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Match Reports Season 2016/17

BT East Region League 2A


 18-02-17


 Hawick Linden 53, Leith 5


Following a minutes silence in respect of the recent passing of Linden stalwarts Davie Aitken and Watson Turnbull, the Royal Blues took an early lead when Barry Sutherland slotted a penalty goal. Soon after some great handling and offloads looked to have created the first try but a penalty was awarded for a dump tackle on Matthew Bell with a yellow card shown to the Leith miscreant.


It was Bell who secured the first touchdown coming in on a scissors, following a great driving line out by the forwards, but the winger was injured in the act of scoring and left the field to be replaced by Kieran Murphy. On 15 minutes the Linden increased their lead with a stunning try. Sutherland broke from his own 22, chipped over the onrushing defence and collected the ball. With support runners out wide, the stand-off showed remarkable skill deftly kicking the ball on the run off the side of his foot straight to Murphy who broke the last tackle to score.


When Leith dropped the ball, Graeme Anderson kicked ahead and looked likely to score. A penalty was awarded to the Linden who opted for a scrum and Graham Colville picked up and strolled over for a try converted by Sutherland. With half-time approaching the Royal Blues looked sure to add to their tally following a great run by debutant Ryan Renwick, taken on by Anderson but alas his probable scoring pass was spilled.


The Linden did score again before the break when John Frew fielded a kick and set off on a run linking with Colville who put Murphy over for his second try and Sutherland?s conversion saw the home team head into the interval 27-0 in front.


In the second period the Linden were twice close to scoring before Sutherland set up Colville for a touchdown. Leith continued to compete well and, from a line out free kick, they eventually created an overlap for Andy Barr to open their account. The Linden went back on the attack and a couple of surges at the line couldn?t produce any reward so Glen Welsh resorted to a cross kick. To say it wasn?t the best execution would be an understatement but, somehow, Anderson managed to catch the ball under pressure, turn his opponent and run in under the posts. The skipper added the conversion to stretch the lead to 39-5.


Leith then got on the wrong end of the penalty count culminating in a second yellow card although the final offence looked dubious and the offender could feel a little unlucky. The Royal Blues played through several phases which lead to Macaulay Parker bursting through a gap to score with Anderson converting.


The Linden rounded off by hitting the fifty mark with an excellent try. Gary Wardle fielded a kick and passed on to Connor Tofts and then Colville who went straight through the middle and beat the last man to secure his hat-trick. Anderson?s conversion completed the scoring.


A comprehensive victory for the Royal Blues in their final home League game of the season but they will still feel they couldn?t impose themselves as much as they would have wished as mistakes regularly creeped into their game which disrupted any fluency. Old heads Graham Colville and Barry Sutherland, with some sublime pieces of skill, showed all of their experience whilst the young guns Matthew Mallin and the Hair twins were in fine fettle up front. Glen Welsh continues to enjoy the inside centre role and Ryan Renwick will be pleased with his first outing in a Linden jersey.


Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, G Welsh, R Renwick, B Sutherland, R Graham; J White, R Hartdegan, S Spalding, S Hair, E Hair, C Smith, M Mallin, G Colville; Subs: C Tofts, P Drysdale, G Wardle, M Parker, E Wood, K Murphy, C Gracie.


The match also saw a re-union for the 1986/87 Border District League winning side. Of the 25 players used only Ronnie Nichol had passed away but was represented by members of the Nichol family including all three of his brothers. Of the remaining 24, only two were unable to attend whilst coaches Billy Murray and Davy Lyall and many other involved with the club around the time made an appearance to ensure a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and evening. The inevitable drinks were soaked up by a wonderful buffet courtesy of Moira Black and her team of tea ladies.


 

BT East Region League 2A


11-02-17


Hawick Linden 15, Broughton 33


Unbeaten League leaders Broughton made the trip to the Volunteer 3G having comprehensively routed the Linden 80-17 at Wardie earlier in the season. It would take a mammoth effort for the Royal Blues to turn around such a scoreline. The final result doesn?t tell the full picture of a superb effort by the home team who held the lead just before the game entered its final quarter.


On a cold, wet and miserable day, conditions were difficult for both teams and thankfully the 3G surface prevented what would otherwise have been an inevitable mud-bath. Broughton took the lead on six minutes from a line out catch and drive, skipper Craig Wishart being credited with the touchdown and Gavin Tainsh converting.


Two minutes later home captain Graeme Anderson responded with a penalty goal. Soon after a great line out take by Euan Hair preceded Glen Welsh slicing through the visitors defence. The centre linked with Matthew Mallin who had the pace to beat the cover and the wing forward?s try put the Linden in front 8-7.


On 20 minutes they added to their tally. With Broughton in possession at a ruck, a loose ball was kicked on by Anderson and, when he hacked on again, it looked like it had gone too close to the last defender but it was that man Mallin again who was first to get a hand to the ball. Anderson slotted the conversion to put his team 15-7 ahead.


Craig Smith caught the kick-off and went off on a great run into the Broughton half but the Linden unwisely kicked when moving the ball would have continued the threat and they were then penalised which was kicked to touch. Following the line out, Wishart burst through and looked likely to score but was tackled in the shadow of the posts. A quick recycle though allowed stand-off Tainsh to go dart over the whitewash.


Home stand-off Gavin Stirling had to retire with a leg injury to be replaced by his cousin Barry Sutherland. With no further scoring in the first period, the Linden headed into the break 15-12 in front.


When John Frew was high tackled early in the second period he left the field with the experienced Steven Anderson coming on for his first game for two seasons. Then winger Gary Alexander also suffered a leg injury and was stretched off with the recovered Frew coming back on.


With 58 minutes gone Broughton winger Ryan McNight caught a kick and there didn?t appear to be much danger but his neat kick ahead sat up nicely for Dan Smith who raced onto the ball and headed under the posts for Tainsh to convert. Middle row Euan Hair departed following a head knock with Cammy Friell entering the fray.


With the game in the balance the killer blow for the Royal Blues came with 15 minutes remaining. After a Casper Jones kick and catch sucked in the home defence, the ball was shipped wide to winger Andrew Tainsh who touched down for brother Gavin to convert and put Broughton 26-15 ahead.


