Linlithgow lose but give league leaders a run for their money

Linlithgow man of the match Cammy Walker running the ball through the Harlequins defence (pic by Graham Black).
Linlithgow man of the match Cammy Walker running the ball through the Harlequins defence (pic by Graham Black).

Linlithgow gave a fine account of themselves despite going down 26-12 to league leaders Hawick Harlequins to Mains Park on Saturday.

The Reds were looking to get back to winning ways, but had a large number of key players absent.

This led to a bit of reshuffling, John Chapman moving out to centre with John Strachan making his first start of the season at stand-off.

Back row player Mark Caddle continued at inside centre and Ross Tulloch moved from wing to full-back.

There were three 18 year olds on the bench, with hooker Callum Forbes and prop Matt Sommerville joining Kieran Cochrane. All were to get a good amount of game time and all performed well.

The game started well for Linlithgow. They took the game to Quins and were the better team for the first 20 minutes.

Their reward was a try for Andrew Archer under the posts following some good forward pressure, which was converted by Strachan.

Unfortunately, this galvanised a lethargic looking Quins side into scoring a well converted try in the corner pretty much from the kick-off.

Linlithgow then lost possession in midfield and this allowed Quins to score their second try, again converted.

As half-time approached Quins extended their lead to 21-7 with another converted try.

The second half was a midfield battle. Linlithgow seemed to have more of the ball but were unable to make that killer pass, and on several occasions a foray into their opponents 22 yielded no points.

Midway through the half, Linlithgow did score again in the corner though Tulloch, Strachan missing the tricky conversion.

The Reds continued to press and Cammy Walker made a couple of good breaks, one of which nearly led to a try.

As the game drew to a close, the home side pressed for another score, but on the last play of the game, Quins were awarded a generous penalty near the halfway line.

Taking a quick tap well in front of the mark, Quins broke the hastily reorganising defence and scored an undeserved try in the corner.

The scoreline and the bonus point flattered Quins greatly. However, they did contribute to an entertaining and open game and took their chances well.

The young Linlithgow team played well and with great spirit, adventure and not a little skill. Indeed most spectators thought they were worth at least a point.

Next week the Reds are away at Portobello, while the 2s entertain Inverleith at Mains Park. Both matches kick off at 2pm.