Understrength Reds Give League Leaders a Fright
Linlithgow 12 – 26 Hawick Quins
Saturday 13 January 2018
Linlithgow welcomed league leaders Hawick Harlequins to Mains Park on Saturday. The Reds needed to get back to winning ways, however they had a large number of key players absent. This led to a bit of reshuffling, John Chapman moving out to centre with John Strachan making his first start of the season at stand-off. Back row player Mark Caddle continued where he left off last week at inside centre and Ross Tulloch moved from wing to full-back. There were three 18 year olds on the bench, with hooker Callum Forbes and prop Matt Sommerville joining Kieran Cochrane. All were to get a good amount of game time and all performed well. With captain Craig Scott and vice-captain Jamie March both absent, Euan Mochrie took over the captaincy for the day.
The game started well for Linlithgow. They took the game to Quins and were the better team for the first 20 minutes. Their reward was a try for Andrew Archer under the posts following some good forward pressure, which was converted by John Strachan.
Unfortunately, this galvanised a lethargic looking Quins side into action, and they scored a well converted try in the corner pretty much from the kick off. Linlithgow then lost possession in midfield and this allowed Quins to score their second try, again it was converted. As half time approached Quins extended their lead with another converted try. Half time 7-21.
The second half was a midfield battle. Linlithgow seemed to have more of the ball but were unable to make that killer pass, and on several occasions a foray into their opponents 22 yielded no points. Halfway through the half, Linlithgow did score again in the corner though Ross Tulloch, Strachan missing the tricky conversion.
The Reds continued to press and man-of-the-match Cammy Walker made a couple of good breaks, one of which nearly led to a try. As the game drew to a close, it was the home side that were pressing for another score, but on the last play of the game, Quins were awarded a generous penalty near the halfway line. Taking a quick tap well in front of the mark, Quins broke the hastily reorganising defence and scored an undeserved try in the corner to make the final score 12-26.
The scoreline and the bonus point flattered Quins greatly. However, they did contribute to an entertaining and open game and took their chances well. The young Linlithgow team played well and with great spirit, adventure and not a little skill. Indeed most of the spectators thought they were worth at least a point. A much improved performance and an encouraging sign of development in the young squad.
Ross Tulloch; Peter Millar, John Chapman, Mark Caddle, Cammy Walker; John Strachan, Cammy Murrie; Chris Archer, Euan Mochrie (captain), Ally McLean; Neil Lockhart, Sean Hagerty; Andrew Archer, Cal Thomson, Ross Martin.
Subs – Matt Sommerville, Callum Forbes, Kieran Cochrane, Chris Ronalson.