Linlithgow land first league win of the season

Mark Caddle gathering the loose ball before crashing over for a try (pic by Graham Black)
Mark Caddle gathering the loose ball before crashing over for a try (pic by Graham Black)

Linlithgow broke their duck for the season with a 31-19 win over Portobello in their BT East Division 1 clash a Mains Park on Saturday.

The Reds started this match with a real intensity and purpose, rocking Portobello back with wave after wave of attack.

Some direct running and great support play drove the visitors back and twice Jack Frame made incisive breaks to claim two early tries which he converted himself.

At 14-0 up with less than a quarter of the game gone, the Reds were looking good for a big score.

However, a combination of the Reds taking their foot off the gas and Portobello’s determination to keep running the ball enabled the visitors to find a way back into the game and a converted try cut Linlithgow’s lead to 14-7 at the break.

The Reds started the second half where they left off the first, kicking away hard won possession and from one such poor kick, Portobello created an overlap to score in the corner. The touchline conversion tied the game at 14-14.

But straight from kick-off a magnificent leap and gather by Sean Hagerty got the Reds back on the offensive and for much of the remaining 30 minutes they did exactly what captain Crai Scott had exhorted, keeping ball in hand, playing good structured rugby and driving Portobello back.

Young and greatly improving No 8 Mark Caddle got things back on track when he reacted to a wayward tap by Portobello at the line-out to gather and crash through for a fine try near the corner.

Once again Hagerty leapt to gather the ensuing kick-off to put the Reds were back on the attack and affter two chances went a-begging the ball was moved swiftly along the line for Rab Cairns to claim his first try for the Reds, crashing through the defence near the posts.

Frame converted to give the Reds a 26-14 lead and, with a bonus point now in the bag, the Reds moved back on to the attack to put the game away with a fifth try, this time from powerful centre Mark Green.

Portobello continued to chase the game and scored a good try in the corner with the final play of the match.

This week the Reds travel through to play RHC.