The sun was shining as mascots, Finlay Shaw and Kinloch Law, led Linlithgow RFC first XV out on to Mains Park for the Reds’ last league game of the season.
They were facing a Dunbar side who had beaten them earlier in the season in the league but who Linlithgow had narrowly defeated in the Regional Shield, so this was by nature of a decider between the two clubs this season.
Linlithgow began the game with a spell of pressure in the visitors’ 22 which culminated in a score in the sixth minute.
Matt Dixon dropped into the “pocket” and shouted for the ball.
A crisp pass to him gave him the opportunity to slot over a drop goal.
Four minutes later, centre, Mark Green, whose injury had kept him out of the Firsts all season celebrated his return by bursting through the Dunbar defence to score a try under the posts. Dixon duly converted.
Two minutes later Dixon added a penalty to give Linlithgow a cushion at 13-0.
Dunbar eventually woke up and began to pressure the Reds. And it was only a great tackle into touch by Ty Watson that prevented a certain score. That score was not long delayed, however, and in the 20th minute Dunbar scored out wide. A good kick converted this to seven points.
Linlithgow came back and, as half time approached, the Reds forwards won their line out and drove the ball over to give prop, Chris Archer, a score. Matt Dixon converted to take the half-time score to 20-7.
Straight from the restart, Dunbar pressed forward and won a penalty in the fourth minute which they converted. But Linlithgow were not to be denied on this day.
The home side returned to the attack and, from a scrum close to the Dunbar try line, Dougie Thomson darted in to score.
The Reds’ dominance was shown when they won a scrum against the head.
Substitute Russell Murdoch broke upfield and with forwards in support they drove over, enabling Euan Richardson to score the fourth bonus point try.
Another forwards’ drive, not long after, allowed Chris Archer to score his second try. Matt Dixon converted this to bring the final score to 37-10 for Linlithgow.
Linlithgow had already secured fifth place in this 10-side league but this result brought them to within one point of fourth-placed Dunbar.
It was also the first time this season that the Reds had beaten one of the four clubs above them, which will have been a source of satisfaction to the coaching staff.
The Reds now plan to take part in several end of season Sevens tournaments.
Reds: Murray, Watson, Green, Andrew Wood, Plenderleith;, Dixon, Thomson,; Archer, Cunningham, Gunn,; Syme, Bennie;, Martin, Richardson and Alistair Wood. Subs: Pauley, Black and Murdoch.