The Linden were left to go after what would have been a deserved losing bonus point and it looked like Glen Welsh would secure it but he was tackled fractionally short of the line. When the Royal Blues moved the ball they were turned over and Broughton worked their way to the other end. With the last play of the game Neil Armstrong touched down and Tainsh?s kick completed a cruel end to the match for the home side.


Alas the Linden lacked a bit of composure at times, just forcing things too much, and little mistakes at key moments prevented them building momentum. Make no mistake though, this display once again demonstrated the huge progress from early in the season. Jordan White carried ball well with support from front row colleagues Reece Hartdegan and Keith Mabon. Flankers Matthew Mallin and Macaulay Parker got themselves about, scrum-half Rory Graham was also in fine form but Glen Welsh was the pick of the backs with some good hard running.


Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, G Welsh, G Alexander, G Stirling, R Graham; J White, R Hartdegan, K Mabon, S Hair, E Hair, M Parker, M Mallin, C Smith; Subs: C Friell, L Sharkey, B Sutherland, E Wood, S Anderson, L Robertson, J Hogg.



BT East Region League 2A


 28-01-17


 Trinity Accies 17, Hawick Linden 8


On a cold, wet and miserable afternoon in Edinburgh, the Linden?s winning run in East League 2 finally came to an end in a hard fought encounter that could have gone either way. For the second week in a row the Royal Blues starting line-up had to be changed at the last minute. A vehicle breakdown en-route resulted in centre Sandy Walker being replaced by Glen Welsh with medic Ryan Elliot filling the bench vacancy.


The conditions meant it was one of these days when basics had to be good as any mistakes could make the difference. Indeed a dropped ball by Accies on seven minutes nearly lead to the first score as Macaulay Parker kicked on the loose ball but just lost out in the race to touch down. On 18 minutes Keith Mabon took a punch to the head out of sight of the referee that would have warranted a red card had it been spotted.


The big home pack were shunting the Linden scrum at will but the visitors were more than competitive in every other aspect including the lineout. From two consecutive lineout drives that took play from half-way to the try line, the ball was released to the backs for Graeme Anderson to take his man on and a lovely arcing run saw the skipper slice over to score.


Unfortunately Graham Colville took a head knock in the lead up to the try forcing him from the field and the No. 8?s presence proved a big miss for the Linden in the remainder of the game. Five minutes from the break Kieran Murphy slotted a penalty goal to put his side 8-0 ahead which would probably have been no more than the Linden deserved as they had the edge on field position.


Alas following the kick off they were penalised at a ruck and, when Trinity ran the ball, big middle row Robert Lovert burst through a tackle and galloped over for a poor try from a Linden perspective. Rory Watson?s conversion made the score 8-7 to the Linden at the break and the Royal Blues knew they would have to put in a big second half performance.


They continued to compete well and were keeping the big Trinity eight well away from the danger zone where the strong home scrum would undoubtedly have been influential. Slightly against the run of play, a long kick by Accies saw full-back John Frew make great ground to try and collect on the full but, when realising he couldn?t quite get there, his attempted fly-hack missed the ball completely and Calum Ramm gratefully picked up to run in for a try converted from wide out by Watson.


With the pitch getting heavier by the minute as it turned into a mudbath it would take a big effort by the Royal Blues to get back in the lead but they were certainly up for it. Their chances of doing so took a blow when Gary Wardle was yellow carded for a high tackle. However, when a Trinity player was binned for a similar offence the Linden took a gamble when awarded a penalty in the shadow of the posts by taking a tap which came to nothing.


As the Royal Blues desperately tried to get something more than a losing bonus point from the game, they were penalised and Watson did well to put over the tricky kick meaning the visitors left with no points at all. A cruel outcome as a little more composure when in the home 22 might have produced more reward.


Glen Welsh and Graeme Anderson ran strongly in the centre. Macaulay Parker worked hard covering at hooker with some lineout throws to Euan Hair being top of the tree. Cammy Friell put himself about in his first start for the Linden, as did James Hogg, and they were well supported by all of the forwards who put in a huge shift against bigger opponents on a very heavy pitch.


One talking point on the sidelines was the difficulties for players and referees with the new high tackle laws. Both teams were guilty of shouting for decisions but conversely were unhappy when their own side was penalised feeling many awards were on the soft side. Hopefully matters will settle in time but at the moment it seems to have created a grey area that no-one is entirely happy with.


Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, G Welsh, K Murphy, G Stirling, R Graham; J White, M Parker, K Mabon, S Hair, E Hair, C Friell, J Hogg, G Colville; Subs: E Wood, B Sutherland, R Elliot, M Boyle, G Wardle, L Sharkey, M Knight.


Grateful thanks to Trinity Accies for their superb hospitality. Pre-match soup and sandwiches for committee and supporters, coffee for the touch judge whilst filling water bottles, generous with drinks from the bar and a seemingly never ending raffle where the Linden dominated virtually all of the main prizes, i.e. the booze, made for a happy bus home despite defeat. Well done Accies and much appreciated.


BT East Region League 2A


21-01-17


Hawick Linden 35, Dalkeith 0


Although on a run of nine League wins, the Linden?s last defeat had been a huge 62-14 loss to Saturday?s visitors to the Volunteer 3G, Dalkeith back in September. To turn around such a gulf between the sides into a Linden victory would take a monumental effort. Not only did the Royal Blues do so, they did it in style with a convincing 35-0 margin that proved the turn round in their fortunes is no fluke displaying skill, organisation, tempo and masses of heart and desire.


With both teams having played all of their 13 matches in East League 2, the Linden had finished nine points behind Dalkeith as they embarked on the first game in the top six split. Any thoughts of a home win were dealt some early blows. Both stand-off Gavin Stirling and prop Jordan White broke down with injury in the warm-up to be replaced by Barry Sutherland and Simon Spalding whilst Conor Gracie and Craig Smith were rushed into bench duties.


Following these set-backs the Linden were pushed off their own ball at the first scrum so the omens certainly didn?t look good. However, with Dalkeith spilling the ball whilst on the attack in the home 22, Sutherland chipped ahead and Matthew Mallin showed his pace to be first to the ball and hack on twice with Kieran Murphy up in support to dive on the ball to open the scoring after five minutes.


