Frustrating Afternoon as Reds Fall Just Short of the Line
Linlithgow 9 – 12 Murrayfield Wanderers
Saturday 06 April 2016
When everyone should have been preparing for the 6 Nations matches, Linlithgow and Murrayfield Wanderers kicked off early at Mains Park to play their rearranged BT Edinburgh Shield semi-final. With many of the usual spectators already en route to watch Scotland take on England, it was a sparser crowd than usual for such a big match.
The match turned out to be a game of penalties and yellow cards as both teams struggled to play any expansive rugby.
Linlithgow were first to score with a penalty from Jack Frame, perhaps against the run of play, but then as the half went on, lack of discipline saw Murrayfield Wanderers get 3 penalties in quick succession, 2 of which they converted to give them the lead. Tempers frayed toward the end of the half resulting in one Murrayfield Wanderers player being sent to the sin bin. Jack Frame slotted over the penalty to make the half-time score 6-6.
The second half started well for Linlithgow. Good play from the home side enabled winger Cammy Walker to get to within 1 yard of the try line but he was held up, and, with the try line begging, a pass went astray and the chance was gone. Not long after that a second yellow card was issued to Murrayfield Wanderers but once again the chance was wasted as the long kick for touch went into the dead ball area.
Murrayfield Wanderers increased their lead with another penalty before Linlithgow had another chance, with Chris Archer falling just short of the line. Murrayfield Wanderers missed another penalty before Linlithgow nearly scored in the corner with a good rolling maul, once again being unable to cross the line.
With the game reaching the final stages, a third Murrayfield Wanderers player was yellow carded before Andrew Whitelaw scored a drop goal to bring the scores level at 9-9. Mark Green went off injured, and just as the unthinkable prospect of extra time loomed, Linlithgow gave away a penalty and Murrayfield Wanderers duly scored. There was a late attack by Linlithgow but Murrayfield Wanderers hung on to run out winners. They will play North Berwick in the BT Edinburgh Shield final, the aforementioned having squeezed past Penicuik in the other semi-final.
This was a game Linlithgow should have won comfortably. Poor decision making in attacking positions meant that at least 3 tries went a begging, and in a game where the opposition spent 30 minutes with 14 players it was only the beginning of a very frustrating afternoon!
Jack Frame; Euan Murray, Mark Green, Chris Bredin, Cammy Walker; Andrew Whitelaw Robbie Thomson; Chris Archer, Billy Edment, Callum McKeown; Steven Grant, Craig Scott; Ross Martin, Stuart Bell, Euan Mochrie.
Subs (all used)
Charlie Gillanders, Matthew Archer, Ally Walker, Dougie Thomson