Jack Keeps Reds in the Frame
Linlithgow 24 – 24 Royal High
Saturday 12 October 2019
Royal High were the visitors to Mains Park last Saturday in East League 1 on a bright but blustery afternoon. The Reds kicked off but within 3 minutes found themselves 7 points down after the visitors made a fast start to the game resulting in a try near the posts after a sustained period of pressure. The next 10 minutes followed the same pattern with the Reds being a bit too passive in defence and struggling to stop the attacks of the Royal High team. However the home side eventually got into the game and drew a penalty on the half way line and Jack Frame delighted the crowd by launching a soaring kick between the posts. He followed this with a similar effort from about 50 metres that also went through the posts and somehow the Reds were only 1 point behind at 6-7.
Royal High then lost a couple of players to injury but the team continued to move the ball well in attack and they scored another close range try which was converted well by their number 10. At this stage, the home team were being starved of possession and were finding it difficult to break into Royal High territory. The visitors extended their lead following quick thinking from a tapped penalty allowed them to score a 3rd try which was converted to make the score 6-21 just before half time. It was beginning to look like an unassailable lead but fortunately the Reds gained another foothold in the game just before half time when full back Frame received the ball on half way, swerved inside the 1st defender, shaped to kick ahead but instead kept the ball in hand to round the full back and outpace the remaining defenders to score near the posts. He converted his own try to make the half time score 13-21.
Linlithgow started the 2nd half facing a steady breeze and the crowd knew that they needed to score first to have any real chance in the game. After a period of Royal High attacking play, Ross Plenderleith intercepted a pass and ran fully 80 metres to score a fine try which went unconverted however the home side were now within striking distance and beginning to gain the upper hand in the scrum in particular.
A Frame penalty kick levelled the scores but the visitors also kicked a penalty in reply to regain the lead as the game entered the final 20 minutes. By now the Reds were really dominant in the forward exchanges and in the back line, both Ross Tulloch and Mark Green were making strong runs in the midfield and punching holes in the visitors’ defence. However the final offload or pass failed to reach the supporting players and the only score in the final period was another Frame penalty to tie the scores.
Despite being camped in the Royal High half for the last 10 minutes, the winning score failed to materialise and the game ended as a 24-24 draw. At 6-21, the Reds would have bitten your hand off for the draw but as the game progressed, the only likely winner was the home team and the crowd left thinking that the win had escaped them. The clubs meet again in the Edinburgh Shield at Barnton in 2 weeks time and another close game is anticipated.
Next week the Reds visit Haddington in what should be another keenly fought encounter.
Jack Frame; Cammy Murrie, Ross Tulloch, Mark Green, Ross Plenderleith; Aidan Rennison, Struan McLean; Ally Mclean, Euan Mochrie (captain), Colin Devlin; Ross Martin, Neil Lockhart; Ally Walker, Cal Thomson and Kieran Cochrane.
Subs: Adam Scott, Cammy Walker and Fraser Mochrie.