Two minutes later, they looked sure to score again from deep. Graham Colville turned the ball over in his own 22 and made good ground. The No. 8 linked with Murphy who took on his man on the outside and was round and seemed away to score but a desperate diving tap tackle just connected enough to deny the winger.


The Royal Blues did score a second try though after 17 minutes. Stuart Hair peeled round the front of a line out and, when Sutherland received the ball, he put in a measured cross kick. John Frew flew up the touchline to collect and pass inside for Murphy to touch down. Sutherland?s astute boot kept his side playing in the right areas of the field as the Linden continued to boss the game.


Dalkeith were then on the attack but a poor kick was picked up by Frew 10 metres from his own line and the 19-year-old showed great pace to go the distance. For the third time the try was too far out for the conversion but a 15-0 lead was no more than the home team deserved.


The Kings Park side should have responded just before the break. Firstly, from a period of pressure, they eventually went wide and their full-back looked to be over for the try but was hit in a double tackle and Frew somehow held up the ball to prevent the score. Unfortunately that meant the Linden had a scrum five to defend, the one area Dalkeith had been dominating. Secondly, as the scrum moved forward, the visitors, perhaps unwisely, picked and went wide but a poor pass meant the chance was gone.


Early in the second period, the Volunteer side went on the attack and a chip ahead by Sutherland in the 22 saw the stand-off taken out but the ball sat up nicely for Murphy to go over at the posts for what he thought was his hat-trick. Alas the referee had already blown for a penalty and the Linden settled for three points as Sutherland?s kick split the uprights.


The Linden now seemed to be in control of the game and its outcome. On 48 minutes, however, this took a twist as winger Gary Alexander was spotted throwing a punch and was shown a straight red card. There was now concern that this would give a way back into the game for Dalkeith. From here on in, if anyone was in any doubt about the spirit of this rejuvenated Linden team, they were quickly dispelled.


Dalkeith kicked the penalty to touch deep in home territory. Colville stole the lineout and linked with Sandy Walker, Murphy and Frew. The full-back went on the outside then in and out to weave his way to the line for a stunning try which Sutherland converted and the Linden were now 25-0 to the good.


Eight minutes later and Colville was at it again pinching ball from a Dalkeith lineout on half-way, passing on to Euan Hair whose return pass saw Colville head off on a storming run with two hand-offs on the way to his 58th try in a Linden jersey. Five minutes later and Rory Graham turned over Dalkeith possession to set Spalding off on the hoof and Frew was on hand to slice his way over to complete his hat-trick.


35-0 up with 17 minutes to go, the Linden emptied their bench and there was no further scoring when a Dalkeith player was knocked out in a tackle necessitating a call for an ambulance and the referee sensibly called full-time with only a few minutes remaining.


From the low of the thumping defeat at Dalkeith, never mind the murky depths of last season, this display showed the stunning turnaround of the Linden. Against a bigger pack, the young Linden eight fronted up and were heroes all taking their lead from the experience of Graham Colville and skipper for the day Keith Mabon, celebrating his 200th Linden appearance in style.


There was no way through the centre partnership of Graeme Anderson and Sandy Walker whilst John Frew was full of determination in both his running and defence. Barry Sutherland brought huge control to his team?s possession whilst half-back partner Rory Graham had probably his best ever performance for the Royal Blues.


Linden: J Frew, G Alexander, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, B Sutherland, R Graham; S Spalding, R Hartdegan, K Mabon, S Hair, E Hair, M Parker, M Mallin, G Colville; Subs: E Wood, C Gracie, M Bell, C Smith, L Sharkey, J Hogg, C Friell.


BT Borders Shield Semi-Final


07-01-17


Berwick 31, Hawick Linden 3 


The Linden?s recent winning streak came to an end when they were defeated 31-3 by Berwick in the BT Borders Shield Semi-Final, the English side now going on to meet Hawick Harlequins in the Final on 11th February. On a surprisingly mild day at Scremerston, with no sea breeze to chill the air, the Royal Blues started brightly.


An early charge-down by Sandy Walker saw the centre heading under the posts but was rightly called back for a previous Linden knock-on. This was soon followed by an excellent run by John Frew as he burst deep into Berwick territory. It was nip-and-tuck until Kieran Murphy opened the scoring on 22 minutes with a penalty goal.


Berwick quickly responded following a controlled line-out drive when centre Jamie Pick hit a good line on a short ball and had the pace to touch down and also put over the conversion. The home team then thought they had added to their total but the final pass was ruled forward. The Royal Blues would have been happy to turn around only 7-3 behind but alas Berwick scored with the final play of the half. Full-back Gareth Hill kicked ahead, dribbled on and dived on the ball to put his team 12-3 up at the break.


Now playing with the slope, Berwick upped the tempo and, after a period of pressure in the Linden 22, the visitors were sucked in and home winger Lee Douglas benefited from the space created out wide to go over in the corner. No. 8 Tony McDougal went over the line but John Frew wrapped up the ball, managed to steal it and then somehow got himself out of the in-goal area to avoid a scrum five.


On 67 minutes a surging run by hooker Gareth Black laid the foundation for Michael Binnie to cut through the Linden defence to score at the posts for Pick to convert and put Berwick 24-3 ahead. Four minutes later and Binnie was over the line again but Frew never gave up what looked a totally lost cause and miraculously caused a knock-on to save another try.


The Linden scrum had been under pressure throughout the game so did well to hold out at a scrum five, however, Geoff Logan picked up and had the reach to stretch to the line for the final touch-down which Pick converted. The game ended with that man Frew making yet another try saving tackle as he caught his man as he raced for the corner.


Whilst defeated this was still an encouraging performance from a young Linden side missing quite a few players against a team currently fourth in the League above. Credit to the forwards who, although under pressure in the scrum, never buckled and competed well in the line-out. Credit also to Stuart Hair who played the whole game whilst carrying a painful shoulder injury. James Hogg worked hard with one memorable big hit. Young Kieran Murphy did well filling in at stand-off and centres Sandy Walker and Graeme Anderson tackled hard. Absolutely outstanding though was John Frew. Although showing some of his trademark running, it was his defence that shone even brighter as he thrice thwarted what looked certain tries.


