Reds v Langholm (Feb 15)


Linlithgow  53 – 5  Langholm

Saturday 28 February 2015

Wee Reds, Tobin Watt and Jack Bonnar, led Linlithgow Firsts out at Mains Park last Saturday to face Langholm in the re-scheduled BT East League One fixture.  The Borderers have been struggling this season and arrived in Linlithgow adrift at the bottom of the table, however the Reds were also having to shuffle their team.  Captain Stuart Cunningham had moved from the front row to centre and Euan Richardson was at stand-off instead of his customary back-row slot.

The home side hit their stride early and there was less than two minutes on the clock when Tom Sneddon ran from nearly the halfway line through the Langholm team to score.  Jack Frame’s conversion from wide out on the left sailed through the posts to add the extra points.  The Reds established an early dominance in the scrum and won the first two against the head.

After quarter of an hour of Reds pressure, Euan Murray was held up over the line but a score was not long delayed.  Murray left his wing to run up the right.  A good shout from Andrew Wood led to a pass inside and Wood popped the ball back to Jack Frame who dived over in the corner.  Wood was involved again a few minutes later when he passed the ball to Stuart Bell who went over for try, with Jack Frame adding the conversion.

Linlithgow were in complete ascendancy at this stage.  Three minutes before half time, Stuart Cunningham raced on to intercept a pass and score close to the posts for the fourth, bonus-point try, leaving Frame to add the conversion.  There was still time for replacement scrum half, Robbie Thomson, to break forward. He juggled the ball but kept possession and, while he might have scored himself, he unselfishly passed to Tom Sneddon who dived over.  This took the half time score to 31-0.

Two weeks previously, after building a half-time lead at home against Duns, the Reds had sat back but there was to be no repetition this time.  The second half was only three minutes old when Tom Sneddon completed his hat-trick and Frame once again added the conversion.  Minutes later, Euan Richardson broke forward   He was brought down but he passed to Murray who was also tackled short of the line but managed to find support from prop, Scott Herdman, who crashed over for a try.  The conversion was missed but the score had raced up to 43-0.

All credit to Langholm, who were determined to show that they had not simply turned up to make up the numbers, when they launched their first serous attack. It was the forty-eighth minute of the game before they visited the Reds 22 for the first time.  The Borderers persisted and two minutes later they dived over for a try.

The game entered a spell when the play was more competitive, as the Langholm stand-off began to exert some influence.  But, midway through the half, the Reds snuffed out any thoughts of a revival when winger, Jack Frame, had a strong run up the right wing.  He weaved his way past the last defender to score in the corner.

The Reds had scored some fine tries but left the best passing move to the last when the ball zipped along the back division allowing Stuart Cunningham to notch his second try and end the scoring.  The final tally was a comfortable 53-5 victory that took Linlithgow into fourth equal spot in the league.  They will look to keep the momentum going when they entertain Portobello this week at Mains Park (kick off 3.00 pm).

Linlithgow RFC: Fraser Rankine; Jack Frame, Stuart Cunningham, Andrew Wood and Euan Murray; Euan Richardson and Russell Murdoch; Chris Archer, Billy Edment and Scott Herdman; Pat Bennie and Garry Anderson; Stuart Bell, Tom Sneddon and Alistair Wood.

Replacements: John Pauley, Cameron Dori-Muir, Robbie Thomson and James Timlin