Reds Given a Lesson in Finishing by Wanderers
Linlithgow 10 – 33 Murrayfield Wanderers
Saturday 17 September 2016
Last Saturday, Wee Red Ross McBain led the Linlithgow 1st XV out to play Murrayfield Wanderers in a BT East League One match at a sunny Mains Park.
Not long into the game, Murrayfield caught and drove their own line out, pushing the Reds forwards back several metres in an ominous sign of things to come. There was only five minutes on the clock when the visitors secured a line-out close to the home side try line. Again they caught and drove, this time to touch the ball down for the first score before adding the two points.
The game was proving hard-fought and in the first twenty minutes, Linlithgow found it difficult to get out of their half but they did not look like conceding any further scores before a speculative kick forward by the visiting side. As the ball crossed the Reds’ try line, the home defence did not deal with as decisively as they would have liked, allowing the Murrayfield player to touch down for a try which was again converted. Linlithgow were 14-0 behind and they now lost flanker, Cal Thomson, to injury. The Reds have already lost a player with a broken arm this season and their supporters were dismayed when they heard later that Thomson had broken his cheek bone; everyone’s best wishes go to him.
Ross Martin took his place and immediately made his mark, with his performance later earning him nomination as the man of the match. In the 24th minute, the Reds produced the best move of the game so far. Scrum half, Russell Murdoch, gave a diving pass to Andy Whitelaw who found captain, Stuart Bell. Bell burst forward supported again by Whitelaw. The speedy attack was foiled just short of the visitors’ line. Centre, Eric Williams, was the next Red to threaten the line but he was isolated and outnumbered.
Ross Plenderleith then sold a great dummy before passing to full back, Jack Frame, who was well supported by Bell. This attack was foiled and Murrayfield’s clearing kick sent the Reds back into their half. The half ended without any further scoring and the home support was feeling a bit more heartened by the manner in which Linlithgow had forced themselves into the game.
Half Time: Linlithgow 0 – 14 Murrayfield Wanderers
This optimism was to be short-lived, as, once again, an early drive by the Murrayfield forwards sucked in the home defence. They then passed the ball out allowing Murrayfield to score again. This time the conversion was missed but this score was followed by another enforced change, with Jamie March replacing Russell Murdoch.
Two of the home side’s youngsters, Sean Hagerty supported by Euan Mochrie, then surged forward with the attack continued by more seasoned forward, Billy Edment. The result of this attack was the showing of a yellow card to a Murrayfield player following a transgression at the break down. Michael Robertson then came off the bench to replace Calum McKeown. When Linlithgow had the numeric advantage, Jack Frame kicked the ball through the visiting defence on the left and Ross Plenderleith galloped through to gather the ball and score. The conversion was missed, however.
Murrayfield struck back very quickly and in their first attack, only a minute afterwards, their player stretched to score right under the posts for their fourth, bonus-point try. The easy kick was converted to stretch the away side lead to 26-5. The final substitution by the Reds coaching staff was made with Mark Caddle coming on for Sean Hagerty.
Another sparkling move from Linlithgow in the 67th minute was ended by a high tackle, with another yellow being shown to the visitors. Five minutes later, Cammy Walker burst forward and, from the resulting move, Jack Frame cut inside the defence to score on the right. He could not add the two points from the kick.
The Reds were still trying hard as the game wound down but once again the visitors found space to break upfield and finish the game with yet another try and conversion to leave Linlithgow on the wrong end of a 33-10 score line.
Full Time: Linlithgow 10 – 33 Murrayfield Wanderers
This coming Saturday, Linlithgow are at home again, playing Duns (KO at 3.00 pm), while the 2nd XV make the short trip to West Edinburgh to play Forrester.
Jack Frame; Cammy Walker, Eric Williams, Chris Ronalson and Ross Plenderleith; Andrew Whitelaw and Russell Murdoch; Calum McKeown, Stuart Cunningham and Billy Edment; Craig Scott and Sean Haggerty; Euan Mochrie, Cal Thomson and Stuart Bell (c).
Subs: Michael Robertson, Mark Caddle, Ross Martin and Jamie March.