This Saturday the Royal Blues return to League duty as the League splits into a top six and bottom eight as they take on Dalkeith at the Volunteer Park.


Linden: J Frew, C Gracie, G Anderson, S Walker, S Grant, K Murphy, E Wood; J White, R Hartdegan, S Spalding, S Hair, L Robertson, M Parker, J Hogg, E Hair.



BT East Region League 2


17-12-16


Inverleith 9, Hawick Linden 33


The Linden completed their 13 scheduled League fixtures with a ninth consecutive victory at Inverleith. Following on from an initial draw and then three losses, it means the Royal Blues will almost certainly finish fifth as the League splits into a top six and bottom eight. A few other matches remain outstanding meaning exact placings are not yet determined but the win guarantees the Linden a top six spot.


The visitors travelled with 11 players unavailable giving some pre-match concern over keeping the winning run going. Coach Barry Sutherland and medic Ryan Elliot were pressed into bench duties but a full complement of 22 was still listed. The Linden played into a fairly strong wind in the first period and a narrow pitch was not really suited to their style of play particularly against a heftier pack.


A couple of early penalties from home full-back Mark Cant put Inverleith 6-0 ahead after ten minutes. Kirk Ford replied from the tee before Cant put over his third successful penalty goal. It was then left to Ford to keep chipping away on the scoreboard as he landed three more penalties to send the Linden into the break 12-9 in front. With the elements to come in the second period it was a satisfactory if not entirely comfortable position for the Royal Blues.


It looked like they might get the first touchdown of the game after a good line out drive when Conor Grace came on an inside ball to burst through. He was tackled just short and Keith Mabon was up in support to pick and drive over the line but he was held up. A weaving run from Kieran Murphy created some space but, when the ball was spread wide, there was a deliberate knock-on by the home team and Cant departed for a ten minute break.


The penalty was kicked to the corner and James Hogg won the line out with Stuart Hair on the peel popping the ball to hooker Reece Hartdegan who plunged over in the corner. Ford converted majestically from the touchline. Glen Welsh then released Ford who made a nice break and kicked in behind the defence. He was first to the ball and, showing some neat football skills, kicked the loose ball over the line and dotted down. Once more Ford struck over a lovely kick from wide out.


The score was now 26-9 and, following patient play by the visitors as they went through several phases, John Frew took the final pass to score his tenth try of the season. Ford added the extras to stretch the lead to 33-9 with ample time available to secure the try bonus point.


Unfortunately the Linden lacked some composure when opportunities came their way and they were unable to add to their total. Keith Mabon was yellow carded just before the end and then his fellow prop Jordan White was injured resulting in the referee calling time slightly early.


Given their circumstances this was a result the Linden would certainly have taken before the game but, as things transpired, they were left a little disappointed they couldn?t secure the full five points. Reece Hartdegen had a great game in his first start at hooker whilst at the other end of the scale Keith Mabon was an ever-willing ball carrier as he closes in on 200 appearances for the club which he will achieve in his next match. Euan Hair gave a good lead in his first game as captain and James Hogg put in a power of work in the back row.


Rory Graham put out a great service, Glen Welsh asked questions of the home defence with ball in hand and centres Sandy Walker and Kirk Ford enjoyed their first match together.


Linden: J Frew, C Gracie, K Ford, S Walker, K Murphy, G Welsh, R Graham; J White, R Hartdegan, K Mabon, S Hair, E Hair, M Parker, J Hogg, G Colville; Subs: E Wood, B Sutherland, R Elliot, L Robertson, K Walley, G Scott, M Knight.




BT East Region League 2 and BT Borders Shield


 10-12-16


 Gala YM 13, Hawick Linden 34


 


The Linden travelled to Netherdale to take on Gala YM in a double header in BT East League 2 as well as the Borders Shield and came away with full League points and a place in the semi-final away to Berwick on 7th January.


The visitors got off to a dream start taking the lead on four minutes. Following a line out, stand-off Glen Welsh drilled a kick into the home 22 which carried over the try line. The situation looked to be covered by the home full-back who was caught out by the pace of John Frew who won the race to touch down.


The Linden struggled to get structure to their game and gave away too many penalties, two of which were struck between the uprights by Lyle Campbell to put Gala YM 6-5 ahead after 13 minutes. From a well worked line out peel, involving Stuart Hair and Pete Drysdale, Euan Hair seemed to have scored in the corner before the ball squirted away but the try was disallowed. These things can even themselves out though and shortly after, from a quick tap penalty by Kieran Murphy, the forwards surged to the line before Graeme Anderson went over in spite of what looked a clear knock-on.


With both teams regularly incurring the wrath of the referee it was Gala YM who received the first yellow card and, down to seven forwards, the Linden squeezed and turned the home scrum allowing Graeme Colville to pick and put scrum-half Euan Wood in under the posts with Murphy?s conversion stretching the lead to 17-6 at the break.


The second period began like the first with an early Linden score. Colville made excellent yardage from his own half and linked with Murphy who went on a weaving run before touching down and converting his own try. The home team went back down to 14 when the experienced Tom Weir was binned for taking Jordan White out illegally at a ruck.


From a Linden scrum, the ball was worked to the blind side and Frew was able to force his way over the try line. The YM had a period of pressure but the Royal Blues defence held firm and a James Hogg breakout relieved the danger. At the other end a good drive by the visitors forwards sucked in the cover which enable Colville to exploit the unguarded blind side for a try which put the Linden 34-6 up on 62 minutes.


With quite a few old heads in the home pack the expectancy was for the more youthful Linden side to kick on to a bigger score. However, it was the YM who began to dominate possession and the Linden penalty count rose costing skipper Graeme Anderson ten minutes in the sin-bin. After the YM knocked-on over the line, centre Duncan Miller finally dotted down after a fine break with Campbell?s conversion proving the final score of the game.


