Linlithgow Rugby Club got 2017 off to the perfect start by reaching the BT Edinburgh Shield final with a 51-19 at Dunbar on Saturday.
The Reds ran in six tries for a convincing semi-final victory which secured a showdown at home to Murrayfield Wanderers on a date to be confirmed.
Linlithgow lost at Dunbar in the first league game of the season and only scraped home by one point in the return match at Mains Park so knew they would have to be at their best.
But they were quick to settle and, despite a subsequent spell of Dunbar pressure, took the lead after 24 minutes.
Billy Edment broke clear, drew the last defender and offloaded a perfect pass to Euan Mochrie who went in for the first try. Jack Frame stepped up to convert.
A Frame penalty stretched the lead a few minutes later but just after the half hour mark some weak tackling allowed a home forward to bundle over the line to score an unconverted try.
Linlithgow were stung into a quick riposte and Ross Plenderleith made a darting run forward, well supported by Michael Robertson, Edment and Mochrie who was on hand once again to take the final pass and score. Frame also followed suit with a good kick to add the two points.
Dunbar returned to the attack and forced their way forward for a second try, converted superbly to leave Linlithgow 17-12 ahead at the break.
The score did not reflect the visitors’ dominance in territory and possession and Linlithgow knew they would have to begin to make these count.
After surviving an early scare Reds scored when Edment’s storming run set to Frame who raced over the line for a try he converted.
Two Frame penalties stretched the lead to 30-12 before Dunbar pressure led to a converted try under the posts.
But Reds again hit back and Robertson stormed over in the 70th minute to score. Frame’s continued his fine kicking form to convert and this effectively snuffed out any hope of recovery at 37-19.
A good run by Andrew Whitelaw found Mark Caddle in support to score a try, with Frame adding the conversion.
John Chapman then rounded off a good display with a cross kick which Euan Murray collected and fed to Ross Martin who touched down. Frame again converted to complete the scoring.
It’s back to league business on Saturday when the Firsts who travel to Duns, knowing the Borderers managed to draw earlier in the season at Mains Park.
The Seconds entertain Preston Lodge at home.