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East 1: Todd's depleted squad defy the odds with win at Linlithgow

3 weeks ago By Mark Brown

Broughton Men extended their unbeaten run to four games with a hard fought and well earned 22-31 bonus point win over Linlithgow in the Royal Burgh.

Broughton travelled to Linlithgow on Saturday for a contest between two sides who have experienced similar rollercoaster ride fortunes throughout their respective East 1 campaigns.

From the off, it was perhaps no surprise that the sides were evenly matched, with the game progressing in chess-like war of attrition style.

It was the visitors that drew first blood however with the talismanic Neil Armstrong doting down in the corner. Gav Tainsh continuing his fine form with the boot by added the conversion.

As one would expect, Linlithgow rallied and without much delay, scored unopposed under the sticks following a break up the wing.

The extras were added and more was to come from the boot following some Broughton ill discipline that lead to Linlithgow taking the lead for the first time in the match.

A proverbial arm wrestle of hard fought out play broke out with both teams having chances but not quite getting over the whitewash at their end.

With half time approaching, Man of the Match Robert Cockburn took a lovely timed pass from Gavin Tainsh to make it look good for the cameras with a swan dive under the posts. Tainsh sending the oval object over for two more points and sending Broughton 10-14 ahead at the break.

After the oranges, Broughton came out fighting, showing good pressure and they were eventually rewarded with a penalty from bang in front which Gavin Tainsh slotted to further extend the lead.

Such was the flow of the game, Linlithgow showed plenty fight and were playing some nice rugby that eventually saw them get a score of their own.

Next to stamp his mark on the game was Will Waller. Like a one man wrecking ball, he barged his way through two tacklers to make it over the Linlithgow line. The conversion was once again good.

Defences on top didn't come to mind for the headline of this report as once again, the hosts strung phases together and crossed for another seven pointer.

Coming into the final minutes of the game Robbie Robertson took an opportunistic try with a beautiful interception to outpace a trio of defenders and slide in under the sticks. Again Gavin Tainsh was on hand to pop the ball over.

Eager not to let the hosts secure points from the game, Broughton made good of the resultant kick-off, stifling Linlithgow and for the remaining five minutes or so, were happy to maintain possession and look to exploit any weaknesses whilst attacking the gain-line. No further points were accrued and as the clock went red, the ball was unceremoniously hoofed out of play.

A pleased Head Coach Richie Todd said after the game, "I'm happy with how the game went, Linlithgow are a good side and they put us under pressure throughout, but in the end our dogged determination saw us pull away.

"With a number of players unavailable, we had some guys stepping up to the plate and pulling on a Broughton top for their first outing in some time, almost two years in the case of Gareth Duncan who played well in the front row when he came off the bench.

"We had others playing out of position too like Michael McKean who slotted in at scrum half where he certainly didn't look out of place and made a massive impact on the game. I'm so proud of our team and the way they played."

Images from the game can be found here courtesy of Saturday's hosts.

Updated 17:05 - 1 Apr 2018 by Mark Brown

Where next?

Club Announcement: Neil Fisher Broughton Rugby are saddened to report the recent passing of a former Club stalwart Neil Fisher, following a long battle with Leukemia.

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