Linlithgow rugby Reds turn up heat on Furnace

Linlithgow v Furnace - Sean Hagerty  competing  for the ball in the line out.
Linlithgow v Furnace - Sean Hagerty competing for the ball in the line out.

Linlithgow ran out 12-5 winners when playing host to a visiting Welsh rugby team under the lights at Mains Park on Friday night.

The club has had a link with south-west Wales for many years now.

The link, formerly with Pontyates RFC, has now passed on to Furnace United RFC and it was from this club, on the outskirts of Llanelli, that over 50 Welsh rugby players and supporters made the journey north.

Last year the Reds had travelled down to play Furnace United for the first time, with the home team emerging as the winning team in a close match. The fixture was reversed this year, coinciding with the weekend of the Scotland v Wales international.

The match was fairly even with Linlithgow having the upper hand in the first half, while Furnace United had the best of the second.

The one moment of magic in the first half resulted in a try for the home side.

Stand-off Chris Ronalson, realising that the outside backs were covered, checked and put in a beautifully weighted kick ahead for Jack Frame, who looked the fastest player on the field and playing outside centre, to race through to touch down for a try which he converted himself to give the Reds a 7-0 half-time lead.

The second half saw Furnace United gain territorial ascendancy but the Reds defence was robust and their set piece was solid.

From a Furnace attack deep into the Reds 22, the Reds turned the ball over. A long pass found man-of-the-match Sean Hagerty in space under his own posts. He put a lovely long pass out to Jack Frame who spotted a gap in the Furnace defence, turned on the afterburners and stormed upfield to score a 95 metre try. The run obviously took a lot out of Jack, as the usually reliable kicker was wayward with his attempted conversion.

The game’s most amusing moment came when, after a superb piece of covering defending, Reds hooker Euan Mochrie, blowing heavily, lined up on the wrong side at the ensuing line-out. It took him a few moments to realise what he had done, but by then all the players and spectators had spotted his error, which won him a special award at the end of the match!

There was just time near the end for visiting former Red Simon MacLennan to make a try saving intervention on his own line to highlight a cameo performance as a sub.

This Saturday the Reds travel to Tranent to play Ross High in a BT East 1 league match (KO 3pm). The 2s are also away at Edinburgh Northern 2s.