Linlithgow Rugby Club continued their good recent run with a 40-28 victory over a decent Duns side at Mains Park on Saturday.
And the Reds moved up three places to sixth in the Tennent’s East League 1 table as a result of one of perhaps their best performance of the season.
Linlithgow showed some changes as they prepared for their first game in three weeks. But they started the game well and were rewarded early.
A crossfield kick was fumbled by the Duns defence and Rab Cairns was on hand to pounce on the resultant pass to score, converting his own try to give the Reds a 7-0 lead.
There then followed a long period of Duns pressure but they had only one penalty to show for 10 minutes hard graft.
From the kick-off the ball was fumbled by Linlithgow but the defence held firm and from the clearance Cammy Walker was unlucky to be brought down just short following good work by Cairns.
The second try followed soon though from Colin Devlin as Linlithgow executed a perfect catch and drive from a line out. Cairns converted to make it 14-3.
Despite leading, Linlithgow were giving away a number of penalties; fortunately Duns only scored from one of them.
And despite the home side having little possession, Stuart Cunningham burst through to score, giving Cairns another simple conversion.
As half-time approached, not for the first time this season Linlithgow lost concentration and a couple of missed tackles in midfield allowed Duns two unconverted tries.
But on the stroke of half-time Cairns broke through, diving in at the posts for his second try, which he converted to make it 28-16 in favour of the Reds at the break, with a try bonus point in the bag.
The home side started the second half well but came away with nothing to show for it. Duns came back into it and after some pressure, they scored another unconverted try after Ross Martin had thwarted their first effort with some excellent defensive work.
As the game entered the final phase, Ross Plenderleith effectively put the result beyond the visitors with an excellent try, again converted by Cairns.
The icing on the cake was then provided by man-of-the-match Cairns with a try in the corner for his hat-trick, after a strong run from Ross Plenderleith.
The difficult conversion went wide, however the Reds now had a commanding 40-21 lead at the game entered its final few minutes.
Right at the end, the Duns scrum half showed some moves as he got a consolation try, converted, to make the final score 40-28 and claim a try bonus for his team.
This weekend the Reds travel across to France to play AS Minorange before taking in the France v Scotland Six Nations match. The following weekend, the Reds are at home to Broughton in Tennents East 1.