U18s at Marr (Nov22)

Heartbreak for Young Reds U18s

National Shield Quarter Final

Marr College U18 14 – 13 Linlithgow Academy U18

Report by Euan Mochrie

Linlithgow Academy 1st XV travelled through to Troon to face Marr College in the National Shield quarter final. Having faced Marr earlier in the season at home and coming out just on top, the Young Reds squad were aware that it would be a tough game away from home.  

The Young Reds started well having to defend early Marr pressure in their half, eventually winning a penalty and exiting well out of the half. The game continued similarly for a while with Marr having a few good bouts of pressure in the Linlithgow half but the Young Reds’ defence was patient and aggressive enough to send them back every time. Linlithgow managed to string some phases together but struggled to retain possession due to some early nerves. 

Marr managed to win a penalty inside the Linlithgow 22 and kicked the 3 points to go ahead. From the restart Linlithgow began playing their game, keeping the pressure on Marr in their half and winning the ball back. A few attacks were launched from the Young Reds’ scrum which was functioning very well, notably tight head Aaron Mullholand having a great game in the front row. Marr were penalised at the scrum and scrum half Archie Rusack took a quick tap to keep the pressure on. Linlithgow won another penalty from that break down, which was kicked to the corner giving them a 5m lineout. The lineout was won by a well called training ground move. The ball was moved well from here within the Marr 5m, some aggressive running from Fergus Brady, Sam Dudchenco and Kinloch Law to name just a few kept hammering the Marr line but their defence was solid. Linlithgow were well martialled in the forwards by second row Mack Crawley who kept the attack controlled. Eventually hooker Oscar Davies crashed over to make the score line 5-3 to the Young Reds. Unfortunately, centre Sam Dudchencho was injured in the process which meant a bit of a rejig in the backs. Luke O’Hara came into the centre with Archie Rusack moving to fullback and Euan ‘Oogs’ McCartney coming on at 9. Marr missed a shot at goal soon after leaving the half time score as 5-3 to Linlithgow.

An early second half penalty from Fraser Miller put Linlithgow 8-3 ahead. The game was see-sawing either way with both teams throwing everything into both attack and defence. A proper game of schoolboy rugby. Marr scored two more penalties from inside the Linlithgow 22 giving them a narrow 9-8 lead. The Young Reds kept their bottle and continued to play the territory well, gaining ground in the Marr half. Some great interplay from the backs and forwards led to Oscar Davies making a fantastic break from the 22, supported brilliantly by his number 8 Ross Findlater who was dragged down 5m short of the line. The Young Reds kept their heads and Fraser Miller threaded a great flat pass to Johnny Pegg who beat 3 Marr players to dot down in the corner. The tough conversion was just missed, Linlithgow now led Marr by 13-9 with less than 10 minutes to go. The bench was now emptied with Jamie Gallagher and Aiden Mochrie on for Mack Crawley and Aaron Mulholland respectfully. 

Linlithgow didn’t take the kick off well resulting in a Marr penalty on the Young Reds 10m line. Marr kicked to the corner and James Galbraith turned the lineout over as he has been doing all season. The messy turnover unfortunately resulted in a Marr scrum for a knock-on. With the clock well into the red by now Linlithgow were defending heroically on their line from the Marr onslaught. All 3 of the coaches agreed it was some of the most outstanding defence we had seen all season. Marr knocked on but managed to regain position from the resulting scrum. They came again at the Linlithgow line and eventually, after what seemed like hours, squeezed over in the far corner to steal the game. 

Heartbreak in the last play of the game!

A gutting end to the game, however the Young Reds did themselves and the club proud. Considering that the current U18 side only had 7 players at the start of their S2 year, four years ago, and that they are now competing at a high level in a national competition speaks wonders for the young players! (not to mention their coaches – ed). The future of the club is bright. There is still plenty of rugby to play this season and the lads can hold their heads up high, learn for the tough experience, and look forward to the rest of the season. 

Linlithgow U18

1-   Aaron Mullholand 
2-   Oscar Davies
3-   Aaron Mullholland
4-   Mack Crawley
5-   James Galbraith
6-   Kinloch Law
7-   Johnny Pegg 
8-    Ross Findlater

9-    Archie Rusack 
10-  Fraser Miller
11-  Logan Rusack 
12-  Alex McHardy 
13-  Sam Dudchenco 
14-  Jake Osborne 
15-  Luke O’Hara 

16-  Aiden Mochrie 
17-  Euan McCartney 
18-  Jamie Gallacher 

Traveling kicking specialist/hype man – Conor Findlay