Not a vintage performance from the Linden in a game that had too many mistakes and too much whistle all resulting in little flow and a lot of frustration. Reece Hartdegen enjoyed his start at prop as did Gary Alexander on the wing. Hartdegen, Drysdale and Keith Mabon in the front row did well at scrum time against some wily old campaigners at the YM coalface. Euan Wood celebrated his first touchdown for the club and John Frew capped an excellent performance with two tries.


Linden: J Frew, G Alexander, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, G Welsh, E Wood; K Mabon, P Drysdale, R Hartdegan, S Hair, E Hair, M Parker, M Mallin, G Colville; Subs: J White, C Tofts, J Hogg, S Grant, R Graham, B Sutherland, M Bell.




BT East Region League 2


 03-12-16


 Hawick Linden 28, Lismore 10 


It was a special day for the Linden as they returned home to the Volunteer Park for the first time in eight months to play their first game on the new 3G pitch. A great deal of hard work by many people brought an ambitious plan to fruition and the 3pm kick-off meant the match was played under floodlights which helped show off the new pitch and surroundings at their spectacular best.


Visitors Lismore quickly let it be known they weren?t just there to make up the numbers for the Linden?s welcome home party. In the third minute a stunning run by Royal Blues? full-back John Frew saw the full-back slice through a host of would-be tacklers and deep into the 22. However, when tackled, he was isolated and turn over ball was deftly chipped in behind the Linden defence and the bounce sat up for Scott Hall to gather on his own 10 metre line and the full-back had the pace to go the distance. Conor McAndrew kicked the conversion and added a penalty goal to leave the Linden 10-0 down after ten minutes.


It could have gotten worse for the Royal Blues three minutes later as the Lismore No. 8 made great ground but what should have been a scoring pass was adjudged forward. The Linden made the most of the reprieve as they worked their way to the other end and a Matthew Mallin line-out catch set up a drive which went to ground near the line. Graham Colville spotted a gap to pick and go right through the middle of the ruck to touch down and Gavin Stirling converted.


It was turning into a ding-dong affair as the bigger Lismore forwards playing with control whilst the Linden looked to up the pace of the game whenever they had the ball but had to be careful with their clearing kicks as the visitors? back three were dangerous runners. It took until the 31st minute for another score as Stirling popped over a penalty goal for a high tackle to tie the scores at 10-all.


Soon after, great work from a scrum saw Colville make good yardage and linked with Matthew Bell on his outside but a kick in behind went into touch. Lismore then spilled ball in their own 22 and Graeme Anderson looked to capitalise as he hacked on but the ball ran dead in the now shorter in-goal area. A home score wasn?t to be denied though as, five minutes from the break, the Linden did well to win a ruck and it was Colville once more who charged on and managed to step out of a tackle to put his team in the lead for the first time.


With half-time looming Colville was at it again as another thumping run had would-be tacklers bouncing off him bringing roars from the crowd. Following yet another Colville run the Royal Blues created an overlap but the try opportunity was lost as a pass was dropped. Play was brought back for a penalty though and Stirling?s successful kick made it 18-10 to the Linden at the break.


The home team looked to extend their lead but two early second-half penalty goal attempts, the second after great play by the Hair twins, failed to find the target. The Royal Blues started to use their bench and replacement Kirk Ford took over the kicking duties to slot a penalty on 53 minutes. The Linden had the chance to go for the jugular but spurned a couple of chances to score. Lismore were not for folding and continued to threaten and long periods of possession tested the home defence which stood firm.


With time almost up, the Linden had the final say. A line-out was overthrown and Matthew Mallin greatfully caught the ball at the back and showed lightening pace to fly off into the Lismore half and quick ball from a ruck on the try line saw replacement scrum-half Rory Graham on hand to touch down and Ford?s conversion completed the scoring.


A great way for the Linden to start a new era at the Volunteer 3G securing win number seven on the trot in an entertaining game which Lismore greatly contributed to. One concern was the number of penalties given away and a lack of discipline when thrice conceding a further ten metres. That aside though, it was a very encouraging performance from the Royal Blues after a four week lay-off. The forwards were immense. Simon Spalding had a great tussle with his opposite number at scrum time and No. 8 Graham Colville was outstanding with ball in hand giving his young back row colleagues Macaulay Parker and Matthew Mallin a great lead.


The backs looked like they were enjoying the faster surface none more so than John Frew as did wingers Mtthew Bell and Kieran Murphy. The centre combination of skipper Graeme Anderson and Sandy Walker were as solid as ever.


Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, G Stirling, G Welsh; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, S Hair, E Hair, M Parker, M Mallin, G Colville; Subs: R Hartdegen, K Mabon, C Friell, K Ford, R Graham, G Alexander, J Hogg.



BT East Region League 2


05-11-16


Hawick Linden 53, Liberton 7


On a lovely sunny but cool afternoon at Wilton Lodge Park, the Linden took on bottom of the table Liberton. Although the visitors had lost all nine of their previous league matches, none had been by a big margin so the Royal Blues had to be wary to ensure they stretched their winning run to six games.


Although they suffered an early scare the Linden romped away to a convincing 53-7 victory racking up a half-century of points for the first time since clinching the East 2 title against Earlston back in April 2013.


The home team had a great start opening the scoring after only three minutes. From a line out, the backs took ball on and, when recycled, Pete Drysdale was on hand to touch down with Kieran Murphy converting. The visitors then hit straight back when poor Linden handling in their own 22 resulted in a loss of possession and Liberton capitalised when prop Paul Millar plunged over. Captain Darren Tiffney stroked over the conversion to tie the scores at 7-all.


The home team managed to retake the lead after James Hogg took ball on and Pete Drysdale gave a well-timed pass to Euan Hair who charged on and cut inside to touch down. After quarter of an hour the Linden lost an attacking line-out but, when Liberton tried to clear their lines, Hogg charged down and the ball fell kindly for Drysdale who simply had the simplest of touch downs for his second of the day. Murphy added the extras.


On the half hour mark the Royal Blues secured the try bonus point with a well worked try. From a line out they hit up in midfield then came back blind and good hands saw Graham Colville on the end of the overlap to go over in the corner. The Royal Blues looked like they would end the first period on a high. Knowing a penalty was coming their way, Gavin Stirling put a kick over the defence but the referee blew immediately and John Frew who was on the end of the kind bounce to touch down was left somewhat frustrated. However, 24-7 ahead at the break the Linden could be happy with their first half efforts.


