Young Reds Tough Gig Against Marr
Saturday 24 September 2022
Marr College provided a tough test for 4 of the Young Reds’ sides at the weekend. The S1s and S3s travelled through to Troon and, although losing, both teams turned in very creditable performances against very strong opposition. Meanwhile at Mains Park, the U16s and U18s hosted their Marr equivalents and although the U16s will be disappointed to have let their performance level slip in the second half, it was the reverse for the U18s who cranked it up for a thoroughly deserved victory against strong opponents.
U18s Dominant Second Half Showing
Linlithgow U18 21 – 7 Marr U18
Report by Euan Mochrie
Linlithgow u18s welcomed a physical Marr side to Mains Park on a sunny Saturday morning. The game started very tight with no scores until near the end of the first half. Marr started to get a lot of possession in the Linlithgow half due to several silly penalty’s being given away from the home team allowing Marr a foothold in the game. This ended with a good break from the Marr number 4 at the 22 which he finished over the line despite great work rate in defence from Linlithgow to fight back and make the tackle over the line to try and hold up the big ball carrier. 7-0 to Marr.
Linlithgow started very well in the second half with a few stolen line-outs from second row James Galbraith giving them the upper hand over Marr. After a few hard carries at the Marr defensive line Johnny Pegg, who was back at 7 after a cameo on the wing last week, burrowed over the line for a try which was then converted by Conor. 7-7
It was all Linlithgow from this stage on, defending very well and demanding the ball back from the away team at every opportunity. The home team were putting some fantastic phases together, following the pattern they aim to play every match day. This kept Marr on the back foot. Now at fly half, Conor Findlay spotted a gap in the defensive line and glided through in his signature style beating 2 defenders and finishing under the sticks for a try which was converted by himself. 14-7 Linlithgow.
Linlithgow’s final score came off the back of sustained pressure in the Marr half. The forwards provided a great platform from both the scrum and line-out supported by some barnstorming runs from Alex McHardy, Mack Crawley and Fergus Brady.
The backs took their opportunity well and Fraser Miller hit a great line breaking through the Marr defence and with one defender to beat he was well tackled but offloaded very well to scrum half Archie Rusack, who had run a great supporting line, for him to touch down under the posts. Conor converted it making the final score 21-7 to Linlithgow.
Aaron Mulholland, Ryan Lamb, Alex McHardy, Mack Crawley, James Galbraith, Ferg Brady, Johnny Pegg, Oscar Davies, Euan McCartney, Fraser Miller, Reece Paul, Jack McGee, Luke O’Hara, Logan Rusack and Conor Findlay.
Subs (all used) –
Max Holt, Michael Rafferty, Ross Findlater, Archie Rusack, Jake Osborne and Jamie Gallagher.
U16s Let it Slip in Second Half
Linlithgow U16 7 – 54 Marr U16
Report by Ken Richardson
The match started well for the Young Reds, who took the lead after an interception try from inside their own half. Both sides were evenly matched and there was little to separate them during the first half. After Marr equalised, also through an interception try, the Young Reds went back on the offensive and were only just held up short of the Marr line. From the next phase inside their opponents 22 they looked to find space out wide but a fine interception from the Marr full-back, running a full 90 metres to score gave the visitors a 14-7 half-time lead.
Marr started the second half strongly and didn’t let up till the final whistle. By holding their shape and structure and attacking their opponents weak points at pace and with support runners they started to rack up the points and finished deserved 54-7 winners. The Young Reds will be disappointed that they couldn’t match their opponents aggression, particularly at the breakdown but, on evidence of their early season play, will bounce back a better side.
Young Reds S3s Rally to Close Game Out in Style
Marr S3 40 – 12 Linlithgow S3
Report by Phil McCavish
The early departure and the long trip to Troon was rewarded by perfect conditions for playing rugby. It was fantastic to see that we travelled with 21 players which highlights the evolution in the S3 squad over the last 12 months – 6 of the squad have played less than 10 games and Marr promised to be the strongest challenge that they had faced so far.
Both sides began the game strongly and for the first 10 minutes neither side was able to gain an advantage with both defences cancelling out attacks that were used to accumulating points. However, Marr slowly started to gain the upper hand as they scored two unanswered tries to end the first third 14–0 up.
In the second third Marr continued to press home their advantage through a combination of direct purposeful running and skilful passing in the backs which enabled them to find the gaps in the Reds defence scoring a further 4 unanswered tries to take the score to 40–0.
The score line at this stage in no way represented the closeness and competitiveness of the game, but the Young Reds were faced with a decision to make – either to capitulate completely or pull together and fight to take something out of the game. The Reds chose the latter option, and their early efforts in the final third were rewarded with a try – a typical long-range effort by Liam, burrowing over from 2 metres out.
This created a new found sense of confidence throughout the team which yielded further rewards when Aidan Mc found himself in a little space 10 metres out and he was able to evade the attentions of 3 defenders to squeeze over the line for the try – Jack added the extra points through the conversion. The Young Reds were now playing with a sense of confidence and belief that had escaped them in the crucial 30 minutes where Marr were able to convert their pressure into the telling points advantage.
Despite being well beaten the Young Reds can take great credit from finding a way to take something out of the game that could have so easily turned into a thoroughly dispiriting loss. Marr are very likely to be the best team that we face this year – they are likely to top the West Schools conference – and the game highlighted several areas where we as a team need to improve.
Singling out players is difficult given the efforts made by all, but special mention goes to:
- Ross for doing the usual unseen work in the pack,
- Ektor for the effort and tackling that he brought to the game,
- Aiden P for leadership he brings to the pack,
- Matthew, Angus, Jack and Ali B for tackling anything that moved in the middle of the pitch,
- Amrit who was playing his first game and who will bring much needed size and experience to the forwards.
It was a hugely competitive game, that was played in a great spirit, and which will benefit both teams for the remainder of their Conference games.
Excellent Showing By Young Reds S1s against Strong Opponents
Marr S1 48 – 33 Linlithgow S1
Report by Nick Drainey
If you are going to lose, S1 showed how best to do it. Determination, hard graft and great team spirit showed through on a sunny morning in Troon.
An early try down, the team built from midfield and got the ball along the line to Blair at centre. His charge forwards left the Marr team floundering before he touched down under the posts
The boys showed a major step forward as the third wore on by constantly talking and shouting encouragement to each other. Shoulders never slumped and hearts remained solid.
This continued in the second third as Callum did his best to emulate fellow lock “Broon frae Troon”. The first in a scintillating hat-trick of tries – something his father never managed to achieve in an illustrious career across the water in Northern Ireland – came following great interplay with Zac and the second after Eric showed guts to pull the ball from a chaotic ruck.
Callum’s third came in the final part of the game with virtually the whole team involved in multiple phases and much passing. Marshall then overcame a nasty bash on the shoulder to return to the pitch and score under the posts. Conversions were shared by Euan, Archie and captain Finlay.
Thus ended a brave performance and an encouraging one, despite the defeat. With only crisps and a breakfast bar as sustenance, the coach was surprisingly loud on the return home with the relative newbies from S1 joining in the singing of an eclectic mix of songs. A grand day out all round!