Poor Weather Can’t Stop Another Reds Victory
Linlithgow 15 – 7 Portobello
Saturday 07 December 2019
Match report by David Mitchell
Portobello were the visitors to Mains Park last Saturday in East League 1 and the hosts were determined to make up for the defeat in the earlier fixture against them in September. The game was dominated by the poor weather conditions but both teams managed to play some decent rugby at times. Although they were playing into a stiff breeze and driving rain, the Reds spent much of the 1st half in Portobello territory without ever really looking like scoring a try. The visitors however looked dangerous on the few occasions that they got into the home half with their backs looking particularly dangerous and it was no surprise when they crossed for a try under the posts which they converted for a 0-7 half time lead.
With the elements at their back in the 2nd half, Linlithgow had territorial superiority for the whole of the half and their dominant scrum began to put real pressure on the Portobello pack. It only took 10 minutes for the Reds to achieve an equalising score when the forward pack marched the opposition back at a scrum and No 8 Mark Caddle touched down for the try which was converted by scrum half Struan McLean.
With scores tied at 7-7, the home side made a few changes throughout the 2nd half with Ally Walker, Euan Gunn, Cammy Walker and David Martin replacing Russell Murdoch, Ally McLean, Euan Murray and Ross Plenderleith. In particular Ally Walker made an immediate impression with some direct running at the opposition midfield and putting in some cracking tackles.
Eventually the pressure told on the visitors when Struan McLean sent skipper and man of the match Euan Mochrie towards the try line and he barged his way through a few tackles before stretching out to touch down for a fine individual try. This was his first try of the season witnessed by mum Irene from the van and a vociferous dad Jim from the touchline. However with only a 5 point lead, the tension was still present at Mains Park until John Chapman kicked an excellent long-range penalty to extend the lead to 8 points and put the game safe.
The home side were still on top when the referee blew for the end of the game and players and spectators alike scurried off to the clubhouse to dry out and get a heat. Final score 15-7.
Next week the 1st XV are away at Hawick Harlequins and the 2nd XV are scheduled to play at Kelso.
Ross Tulloch; Ross Plenderleith, Russell Murdoch, Aidan Rennison, Euan Murray; John Chapman, Struan McLean; Ally McLean, Stuart Cunningham, Colin Devlin; Neil Lockhart, Kieran Cochrane; Ross Martin, Euan Mochrie (Captain) and Mark Caddle.
Replacements: Euan Gunn, Ally Walker, Cammy Walker and David Martin.