Depleted Linlithgow find it hard in Borders
Signs of improvement despite another defeat for Reds
Ken Richardson Linlithgow Reds are still searching for their first win of the season after suffering a 33-10 defeat to Hawick Harlequins.
The Reds made the trip to Hawick with a squad partly depleted by injuries and some players being unavailable as well as a late call-off due to illness.
Quins at home are a tough proposition, as their excellent record last season bore out, so it was always going to be a tough proposition to get anything from the contest and so it proved.
With Andrew Archer a late calloff, Kieran Cochrane stepped up into the squad for his full Reds debut joining his under-18 teammate from last season, Gregor Stewart, who was playing only his second match as a Red.
Despite the scoreline, the Reds gave a decent account of themselves and the game was pretty even, with the hosts simply making the most of their chances.
The visitors showed an improved performance in several aspects of the game – the forwards carried better than previous weeks and the line-out was generally much improved.
The backs also showed signs of getting better in attack with improved depth and width at times.
Linlithgow created chances to score but did not take them through poor decision making which would prove costly.
There were lots of positive signs, however the players need to learn from decision making errors and make the necessary adjustments for future matches.
Although Quins scored five tries in the match to the Reds’ two – one from Lewis Herdman and one from Mark Caddle – three were soft scores as a result of poor tackling and defensive lapses caused by lack of concentration.
It was no coincidence, therefore, that the final deficit was three converted tries.
Tackling and physicality in defence needs to improve if the Reds are to start climbing the table but there are at least signs of talent and positivity amongst the squad.
The hosts were the worth winners and were generally more streetwise during the course of the 80 minutes, however the final score was harsh on the battling Reds players.
They will be looking to avoid a fifth straight defeat to start the campaign when they host a Portobello side with two wins and three losses to their name.
While the result for the First XV was a disappointment,the Second XV scored a stunning 55-0 victory over Lismore/Portobello.
Cal Thomson was star of the show with five tries while Cammy Walker, Ally Walker, Stevie Grant and Connall Black also scored.
Meanwhile at the club, the Wee Reds will be hosting their annual Mini Tournament.
Matches kick off at 11am on the four pitches at the club.
The Wee Reds set to welcome travelling teams from East Kilbride, Watsonians, Forrester, Gala, Strathendrick and Biggar, making it a total of around 400 youngsters expected to compete on the day.
On the run Mark Caddle sprints through the Hawick defence (Pic: Graham Black)