Haddington welcomed Premier 1 opposition in the shape of Edinburgh Accies to Neilson Park for a regional cup match. This was the Reds second competitive fixture of the New Year at home and the second against Premier opposition having faced Hawick previously in the Border League.
Ironically the weather conditions on Saturday were very similar to the Hawick match with a strong breeze blowing down the pitch. Haddington again started uphill and the tactics were simply to keep a hold of the ball as long as possible and deny the visitors scoring opportunities with the slope and wind advantage.
The Reds secured the initial kick off and indeed went through several good phases retaining ball and making ground. However a turnover for the visitors saw ball moved swiftly through the hands for the opening try which was converted after little more than a minute.
Haddington 0 Accies 7
Not the start the Reds wre looking for and 10 minutes later the Reds wre made to pay again as poor execution of the right tactics led to turnover ball again, which the visitors were quick to expolit and add a second converted try on 12 minutes.
Haddington 0 Accies 14
Credit to Haddington who stuck to their game plan and were able to reach the final minutes of the opening half with no further points conceeded. As half time loomed, Accies kicked ball deep into the Reds 22 and stealing the line out ball were able to drive over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Haddington 0 Accies 19
Haddington were rewarded from the restart as some good phases took play deep into the visitors half. A penalty was the result as Accies were penalised for not releasing and King slotted the kick to reduce the arrears.
Haddington 3 Accies 19.
Unfortunately as it turned out for the Scarlets there was just enough time to kick off. Accies secured and a couple of missed tackles in midfield carved the Reds defence open to allow a simple try under the posts. The easy conversion was added to bring the first half to a close.
Half Time: Haddington 3 Accies 26
The Reds were now playing down the slope and with the strong wind at their backs had the visitors under pressure on their own goal line for a good 5 minutes. Despite their efforts the Reds had to settle for a penalty from King to reduce the arrears.
Haddington 6 Accies 20
The visitors then took a firm hold of the game and played some very good rugby into the breeze adding a further converted try on 50 minutes to all but seal the game.
Haddington 6 Accies 26
With Accies needing to win by a clear 55 points to progress in the cup they stepped up the pace going into the final quarter. They added 3 trys to their tally in quick succession to take their score onto 48 points as the Scarlets defensive efforted started to take its toll.
Haddington to their immense credit refused to buckle and with the final play of the match were rewarded for their hard work and commitment as centre Herkes put stand off Ferguson through to score under the posts. King added the extras to bring an entertaining encounter to a close.
Full Time: Haddington 13 Accies 48
The Reds once again went toe to toe with Premier 1 opposition and acquitted themselves well despite long spells without ball or territory. This Saturday the Reds are back on league duty with a home tie against bottom side Perthshire. The Reds will be looking to take revenge for the narrow away defeat earlier in the season and if they continue to play as they have done since the turn of the year that should be a very achievable target.
Kick Off: 2.00pm