Young Reds v North Berwick (Jan22)

Young Reds Welcome New Year with 4 Cracking Wins

Saturday 15 January 2022

The Young Reds kicked off the New Year in some style with 4 excellent wins against strong opposition. The S3s edged a cracking game 38-31 at Lasswade, while there were fine high scoring wins for the U18s (54-10), U16s (40-24) and S2s (40-16) against North Berwick. 

U18 Match Report

Linlithgow  54 – 10  North Berwick

Report by Euan Mochrie

The Young Reds started very strong with good pressure in the North Berwick half earning them a penalty. A kick to the corner and a well organised driving maul resulted in hooker Max Holt picking off the back and dotting down in the corner, with Conor Findlay slotting the touchline conversation. 

After conceding shortly after the first score the Young Reds got back up to the right end of the park with Eioan McGee breaking through the midfield to go in under the sticks and   Calum Lindsay going in the corner after some very good patience from the team.  Both converted again by Conor, who was having a fantastic day with the boot. 

U18 try

2nd Half 

Eioan McGee found the try line again with another great angle and some linking up with the backs. Conor with the conversion. 

With continued pressure on the NB line the Young Reds put some great phases together ending with brilliant hands from Conor and Max to allow Gabriel Wiley to touch down in the corner. Gabe continued his great day on the wing with another score not long after. The Young Reds were really finding their stride now, kicking well and putting real pressure on North Berwick. 

After good hands from the Young Reds, who were playing with some fantastic width, Aiden Mochrie made short break offloading well to Calum who finished it off from the 22. Converted by Conor. The day was finished off perfectly, with a fantastic final try coming from sustained pressure in the North Berwick half.  Conor put fullback Luke O’Hara through to score with a perfectly weighted cross field kick. The conversion was kicked well making it 7/8 for the day by Conor.

Action from match with Young Reds on the attack

A brilliant performance from the Young Reds bringing together much of the year’s work onto the pitch. Some brilliant individual performances as well as great team play throughout the game.

Final score 54-10 points

View photos from Alasdair Lindsay:

U16 Match Report

North Berwick  24 – 40  Linlithgow

Report by Graeme Miller

Great game to start the New Year against North Berwick U16’s, away. It started with NB running and handling extremely well and our boys had to defend for the first 5 minutes. However, we gained possession and started to run through some phases of play resulting in a closely run first half, 19-12 to us at half time.

During the second half we managed to score a few more tries and keep in front, but the NB boys kept us under pressure with some great passages of play and strong tackling. Their late try in injury time made the final score 40-24 in our favour.

Well done to Jack x2, Oogies x2, Rory and captain Johnny for scoring our 6 tries and to Fraser for slotting 5 out of the 6 conversions. 

A fantastic, competitive game which definitely whipped any holiday cobwebs away!

S3 Match Report

Lasswade  31 – 38  Linlithgow

Report by Gordon Muir

Linlithgow S3s travelled to the familiar surroundings of Lasswade High School for a friendly match against their Conference opponents on a bright, cold Saturday morning. The previous meeting at this ground had been a rather one-sided affair, with Linlithgow running out 43-0 but this week’s match was a far closer affair against much-improved opposition.

The Young Reds received kick-off and were quickly into a physical battle as Lasswade tackled well and showed urgency at the breakdown.  Good structure and some astute running lines got the Reds going forward and some excellent passing from the backs took them up into the Lasswade 22. A couple of strong runs pulled in the home defence and created space behind for Ruairi to place a delightful chip into the left hand corner where Will won the race to touch down. 

Any suspicions that we were on for a repeat of the last game were quickly dispelled when Lasswade got hold of the ball and began to put together some phases of their own. With strong runners through the midfield and an offloading game that kept the ball alive, they put real pressure on the Linlithgow line with several attacks being fended off.  Eventually, the pressure told and they got the ball wide and executed a clean 2v1 to go over for the try. 

Two more Lasswade tries followed in short order, as the home side got momentum and repeatedly pushed the Linlithgow defenders back. As the end of the first half approached, the Young Reds were in the unfamiliar position of trailing by a couple of tries. Recognising the need to keep possession, they committed more protection at the ruck and as a result were able to move the ball into space more effectively. A terrific series of phases saw the team punch up the middle and out to each edge while playing relentlessly up the field until Callum H hit a lovely outside line at pace to crash over in the left corner. 3-2 to Lasswade at half time.

Action from S3 Match

Having played their way back into the game, the Young Reds knew what they had to do in the second half: Keep the energy up and be bolder at the breakdown and the results should come.  A ding-dong second half saw opportunities for each side, with Lasswade drawing first blood then Linlithgow striking back as Rory came onto a crash ball from a quick tap penalty at close range. Now it was Linlithgow’s turn to pile on the pressure from the restarts, with Miller crossing for a try and then Max picking up a lovely offload from Cyrus to put the Young Reds back in front with 10 minutes to play. Lasswade refused to give up and their number 12 capped a very good game with another fine solo try to bring the scores level. It was the visitors who were to have the final say, though, with a period of pressure on the Lasswade line culminating in Finlay side-stepping his way over for what was to prove the winning try.