They stretched their lead early in the second period when Colville picked from the scrum and made good ground to release Murphy who raced over for the try. It took until the 60th minute for their next score but it was a cracker. Liberton attacking ball was turned over and Matthew Mallin made good yardage before passing inside to Frew who had the pace to go the distance from inside his own half and Murphy?s conversion made the score 36-7.


Frew repeated the dose two minutes later as the Linden again attacked from their own half and Connor Tofts claimed the assist as he put his full-back away for another great try and Murphy converted once more. On 65 minutes prop Jordan White came on a short ball and plunged over for his first try in a Linden jersey. Tofts secured the kick-off and following some good handling Mallin put replacement Cammy Friel in at the corner for a debut try.


Another satisfying win for the Linden against a stuffy Liberton side who belied their league position by defending well and with a weightier pack made life difficult for the home team to secure as much quick ruck ball as they would have liked. Stuart Hair was in fine form up front well supported by brother Euan and the back row of James Hogg, Macaulay Parker and Graham Colville. Euan Wood sent out a good service with Sandy Walker and Graeme Anderson solid in the centre.


Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, G Welsh, E Wood; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, S Hair, E Hair, J Hogg, M Parker, G Colville; Subs: C Tofts, R Hartdegen, K Mabon, M Mallin, C Smith, C Friel, G Stirling.



BT East Region League 2

 

29-10-16


Edinburgh Northern 0, Hawick Linden 13


The Linden made the trip to Inverleith Park to take on Edinburgh Northern who had only lost two previous League games including a somewhat surprising defeat to Lismore the week before. The visitors knew they would be in for a tough afternoon and that is exactly how matters transpired. 


As the two sides sounded each other out they were both pinged early for offside which set the stall that they would have to be disciplined in that area of the game. The Royal Blues took a ninth minute lead from the trusty boot of Gavin Stirling as he stroked over a penalty goal. 


Clear cut chances were at a premium until Northern worked an overlap after 27 minutes and winger Kieran Murphy went for the interception. Although he looked to have made an attempt to catch the ball his knock-on received the double whammy of a penalty award and ten minutes in the bin. The resulting kick at goal should have levelled the scores but was badly struck to the relief of the visitors. 


Two minutes later the home team looked certain to score as skipper Calum Harper romped over but somehow John Frew was able to get under the ball and prevent downward pressure. The Linden were struggling to impose themselves on the game as mistakes affected any fluidity mainly through some poor handling, a couple of missed touch kicks and lost line-outs. 


As the first period neared its end both teams had half-chances to score in the same passage of play. Northern were first to threaten as their full-back made a searing break but that man Frew was on hand, not only to make the vital tackle, but also to turn over the ball. Numerous phases later the Linden had worked their way into the home 22. Alas, having opened up some space, what might have been the scoring pass didn?t go to hand and the half ended with the Royal Blues 3-0 ahead and the game was in the balance. 


The home team had edged the first period but the visitors upped their game at the start of the second period. Following a quick tap penalty by Glen Welsh, Simon Spalding was held up over the line. From the scrum No. 8 Graham Colville picked and drove for the line to force his way over but, as he placed the ball on the line under the posts, he was somehow deemed to have knocked on. 


The Linden continued to have the upper hand and, from a line-out, Graeme Anderson came on a short ball to make a lovely break. Colville took the ball on and chipped into the 22 but the danger was cleared into touch. Two minutes later Colville was once more involved in the lead-up, Welsh hacked on but his kick just went over the dead ball line. 


The pressure was finally rewarded after 56 minutes. After an Anderson charge-down, Murphy kicked on and over the try line. It looked a straight race between the young winger and his opposite number but a wicked bounce evaded both of them and sat up for the supporting Colville who gratefully gathered the ball for one of the easiest tries he?ll ever score. Ten minutes later he became the creator. Having lost the bulk of Stuart Hair, a Linden attacking scrum creaked badly but Colville tidied up and surged down the blind side, drew the last man and sent Frew flying in at the corner. Although both teams continued to work hard there was no further scoring in the final quarter of an hour and the Linden winning streak was extended to five matches. 


John Frew ran well with ball in hand and was outstanding in defence. Glen Welsh asked questions around the fringes with Gavin Stirling having an assured match as his game management continues to thrive in the fly-half role. The front row of Jordan White, Pete Drysdale and Simon Spalding worked hard. Euan Hair won good line-out ball, James Hogg did the dirty work up-front and Graham Colville looked like he?d never been away on his first start since his knee injury over a year ago.

 

Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, G Stirling, G Welsh; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, S Hair, L Robertson, E Hair, J Hogg, G Colville; Subs: M Boyle, M Parker, R Hartdegen, K Walley, M Knight, E Wood, C Gracie.



BT East Region League 2

 

22-10-16

 

Hawick Linden 48, Langholm 12

 

As work continues to improve the playing facilities at the Volunteer Park, the improvement in the Linden on-field fortunes also continued at Wilton Lodge Park as they made it four wins on the bounce against Langholm. Skipper Graeme Anderson led the way in the ninth minute as he cut back against the grain then veered out and just made it to the line for Gavin Stirling to convert.

 

Three minutes later a line-out take by Craig Smith was fed to Simon Spalding on the peel who proved unstoppable on a surging run to touch down. Mid-way through the first period, when Langholm were pushed off their own scrum ball, Craig Smith picked and made ground and his offload was gratefully gathered by Matthew Mallin who dived over to take the score to 17-0.

 

Some great handling by the Linden led to John Frew making good ground. When the full-back was tackled the Royal Blues won quick ruck ball and Smith burst through the visitors defence to romp in from outside the 22. Stirling popped over the conversion.

 

Not to be outdone Langholm worked their way to the other end and, when they worked the ball wide, Jack Pool was on hand to go over in the corner. As the interval approached, the Linden won a turnover near the touchline and more great hands ended with Anderson dotting down for the second time and Stirling?s conversion made the half-time score 31-5 to the Linden.

