League and cup double derby success for Linlithgow

Linlithgow's Andrew Whitelaw weaving his way towards the try line (pic by Graham Black)
Linlithgow's Andrew Whitelaw weaving his way towards the try line (pic by Graham Black)

Linlithgow enjoyed a double success over local rivals Livingston as they claimed a bonus point league 49-39 win and the West Lothian Cup,

The Reds travelled through on the back of consecutive bonus point wins previous two outings and made a bright start with most of the opening 10 minutes’ play.

Linlithgow celebrate retaining the West Lothian Cup after defeating Livingston (pic by Graham Black)

Linlithgow celebrate retaining the West Lothian Cup after defeating Livingston (pic by Graham Black)

But it came to nothing as Livingston scored an unconverted try with their first foray into Reds’ territory.

The next 25 minutes were fairly evenly matched, Linlithgow kicking two penalties through John Strachan to Livingston’s one, taking the score to 8-6 in favour of the home team.

But in the final two minutes of the half the game burst into life as first Livingston scored a converted try out wide, before Rab Cairns pounced on a wayward pass on halfway to claim his own kick ahead and run 40 metres to score a try under the posts, converted by Strachan to leave the half-time score at 15-13 in favour of the home team.

This late flurry of scoring was a sign of things to come in an open and thoroughly entertaining second half.

Livingston extended their lead with a penalty in front of the posts, before a great break and run from his own half by winger Lewis Mayo Herdman put in centre John Chapman looping round Mayo before running in from 30 metres. Strachan converted to give the Reds the lead for the first time at 20-18.

A converted try restored Livingston’s lead but when Sean Hagerty charged down a clearance kick, Strachan pounced for a try which he converted and Reds were 27-25 ahead.

The introduction of Andrew Whitelaw then proved an inspired substitution as he claimed a brace of tries, the first after John Chapman pounced on a dropped pass on halfway to hack through and the second following a fine outside break and sidesteps for one of tries of the match.

Livingston managed a converted try in between but, thanks to Strachan’s two conversions, Linlithgow now led 41-32.

Back came Livingston though to crash over from five metres, bringing the score back to 41-39 with still 10 minutes to play.But a Strachan penalty extended the lead and with five minutes to go Chapman’s beautifully timed pass set up Herdman to score a fine and deserved try in the corner.

It was a proud Reds’ captain, Jamie March, who received the West Lothian Cup from the Livingston president in the clubhouse after the match.

This week Reds are at home to Broughton in BT East 1, kick-off 3pm