Linlithgow went down 26-21 at home to Berwick in their latest BT East League 1 encounter at Mains Park on Saturday.
Having earned only losing bonus points in the their opening two games, the Reds were looking to claim their first win of the season. And within 10 minutes they had a 10-0 lead.
Jack Frame put over a penalty and five minute later stand-off John Chapman slotted through a beautiful grubber kick which centre Mark Green recovered with not inconsiderable skill before diving over the line near the posts for a try which Frame converted.
It looked good for the Reds but Berwick had other thoughts and their pressure finally told when, from a ruck near the Linlithgow line, they crashed over for a converted try to pull the score back to 10-7.
But straight from the restart Berwick were penalised for offside after a knock-on and Frame coolly slotted the long-range penalty.
And they stretched their advantage further when a move was started by winger Cammie Murrie and was continued through several pairs of hands before a final pass to Neil Lockhart who dived over near the corner for the try of the match.
The half-time whistle sounded shortly afterwards with the Reds 18-7 up.
But the resilient Berwick team had other ideas and were back in the game after only two minutes of the second half with a converted try after a forwards’ rumble. This brought the score back to 18-14, with Berwick breathing down the Reds’ neck.
There were no more scores until 25 minutes into the second period when an ill-judged attempted fly-hack by a Reds player, who had an opportunity to fall on and recover the ball, went straight to a Berwick player and led to a converted try which gave the visitors the lead for the first time.
Reds seemed to have switched off and a further unconverted try left then 26-18 behind and although another Frame penalty got them within a score of Berwick the visitors remained resolute for the closing plays.
Next week the Reds are away to Hawick Harlequins in the league, while the 2s welcome Portobello / Lismore 2s (Portmore) to Mains Park