Three Wins from Four for
Saturday 01 February 2020
Howe of Fife / Bell Baxter are one of Scotland’s strongest youth rugby groups at early secondary school age and so it proved on Saturday, as both the Young Reds S1s and S2s found themselves up against strong opponents. Both Young Reds’ teams prevailed ultimately, but had to dig deep to forge the victories. There was another good win for the U15s, while the U18s were in the match till the final play, when a breakaway try sealed the win for Edinburgh Academy.
Young Reds S2s Up to the Test
Linlithgow S2 42 – 17 Howe of Fife S2
Match report by Mark Osborne
The Young Reds’ S2s had their toughest test of the season with a 24-10 win against Howe of Fife. The game was played on a very wet pitch at the Bo’ness Recreation Centre and the first 15 minutes was a tale of hard tackling and plenty of rucks as the two teams nullified each other’s attacking flare on a narrow pitch.
Slowly but surely the powerful running and support play started to see Linlithgow breaking through with Jack driving through for a try which Fraser converted. This was followed up by a breakaway try by Reece who put the afterburners on to go under the posts with Caiden converting. The Linlithgow forwards and backs continued to stop the great runs from 4 or 5 of Howe’s very good players with the pressure giving Jack his second try of the game with Fraser converting to bring up Half time 21-0.
In the second half, Howe come out firing on all cylinders with some great rucks and good angled runs which gave them their first try. With 15 minutes to go the game ebbed and flowed as the players tired in the mud. Jack claimed his hat trick of tries with Fraser again converting.
This kicked Howe into life and they scored two tries in quick succession with their star centre finally breaking though the Linlithgow wall of tackles to get a well deserved try. Linlithgow hit back immediately with Daniel finishing off a great run when the ball was moved quickly down the back line. In the last minute, Johnny was driving through and held up illegally leading to a penalty try to take the score to 42-17.
Overall this was a great game that tested both teams to their limits. The key to Linlithgow’s win was the tremendous tackle rate and powerful running in poor conditions.
S1s Deliver Against Strong
Linlithgow S1 14 – 4 Howe of Fife S1
The spiritual home of the Young Reds S1s – the Academy pitch – was finally back in use on Saturday, after nearly a year out of commission with the project work to renew the adjacent all-weather hockey pitch. So this was the first time that the current S1s had played there and they quickly adjusted to the friendly confines! However, not before a strong start from visitors Howe of Fife had rocked them back in the first period of play, scoring an early converted try to take a 4-0 lead. Such is the character of the Young Reds’ group, though, that once they settled in there was only one side going to win this game. That’s not to say that the Howe youngsters rolled over – far from it – but rather that the home side imposed themselves more and more on the game. In the end, the Young Reds won by a scoreline of 4 tries to 1 in a thoroughly enjoyable and competitive match.
Young Reds U18 Blown Off Course
Edinburgh Academy 26 – 10 Linlithgow Academy
Saturday 01 February 2020
Report by Graeme Miller
On Saturday the 1st of February the U18’s travelled to Edinburgh Academy to play their 2nd XV on the incredibly windy Newfield pitches. The Young Reds struggled to defend the Edinburgh team moving the ball wide as quickly as they did and were 14-0 down at half time. Then early in the second half the home team crossed the white wash for a third time although missing the kick.
At 19-0 down it was a real up hill struggle for the Young Reds’ depleted 15 man squad , however they started to defend better and, in attack, put some phases of play together. This resulted in a try from flanker Callum when Andrew broke from No. 8 taking three Edinburgh Academy boys into contact, but still flipping the ball out to him. Next, stand off Gregor worked the blind side, from again some good forward play phases, and seeing a slight overlap he threw a beautifully timed pass out to winger Hamish to cross the Edinburgh Academy line for the second time. Unfortunately due to the high wind full back Cammy just missed both conversions. 19-10 down with 10 minutes to go.
With the Edinburgh boys rotating their 21 man squad the Young Reds kept pressing the home team’s line in the closing minutes, but from a charge down kick and a lucky bounce Edinburgh Academy finished with a runaway try under the posts, converting with the last play of the game to win by 26-10. Four tries to two and, although the game was closer than the scoreline suggests, the Linlithgow boys need to move the ball quicker with more confidence in building phases of play in the correct areas of the pitch. Well done to our depleted squad on a strong finish and not giving in.
U15s Run in Eight Tries in Excellent All-Round Performance
Linlithgow U15 46 – 12 Edinburgh Academy
Report by Phil Findlater
It was a wet, Saturday morning when the U15s kicked off the hastily arranged new venue at the Academy Pitch versus Edinburgh Academy, with a quick start after making it there.
Despite the hasty start the boys got off on the front foot and Aidan McGurk scored a well spotted interception from EA and romped half the distance of the pitch to score with Aaron converting. Eddie and Ethan scored a try each after some strong defence and counter rucking by the Young Reds.
Linlithgow were varying the play well and Conor gathered his own chip ahead for a try and then both Eddie and Ethan added to their earlier scores with Aaron converting one making the half time score 34-0 to the Young Reds.
The boys kept the pressure up in the 2nd half and managed to score 2 more tries through Aidan again and Kinloch scoring a hard fought breach after being camped on the EA try line for 5 minutes. Edinburgh Academy finally got on the scores with two good tries, although some slack tackling contributed.
Overall the Young Reds played some great 15 man rugby, mixing their approach through rucking, running and some good kicks from the hand to give them a clear competitive advantage in the match. Final score: 46-12 win for the U15s.