Reds at Hawick Linden (Apr 16)


Hawick Linden  10 – 43  Linlithgow

Saturday 09 April 2016

Last Saturday, Linlithgow travelled to the Borders to play Hawick Linden in a rearranged BT East League One encounter.  The Borders side are sitting in bottom place in the league and the Reds supporters were hoping to see their team recover from a brace of losses on the road.

Frame_HLFrom the kick off, the visitors stormed forward and their first attack led to a penalty being awarded to the Reds. Full-back, Jack Frame, stepped up to convert this and give Linlithgow an early lead.  Five minutes later a super break in midfield by lock, Stuart Bell gained ground.  Quick passes from Chris Bredin and then James Timlin found Frame on the overlap and his speed took him round the last defender to score under the posts.  The full back picked himself to add the conversion and take his tally – and Linlithgow’s – to 10.

There followed the first spell of pressure from the home side which saw Craig Scott put two strong tackles in quick succession to help keep Hawick Linden out.  In the 13th minute, however, from a penalty, Hawick notched their first points.  Straight from the restart Linlithgow pressure forced a scrum deep in the Hawick 22.  Euan Mochrie broke from the base and the ball was fed through John Strachan to James Timlin.  Although he was tackled just short of the line, the Reds centre managed to stretch over to score the try.  Jack Frame added the two points.

Edment_HLIn the 25th minute Frame had another surging run supported again by Timlin before the ball went loose on the ground.  Billy Edment hacked the ball forward and his strength took him through the bodies in the way to win the race to touch the ball down.  With another successful conversion, the Reds were now in a commanding 24-3 lead.

Bell_HLThe game was heading for half-time when the visiting pack took the ball forward.  First Craig Scott and then Chris Archer made ground before the ball was released to Stuart Bell who raced up the wing to score Linlithgow’s fourth and bonus-point try.  The conversion, for once, went astray and the sides turned round with Linlithgow 29-3 ahead.

At half time the coaching staff rang the changes and John Pauley, Mark Caddle and Chris Ronalson all came on with several positional changes made to accommodate them.  The game entered a stop-start phase with the referee regularly awarding penalties, the first half dozen in a row to Hawick.  This kept play in the Linlithgow half and the Hawick territorial advantage bore fruit when they were awarded a penalty try in the 57th minute.  The added conversion reduced the visitors’ lead to 29-10.

The Reds returned to the attack, however and first they drove to the home side line on the left and then on the right.  Both attacks, however, were snuffed out with penalties to the defending side.  Euan Mochrie was then adjudged to be held up behind the line, as Linlithgow continued on the offensive.

Timlin_HL_t1Eventually, in the 70th minute, the Reds broke through with James Timlin forcing his way between two defenders to touch down.  From out wide Jack Frame added the conversion.  A few minutes later the Reds were on the move again and the ball was passed out to the left.  Stuart Bell had the presence of mind to flick the ball on over his head and this gave James Timlin the opportunity to dive over unopposed for his hat-trick.  Jack Frame kicked the conversion.

With just over five minutes left, there was time for club coach, Dougie Thomson, to come on for a cameo appearance off the bench.  The home side were making a now rare visit to the Reds 22 when Dougie set off on a jinking run that took him, and play, deep into the Hawick half. He was supported by captain, Chris Bredin, who took the offload and tried to pass inside to young lock, Steven Grant.  Unfortunately the pass did not stay in hand and Grant was unable to cap a series of recent, quietly effective performances for the First XV with a try.

Soon afterwards, the referee decided to call a halt to proceedings, leaving Linlithgow 43-10 winners.  This convincing win for the Reds ensured that the Club finish the season fourth in BT East League One.  Linlithgow have one more league game to play this season, at home against North Berwick on 23 April.

Linlithgow RFC: Jack Frame; Chris Bredin, James Timlin, Euan Richardson, and Cameron Walker; John Strachan and Robbie Thomson; Calum McKeown, Billy Edment and Chris Archer; Steven Grant and Stuart Bell; Stuart Cunningham, Craig Scott and Euan Mochrie.  Subs: John Pauley Mark Caddle, Chris Ronalson and Dougie Thomson.

Photos courtesy of Graham Black