 

Early in the second period the Royal Blues started to use their bench and, with almost his first touch, Kieran Murphy was on the end of a lovely cross kick by Stirling to score wide out. Soon after a tap penalty was quickly passed out to Murphy who ran in for his second try and Stirling?s conversion saw the Linden cruising at 43-5 with 25 minutes to play.

 

With so many replacements used the home team seemed to lose some of their structure whilst the men from Milntown were not for folding and continued to compete with vigour. Their efforts were eventually rewarded with some good offloading getting them in sight of the try-line and a neat reverse pass allowed Alisdair Cavers to dive over. Sam Henderson added the extras.

 

The home team had the final say when a Spalding offload to Euan Hair saw the middle row gallop in for his team?s eighth touchdown of the day. The try contributed to Hair sneaking the Linden man of the match award and he was well supported up front by Simon Spalding and James Hogg. Playing only their second game together at half-back, Glen Welsh and Gavin Stirling combined well and centre Sandy Walker continues to improve with every game.

 

Linden: J Frew, G Alexander, G Anderson, S Walker, M Bell, G Stirling, G Welsh; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, E Hair, S Hair, J Hogg, M Mallin, C Smith; Subs: C Tofts, R Graham, A Hume, E Wood, K Murphy, K Mabon, G Colville. 

BT East Region League 2

 

15-10-16

 

Leith 5, Hawick Linden 27

 

It was a case of sunshine on Leith for the Linden at Academy Park as they stretched their winning run to three in a row following a workmanlike performance. It was a real squad effort as they travelled with a weakened team, several players either injured or unavailable, nine in the forwards alone, which forced coach Kevin Brown into action for the first time in almost a year.

 

In the third minute the game stopped as the home stand off Ben Wilkinson retired with an ankle injury whilst the Linden?s Pete Drysdale and Sandy Walker both received treatment for head cuts, Walker leaving the field to be replaced by Gary Alexander. Two minutes later it was the referee who received lengthy treatment to a hamstring injury and the continuation of the game looked in serious doubt. To the referee?s great credit he soldiered on, although struggling to keep up with play at times, to ensure the game could be fulfilled. A reminder if it were needed that, without a ref, there is no game.

 

The home team were shading possession but neither side could exert real pressure to trouble the scoreboard. With so many players missing up front the Royal Blues scrum was constantly under pressure but Kevin Brown at No. 8 repeatedly cleaned up scrappy ball to get his side going forward. With half-time approaching Gavin Stirling kicked the first points of the game after Leith were penalised for offside and repeated the dose for the same offence to put the Linden 6-0 ahead at the break.

 

Some good handling by Leith put their winger clear to the try-line but play was called back for a forward pass. Good driving play by Brown and Simon Spalding ended with Leith again caught offside in the backs and Stirling landed the penalty goal. Barry Sutherland came on after 52 minutes for Alexander and slotted in at stand-off with some other positional switches.

 

Leith were penalised for obstruction when clearing their lines and Stirling split the posts again and the Royal Blues were 12-0 to the good. On 55 minutes the home team were on the attack but the experienced Sutherland read the play to intercept and made good ground before passing on to Kieran Murphy who had the pace to go the distance.

 

Five minutes later, following backchat from the home team, Stirling slotted his fifth penalty of the day. Soon after great driving play and handling with Matthew Bell, John Frew and Jordan White all involved, ended with Sutherland jinking and dummying to slice through and touch down with Stirling converting.

 

The Linden did well to hold out a Leith scrum five thanks to some spoiling at the base by Stirling who had earlier moved to scrum half. The home team were not for giving up though and had the final say when replacement Cameron Whiteside was awarded the touch down in spite of claims from Stirling that he was under the ball.

 

Great credit to the Linden players who came in and gave everything to keep the winning run going. Young Ryan Ali had a fine debut in the back row with Matthew Mallin outstanding at the line-out. It was also good to see further youth in the shape of Kieran Walley and Michael Boyle get some game time off the bench. In the backs skipper Graeme Anderson put in some thumping tackles as did Kevin Brown who won the Linden man of the match. Interestingly Bruce Connelly, originally from Hawick, won the Leith award and there was a further connection as former Linden player Robert Stitt made an appearance from the Leith bench for a couple of surging runs.

 

Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, G Stirling, G Welsh; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, K Mabon, M Mallin, R Ali, R Graham, K Brown; Subs: G Alexander, K Walley, M Knight, B Sutherland, M Boyle, J Hogg.

 

BT East Region League 2

 

08-10-16

Earlston 8, Hawick Linden 27

 

Just like buses that never seem to appear then two come along at once, the Linden won for the second week in succession after the worst losing sequence in their history. Unlike the previous week though, it was a performance riddled with mistakes as they made endless handling errors, gave away too many penalties and, compounded by some bad option taking, it meant they stuttered rather than strolled to victory. Given their winless barren spell, it is hard to be too critical when the Royal Blues came out on top when not at their best.

 

The opening score after five minutes in some ways set the tone for the Royal Blues as they knocked-on, could have then killed the ball but allowed a hack on by Scott Denholm who easily won the race to touch down. When Earlston came off their feet at a ruck, Kieran Murphy slotted the penalty goal with Craig Bruce responding in kind for the home team after a high tackle.

 

In perfect conditions the number of dropped balls by the Linden was inexplicable and had the coaching team tearing their hair out. After half an hour they eventually strung some passes together and Craig Smith give the final one to Glen Welsh who touched down for his first Linden try although he had to retire with a cut to the head.

 

The number of penalties being given away by both teams stretched the referee Andrew Edgar?s patience and firstly Linden?s Matthew Mallin was sent for a 10 minute break followed by an Earlston player a minute later. Murphy had a chance to put the Linden in the lead with the last kick of the half but his penalty slid wide and the half-time whistle blew with the score tied at 8-all.

 

Five minutes into the second period and the Royal Blues looked likely to score following a Sandy Walker kick through but Graeme Anderson knocked-on in the act of scoring. One area of the game the Linden dominated was the scrum and, when they had the squeeze on at a scrum five, Graham Colville picked to go over for a try converted by Murphy. It was a welcome return to a Royal Blue jersey for the No. 8 after over a year out with a knee injury. On the down side, he had replaced Craig Smith who was forced to retire with a shoulder injury.

