1st XV - Report
PL Back to Winning Ways With 5 Try Win Over Linlithgow
After last week’s setback, Preston Lodge were keen to get back to winning ways against Linlithgow at The Pennypit on Saturday and after a sticky start, normal service was soon resumed as they ran in five tries to safely secure the win and the vital bonu
It wasn’t until the 15th minute that PL were able to get into the Linlithgow half after a decent kick by Andrew Clark but they took full advantage of this foray when Raymond Mackie stole the ball from the Linlithgow throw and barged his way into the 22. It was now Linlithgow who were under pressure and they gave away a penalty which Clark sent to touch near the try line. From there, Linlithgow could not compete with the power of the PL pack and they worked together as a unit to get to the ball over the line where prop Keith Duncan was in charge and got the touchdown in the corner. Clark sent over a great conversion to make the score 7-0, somewhat against the run of play.
From that point on though, PL took control of the game and although the pack had to re-adjust after losing the imposing Ian MacIntosh to injury, he was ably replaced by another promising PL youngster, Sam Stuart who would acquit himself very well throughout the rest of the match.
Most of the play during the second quarter of the game would be played in the Linlithgow 22 as PL were awarded a series of penalties, most of which were defended well by the visitors although PL were still guilty of taking the wrong option on too many occasions. Clark missed the opportunity to extend his side’s lead when a kick at goal was wide of the mark but his kicking from hand was much better as he found spaces to keep his troops on the front foot. Paul Glynn picked up the pace with a dangerous looking break before being brought down near the 22 but the second try came in the 34th minute when Clark deftly sent a kick between the on-rushing defence and the loose ball was hacked forward by Monk who easily outstripped his opponent to the loose ball and touched down in the corner. Another great kick by Clark converted it to the full seven points and PL were looking much more comfortable as they went into the break 14-0 up.
A Linlithgow error when trying to gather the restart kick almost allowed PL to get the second half off to a perfect start but despite bringing down the maul near the line, Linlithgow were able to clear their lines after the ball was lost from the quick tap penalty. Andrew Clark had taken a knock and was replaced by the experienced Graeme Patterson and he continued with the same tactic as his predecessor by kicking deep into spaces to keep the Linlithgow defence on the back foot and this would lead to PL’s third try in the 51st minute. The visitors were doing their best to play decent rugby and when the defence gathered a loose ball in their own 22, the backs had the confidence to try to pass it along the line to create an opening. They had to get past the PL midfied defence though and tried to do this by chipping the ball past Blair Robertson’s right ear! The tall centre was far too clever to be beaten by this though and he cleverly grabbed hold of it with one hand and easily slipped past his opponent to snatch an opportunist but deserved try.
This could have been the knockout blow for the visitors but in the 59th minute, when making a rare foray into the PL 22, they were able to capitalise when a mix up at the back of a PL maul allowed the ball to spill free and they were quick to pounce and score an opportunistic try of their own.
For the remainder of the match though, it was PL who were completely on top and the try scoring bonus point was secured with 10 minutes to go when they managed to steal the ball at a ruck on the 22. Warner Easton was alert enough to find Stuart McLean and Paul Voy in support and the big No.8 was able to barge on with the ball before passing to Glynn and he was cool enough to make a safe pass to Peter Johnston who sprinted home almost unopposed in the corner.
Chris Dixon, Blair Cowan and Sam Stuart were causing havoc in the loose and Linlithgow were struggling to get any ball to work with but as the game drew to a close, the best try of the afternoon was still to be scored.
A further reshuffle of the pack had seen Jonathan Brash come on to play in the back row and in the final minute, he managed to get sky high and take clean ball at a line-out. He slammed it down to Easton who flicked it out to Robertson and he came crashing through the heart of the defence at pace and they were helpless to prevent him scoring his second and his side’s fifth try. Patterson added the conversion to make the final score a very comfortable 31-5.
This result keeps PL well in contention in second spot in the league but a tricky visit to Duns next Saturday will be another test of their resolve as this was the scene of their toughest test last season when they won with the final kick of the game. Kick off is 3pm.
Preston Lodge Team:
R Monk, L King, P Glynn, B Robertson, J Brash, A Clark, W Easton
S McLean, R Mackie, K Duncan, B Cowan, A Hay, I MacIntosh, C Dixon, P Voy
P Johnston, G Patterson, S Stuart