He duly converted to give Linlithgow a half-time lead of 10-0.
The Reds resumed the attack from the restart but they were caught out when the nippy visiting backs moved the ball from left to right and the length of the field to score a try that was converted. Play continued evenly in midfield. A good break by centre, Les Richardson, was well supported by his captain, Chris Bredin but he was tackled short of the line.
The half was nearly half an hour old when a kick ahead by Hawick created all sorts of confusion in the Reds’ defence giving the visitors a two to one. The ball was touched down under the posts leaving an easy conversion to give Hawick a 14-10 lead.
Scott Watson returned the favour with a kick ahead which he chased but the ball was scrambled clear by Hawick. From the resulting play the referee spotted a deliberate infringement which led to a Hawick player being shown a yellow card. Minutes later, the Reds forwards were driving forward close to the Hawick line and once again a visiting player transgressed and joined his team mate in the sin bin.
Linlithgow kicked the penalty out for a line out and from this, Chris Bredin finished off a well-worked move by scoring under the posts. Jack Frame had left the field so Ross Martin took over kicking duties and added the two points.
There was only four minutes left on the clock and from the restart Hawick flooded forward to salvage something from the game. The Reds did not secure the ball and made matters worse by conceding a penalty. The Hawick kicker kept his cool and slotted the kick to tie the scores at 17-17.
The Reds were stung by this and it was their turn to take play forward. The game was now being played at a frantic pace with the seconds ticking when Mark Green dived over. Ross Martin scored the conversion from out wide. Amazingly, there was time for one more Reds attack when the ball was kicked ahead. A fourth try looked possible but the Hawick defence grounded the ball first.
The game ended with a 24-17 win to Linlithgow. The game was never a classic but the Reds deserve credit once again for playing right to the end and securing victory.
Jack Frame; Scott Watson, Euan Richardson, Mark Green and Chris Bredin; Jamie Livingstone and Russell Murdoch; Calum McKeown, Stuart Cunningham and Chris Archer; Garry Anderson and Graeme McCallum; Euan Mochrie, Craig Scott and Ross Martin.
Subs: John Pauley, Steven Grant, Fraser Rankine and Dougie Thomson.