Reds Leave it Late to Secure Home Win
Linlithgow 31 – 18 Penicuik
Saturday 10 September 2016
Linlithgow opened up their home campaign in BT East 1 league against newly promoted Penicuik. Both teams had lost their opener and were keen to get points on the board. Linlithgow welcomed debutants Eric Williams, newly arrived from the USA at centre and youngster Lauchlan McCall at hooker. The team was led out by mascots Charlie, Elliot and Alfie Muir (see below).
The game started in blazing sunshine with the participants of the ladies lunch looking on. Linlithgow started brightly, and kept the away side penned in their own half for lengthy periods. Cammy Walker had a great run down the wing, and there were a couple of other good breaks. Unfortunately for Linlithgow, the defence held out, and the Reds had to settle for a penalty, Jack Frame slotting home.
As the half wore on, Linlithgow were still pressing and one of the Penicuik players was binned for a tip tackle. Frame doubled the score with another penalty. Soon after, Linlithgow were awarded another penalty close to the Penicuik line. Instead of taking the points they chose to tap. Williams was unlucky to be stopped short of the try line. However, Linlithgow were awarded another penalty and chose to go for touch. Linlithgow lost the line out and the visitors raced up the park and after several phases of play went over to score in the corner, the conversion being missed.
The half wasn’t over as Frame added a third penalty and, in the final minute, Linlithgow nearly scored in the corner when Ross Plenderleith was tackled into touch one metre short after a 30 metre run.
Half time: Linlithgow 9 – 5 Penicuik
The second half seemed different from the first, with both teams playing open rugby and, at one time, it looked as though the result could have gone either way.
The visitors reduced the deficit with a penalty, before Ross Martin went over near the corner, Frame missing the long conversion. Penicuik reduced the deficit again with another penalty and then took the lead when they got the nudge on a 5 metre scrum which ended in a mess over the Reds line, referee Iain Young correctly awarding a penalty try to Penicuik which they converted.
At 14-18 down and the game moving into the final quarter, things looked ominous for the home side. However the Reds rallied magnificently as the whole team were involved in several forages forward, none more so than captain and man-of-the match Stuart Bell. Following a great run by Jack Frame and some good follow up play, Chris Ronalson went over near the posts and Frame duly converted. Frame added another penalty before getting himself a try late in the game after excellent set up work by Ronalson, picking a great line to cut back inside the covering Penicuik defence at pace and crash over the whitewash for a try which he converted himself.
This was a great victory in the end and while the score looks convincing, it was only that way in the last quarter.
Full Time: Linlithgow 31 – 18 Penicuik
Jack Frame; Cammy Walker, Eric Williams, Chris Ronalson, Ross Plenderleith; Andrew Whitelaw, Russell Murdoch; Michael Robertson, Lauchlan McCall, Calum McKeown; Sean Hagerty, Craig Scott; Euan Mochrie, Cal Thomson, Stuart Bell (capt).
Subs (all played) : Euan Gunn, David Martin, Ross Martin, Mark Caddle