Reds edged out in a physical encounter

Dunbar..................................19

Linlithgow............................. 17

EVERY game is now becoming a must-win match for Linlithgow and last Saturday saw the Reds travel to Dunbar for their postponed league game missing some key players.

It was cold but conditions were perfect for rugby, as Linlithgow kicked off. Dunbar were first to press, with Linlithgow looking disorganised in the early stages. The home side scored an early try when they spotted nobody at home in defence, kicked ahead and won the chase for the try which was duly converted.

Play was scrappy from both sides but Linlithgow started to come back into the game with three rapid penalties from Matt Dixon, the last being awarded for a high tackle following a super break by Euan Richardson. The home side were getting frustrated by now and the handbags were out briefly before one of the home centres was sin-binned.

Linlithgow were on top and should have scored in the corner when the pack charged four yards over the goal line but were held up. Kenny McKenzie suffered a knee injury in the aftermath as the chance was lost and John Pauley came on.

Dixon missed a penalty and John Chapman failed with a drop goal before Ross Martin, who was having a great game, stole the ball.

This led to a penalty to Linlithgow that was slotted over to give the Reds a 12-7 advantage at the break. Dunbar also saw their number 7 sent to the sin-bin.

Dunbar scored within a minute of the restart. From a lineout on the Linlithgow 22, everything looked okay when Ross Martin stole the ball and advanced. Somehow Dunbar came up with the ball and slipped in at the corner to score. The conversion was missed.

With the scores level, Linlithgow responded well and Ross Plenderleith received the ball from a training ground move inside his own half, evaded four defenders to go over in the corner. The conversion was missed.

It was end-to-end stuff now as Dunbar responded with another try in the corner which was well converted, giving the home team a two point lead.

Nicky Cowan replaced Cameron Dori-muir. Linlithgow had chances to go into the lead as Dixon narrowly missed two difficult penalties, one of them from halfway.

Dunbar also threatened and the game could have gone either way. Linlithgow looked edgy in the last 10 minutes, losing two attacking lineouts and giving away possession, but they hung on for a losing bonus point.

On another day Linlithgow would have won this game comfortably, but it did emphasise that you must take all the scoring chances that present themselves.

Reds: Dixon, Frame, Green, Thomson, Plenderleith, Chapman, Andrew Wood, McKenzie, Archer and Gunn, Tritton and Ross Martin, Dori-Muir, Richardson and Ally Wood. Subs Cowan, Pauley, David Martin

*Tomorrow (Saturday) the Reds travel to Portobello for another league game with the pressure mounting to keep themselves out of the relegation zone.