S2 Match Report

North Berwick  16 – 40  Linlithgow

Report by Phil McCavish

Victorious S2 Team at North Berwick

After a long Christmas break, Linlithgow S2 travelled down for the return leg of their last pre-Christmas friendly against North Berwick, which was a close run, physical, hard played and passionate game.

The game was played over 3 periods of 20 minutes on the school grounds. The kick-off had North Berwick bringing their large forwards into play and being strong with possession and position with strong rucking that resulted in a try after 5 minutes which was, as all tries were in the game, converted for the extra point. Linlithgow responded immediately at the restart with some quick ball along to the backs who broke through and scored, which they then converted to level up the score. The play continued with North Berwick pushing with their forwards and the first period ended with North Berwick scoring another converted try giving them the lead into the first break.

Action from match with the Young Reds on the attack

The Linlithgow boys went into the second period of play with a different game play plan which  turned the game around for them. The game was fast with strong tackling, strong rucking and excellent winning of the ball in the rucks to draw in the North Berwick forwards, and then moving the ball quickly along the back line with the forwards moving quickly to provide support for the recycling of the ball into the next phases. Linlithgow ran in a further 5 tries, all of which were converted, and North Berwick running in another converted try. The last minute of the second period was spent on the Linlithgow try line defending against a strong and spirited attack with North Berwick charging down 2 Linlithgow clearance kicks before a Berwick knock-on gave a scrum to the Reds with the whilst then bringing the period to an end.

The third period of play was still physical with the tackling continuing to limit the opposition’s attack with quick winning of rucks to again get the ball moving to the backs to exploit the Berwick players being drawn into those rucks. North Berwick began to tire as the Linlithgow boys ran in 4 more tries, again converted. North Berwick had a flourish in the closing minutes of the game and scored a last-minute try, converted to end the game. 

Both teams played a hard and strong game with good tackling from the Linlithgow boys who communicated with each other well and adapted the game to counter the North Berwick play. The game ended in good spirts and handshakes as the players clapped each other off the pitch, before pies and juice back at the North Berwick club house.

Scorers: (3 points a try and 1 point a conversion)

Tries – Hamish (5), Ryley (2), Aiden, Alasdair and Connor

Conversions – Jack (4), Ryley (3) and Aiden (3)

S1 Match Report

Linlithgow 9 – 32 North Berwick

Following the two previous North Berwick games where only 1 point separated the teams, todays game was always going to be a tough examination against a powerful and well organised outfit…

It was great to have an almost full squad and see some familiar faces return to the line up. The first 15 mins was an intense affair and as expected NB came at us like a steam train having much of the early position and the smaller Linlithgow team finding it hard to compete at ruck time and gradually conceding territory. That said the smaller side showed massive heart and commitment to keeping getting back up to make tackle after tackle. Eventually though pressure told and we slipped two converted tries behind. With a minute on the clock camped in our own 22 we finally had a scrum. The team showed great ambition with Joe starting an attack with great hands through to Hugh and Thomas M before Duncan broke free running 50 yards before being brought down. Linlithgow stayed calm Joe again through the hands to Elliot and Fraser, who had work to do from 15 yards but his power was too much to handle as he burst through two tackles to score. Just what the doctor ordered on the whistle for the break.

The second third started badly with an immediate penalty to NB and gradually they squeezed us to score. Linlithgow had our chances with Euan breaking free, Alfie and Daniel had some good carries as did Angus, but we just couldn’t make the final pass. Sadly this then lead to a few leaked scores and heads started to drop against an onslaught of big athletic runners and we lost 4 unanswered scores through the period. 1-6 in tries. 

The break was a chance to talk as a team about our spirit and with renewed resolve the team went back out chasing an impossible come back. To their credit the intensity returned and Linlithgow started being ferocious at the breakdown. Morgan and Angus getting really stuck in. NB started making mistakes and Linlithgow started being a bit more asitute tactically with Rory entering fray. The effort was awesome from the likes of Thomas M. Thomas J and Elliot as well as Fraser arriving fresh from goal keeping duty. Although ultimately we lost the final third 1-2 it could have gone either way. 

We talked at the end, these are the games we learn from 2-8 flattered NB as many chances were left on the pitch and with a little more conviction in our rucking we would not have had to make so many tackles, big guys can’t score tries with no ball…lastly the coaches were really pleased to see the fight and collective spirit of the team in the last third. It would have been easy to lie down and let it run away but instead they made us all proud with a never give up attitude.

Man of the match not easy Duncan was a contender, Euan always is but this week it was Kris with his best defensive performance to date.

On a technical note we had Dougie the first team coach watching today, he was very happy with our progress and skills and has offered to join us this Wednesday for training which will be great.