4 try Reds make progress in National Shield competition

Linlithgow  28 – 5  Cambuslang

Saturday 26 November 2022

Report by David Mitchell

The Reds welcomed Tennents West League 1 club Cambuslang to Mains Park on Saturday for a last 16 tie in the National Shield competition. Thankfully playing conditions were fine after some heavy rain over the last week or so.

Before the kick off, both teams and the sizeable crowd observed a minute’s silence in memory of Linlithgow Rugby Club stalwart Gerry Keating who sadly passed away recently.

The home side made some early inroads into Cambuslang territory, but some sloppy passing prevented early scoring opportunities. The first 20 minutes were punctuated with loose and disjointed play with both teams struggling to put together many cohesive phases of play. The home line-out was functioning relatively well whereas Cambuslang were finding it difficult to gain good ball from their throws. The scrums were evenly contested early on, but the Reds gained a clear advantage as the game progressed.

Linlithgow finally opened the scoring when Ross Martin took a quick tapped penalty and drove into the visitors’ defence before setting the ball back for Cammy Murrie to find Jack Frame with a slick pass and he moved the ball to left wing Ross Plenderleith who burst through the centre in trademark fashion to score a good try. Frame added the extra points to give the home side a 7-0 lead.

Ross Plenderleith bursts through the centre…
…and finishes off his run by crashing over for the Reds first try
Jack Frame then slotted the conversion

On the stroke of half time, the Reds extended their lead. Full back Ross Tulloch fielded a clearing kick from Cambuslang and set off to beat a couple of defenders before timing a nice pass to Jack Frame on half way and he outstripped the defence and scored behind the posts. Frame added the extra points to give the home side a 14-0 lead at half time.

Ross Tuloch made a fine break from his own half before delivering a scoring pass…
…to Jack Frame who outpaced the defence before going in under the sticks.

With the benefit of a strong breeze behind them in the 2nd half, the Reds should have been able to control territory and keep the visitors pinned down in their own half. However they persisted in running the ball in their own half and when tackled were penalised several times for holding on in rucks. This allowed Cambuslang to remain a threat in a low scoring game. Against stronger opposition the tactical kicking game must be deployed more effectively if the club wants to go deep into this competition.

Eventually Cambuslang were driven deep into their own half and had to drop out from behind their own line. Jack Frame fielded the ball and took it into the visitors’ 22 metre area and after solid set up work by Ross Martin and Fraser Mochrie, the ball was moved to Aidan Rennison who responded to a shout from man of the match Ross Plenderleith by delivering a well weighted pass that allowed the winger to split the defence and cross for his second try. Jack Frame added the conversion.

Captain Euan Mochrie led the Reds from the front

The Reds introduced replacements during the second half with Stuart Cunningham, Ally McLean, Kieran Cochrane and David Goudie all making appearances. Cambuslang continued to work hard and responded well to the 21-0 deficit and were deservedly rewarded with a try wide out on the right after some sustained pressure. However the final try of the day belonged to the home team. From a line-out on the Cambuslang 22 metre line, Cunningham’s throw found Mark Caddle and he in turn fed scrum half Murrie who set the backs moving. Frame passed to Goudie who in turn slipped a well weighted pass to Freddie Adcock and he made ground before sending Jack Frame over for a well worked team try. Frame added the conversion to make the final score 28-5.

Ross Plenderleith timed his powerful run to perfection..
…breaking the defence to run in for his second try.

Although the Reds won this fairly comfortably in the end, it was more of a dour midfield struggle than it should have been. On a positive note, the home side converted 100% of the 4 clear chances they created which was great to see. The front row of Graham, Ormond and Devlin again performed their roles solidly and effectively and ably supported by the engine room of Ross Martin and Fraser Mochrie. The back row of Euan Mochrie, Mark Caddle and Jamie Tulloch put in a good shift as usual. 

Slim and Dev lift Euan to secure another line-out ball

In the backs, apart from the try scorers, Freddie Adcock had a very good game, Cammy Murrie moved the ball well from scrum half and Ross Tulloch was very secure at full back. It was also good to see Aidan Rennison and Ruaridh Stewart getting game time after injuries and they will continue to return to their old form as they play more matches. David Goudie made a welcome return after a long absence and he showed some classy touches when passing but also ran elusively to always get the team on the front foot.

The Quarter Final draw will be made this week but the ties are not scheduled to be played until March 4th 2023. The remaining teams are Linlithgow, Dunfermline, Dalziel, Stewartry, East Kilbride, Oban Lorne and either Forrester or Kilmarnock and either North Berwick or Ross High.

Next week the Reds are at home in Tennents East League 1 against Broughton with a 2pm kick off. The 2nds host Edinburgh Accies 3rd XV on Lower Mains Park.

Andrew Graham, Kyle Ormond, Colin Devlin; Ross Martin, Fraser Mochrie; Euan Mochrie (capt), Jamie Tulloch and Mark Caddle; Cammy Murrie, Jack Frame; Ross Plenderleith, Aidan Rennison, Freddie Adcock, Ruaridh Stewart; Ross Tulloch.

Ally McLean, Stuart Cunningham, Kieran Cochrane and David Goudie

Match photos courtesy of Graham Black