Reds at Broughton (Mar23)

Off colour Reds win despite below par performance

Broughton  19 – 33  Linlithgow

Saturday 11 March 2023

Report by David Mitchell; Photos by Graham Black

After last week’s excellent game at Mains Park against Stewartry, the Reds struggled to follow up with a similar performance at Wardie against Broughton in this Tennents East 1 League fixture. This has always been a tough place to visit for Linlithgow and the immediate lead up to the game seemed to negatively affect the team. The home team failed to produce a match ball, the referee had to act as groundsman to fill in 2 sizeable holes in the pitch and the visitors arrived at the ghost town that was the Broughton clubhouse to find no one there to greet them! 

Despite these unusual events, the Reds did manage to build a healthy lead in the 1st half but the 2nd half performance was pretty dire. The visitors exerted pressure early on and after a quick tap from a penalty under the posts, the ball was moved to centre Freddie Adcock and his strength and determination sent him over the line for the opening try which was converted by Jack Frame.

Freddie Adcock claims the opening try

However Broughton fought their way upfield and responded with a try from a lineout catch and drive. A fine touch line conversion brought the scores level at 7-7.  

At this point the Reds were beginning to be dominant in the scrums and winning their own line-out ball easily and it was no surprise when, after a good shout for a switch of play, the ball was passed to Ruaridh Stewart who outstripped the defence and scored the try. Jack Frame added the extra points.

Ruaridh Stewart outpaces the defence…
…and cruises in for a try

The next 20 minutes saw almost total territorial domination by the visitors resulting in 2 more tries before half time. From a penalty in front of the posts, the Reds’ pack marched the opposition back over the line and Mark Caddle touched down with the try again converted by Jack Frame.

Mark Caddle dots down for his first try…

Almost immediately the final try of the half was scored when the pack drove the Broughton forwards off their own ball and Mark Caddle again emerged with the ball after scoring the try.

…and soon after scores his second!

Half time score – 7-26

Despite the seemingly comfortable lead, the Reds had been a bit sloppy with some of their play during the opening half with quite a few uncharacteristic dropped passes and the tendency for players to make wrong decisions, particularly when ignoring overlap passes.

The second 40 minutes were instantly forgettable, but had to be endured by the healthy away supporters. Broughton actually won the 2nd half by 12 points to 7 and were only just held out from getting a bonus point try as they pounded the Reds’ line in the last few minutes. After Broughton scored an unconverted try, the only highlight for the Reds was another fine try by Freddie Adcock after Ruaridh Stewart caught the ball in midfield and took off on a good run before finding Ross Tulloch and Ross Plenderleith and finally Freddie who again used great strength to score the try and Jack Frame added the extra points. This took Linlithgow to an unassailable 12-33 lead.

Ross Plenderleith, on one of his powerful runs, is stopped just short of the Broughton line

However there was still time for a final converted try for the home team and they did continue to run the ball at every opportunity which caused real problems for the Reds’ defence but they did manage to deny the hosts a 4th try.

Final score: Broughton  19 – 33  Linlithgow

In the end it was a comfortable scoreline but far from a good performance. The Reds continue to overplay in their own 22 and with passing accuracy not great on the day, there were some hairy moments. The kicking game also seemed a bit haphazard and this did not allow the Reds to play a controlled tactical game in the right areas especially in the 2nd half. Last week’s tackling problems re-emerged and a couple of the Broughton players regularly avoided or even ran through poor tackles and this aspect must be improved as we head into the last 4 games of the league season. Overall there seemed to be some flatness to the play and a lack of direction and control tended to lead to frantic passages of play when cool heads were required. Sloppy was a word that players and spectators alike were using after the game but the consolation is that they got a bonus point win when playing well below their best as a team. Individually special mention must be made of the contributions of Freddie Adcock, Mark Caddle and the unsung front row warrior that is Colin Devlin whose solid scrummaging was key in applying pressure and disrupting the Broughton pack.

The next game is a crunch encounter against Ross High at Mains Park on Saturday 25th March as only 2 points separate the teams in 2nd and 3rd places in the league. 

Linlithgow Reds

Ross Tulloch; Ruaridh Stewart, Aidan Rennison, Freddie Adcock, Ross Plenderleith; Cammy Murrie, Jack Frame; Andrew Graham, Stuart Cunningham, Colin Devlin; Neil Lockhart, Ross Martin; Euan Mochrie, Jamie Tulloch and Mark Caddle.

Replacements (all used): Ally McLean, Kyle Ormond, Kieran Cochrane and Lewis Herdman