 

Three minutes later the Linden looked certain to add to their tally. A run by John Frew, some good hands then a strong burst and well timed pass by Terry Skeet sent Keith Mabon romping over from 22 metres out but somehow he dropped the ball when flopping over the line. The Linden brought on the experienced Barry Sutherland for his first Linden game in three years and he immediately exerted some control as his piercing kicks started to play the game in the right areas for the visitors.

 

With Earlston down to 14 men, a solid Linden scrum and simple hands saw John Frew on the overlap to score wide out. Four minutes later they repeated the dose in almost identical fashion, Frew this time piercing a gap to score his second try of the day to secure the bonus point. Sutherland converted majestically from wide out to complete the scoring.

 

The Linden will take heart from winning for the second game in a row, something they haven?t done since December/January 2014/15 although they lacked the control and structure of the week before. Happiest on the day will be the front row of Jordan White, Pete Drysdale and Connor Tofts backed up by Reece Hartdegen and Terry Skeet as the Linden were in command at scrum time. The return of Colville and Sutherland was also encouraging for the Linden support in a good sized crowd at the Haugh.

 

Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, G Welsh, G Alexander, K Murphy, R Graham; J White, P Drysdale, C Tofts, S Spalding, K Mabon, M Mallin, J Hogg, C Smith; Subs: R Hartdegen, T Skeet, G Colville, K Walley, M Knight, S Walker, B Sutherland. 

BT East Region League 2

 

01-10-16

 

Hawick Linden 24, Portobello 15

 

It was a long time in coming. Not since February 2015 had the Linden won a league fixture but they finally unloaded the proverbial monkey from their backs as they secured a hard fought but deserved victory over Portobello in the sunshine at Wilton Lodge Park.

 

A great drive by the Linden forwards led to a penalty award which Gavin Stirling slotted over in the third minute. Five minutes later Portobello drove from a line out and No. 8 Graham Culbertson peeled off to touch down.

 

The Royal Blues were having a torrid time in the scrum regularly being driven off their own ball. However, when they had a put-in inside the Portobello 22, the Royal Blue scrum was solid, Craig Smith picked, went blind, drew in the winger and slipped Matthew Bell over in the corner for a simple but well executed try.

 

After a good long kick from Graeme Anderson a serious of penalties to the home team ended in Stirling kicking his second of the match to stretch the lead to 11-5 after 16 minutes. Not long before the break the Linden tried hard to add to their tally. Following a line out, Anderson put Bell flying through a gap and the young winger looked likely to score until a half-tackle affected his momentum and he was held up at the posts. The Royal Blues pounded the line too often through the forwards and they were eventually penalised which relieved the danger for Porty.

 

Linden started the second half with a bang as some great driving by Craig Smith led to another penalty which Stirling converted. On 49 minutes Stirling put a neat kick through to the in-goal area and John Frew just won the race to touch down. Stirling added the conversion from wide out and his team were now 21-5 in front.

 

Portobello had the edge on possession and territory in the second period but some resolute Linden defending soaked up the pressure before Stirling popped over his fourth penalty goal to ease any home nerves. Some great work by Anderson put the Linden on the front foot again and, when Bell did well to keep the ball alive tight to the touchline, Smith surged to the line and put Frew over to dot down but Smith had already put a foot in touch.

 

From the resulting line out Portobello threw caution to the wind and the pace of Cameron Johnstone finished off a lovely length of the field try. The visitors weren?t finished as they went all out for a losing bonus point. With the last play of the game Ali Bain crossed in the corner despite Linden claims for a foot in touch and looking like he may have lost control before grounding. Alas for Portobello the difficult kick didn?t find the target and they left empty handed.

 

The Linden have shown promise in recent games in spite of some hard to bear results. The potential came together in a fantastic team performance where real structure and togetherness were evident for which credit is due to coaches Kevin Brown, Lee Stewart and Barry Sutherland.

 

Every single Linden player deserves plaudits with the experience of Graeme Anderson, Pete Drysdale and Craig Smith ensuring the younger players were given a superb lead. Smith revelled at No. 8 and had an outstanding match. Gavin Stirling had one of his best games in the fly-half role and John Frew was once again full of determined running. Up against a much bigger pack, the Linden forwards were fantastic. Previously unbeaten Portobello contributed to a great game of rugby and the lift given to the Linden by such a hard earned win can hopefully lead to more of the same in the weeks ahead.

 

Linden: J Frew, G Welsh, G Anderson, S Walker, M Bell, G Stirling, E Wood; J White, P Drysdale, C Tofts, E Hair, A Hume, M Parker, M Mallin, C Smith; Subs: S Spalding, K Mabon, K Walley, M McRae, M Knight, S Hair, S Grant. 

 

BT East Region League 2

 

24-09-16

 

Dalkeith 62, Hawick Linden 14

 

In their previous away game at Broughton a competitive first half performance fell off in the second period and it was a similar tale at Kings Park, Dalkeith. The Linden took an early lead at one point but were 24-7 adrift at the break before the home side piled on the points in the second half.

 

Dalkeith scored first with a Jamie Simpson try in the corner but the Royal Blue response was instant. Scott Grant hacked on a dropped ball in the Linden half and John Frew kicked on again to dive on the ball. Gavin Stirling?s conversion put the visitors in front 7-5.

 

Just into the second quarter and it was Simpson who once more went over in the corner for Dalkeith and Steph Paton converted. Simon Spalding saw yellow for a dangerous tackle and, in the 10 minutes he was absent, Dalkeith touched down twice through Scott Rae and Darren McMillan with one converted to leave the home team 24-7 up at the break. Spalding's actions also ensured he won the Linden d&*k of the day and photos in his fetching post-match suit can be found on social media.

 

The Linden threatened following a Euan Wood break and link up with John Frew who showed great pace to go round his man but a great cover tackle denied the full-back. Scott Grant was then forced to leave the field after taking a nasty knock.

 

On 55 minutes the Linden were penalised for a high tackle which seemed a little harsh but veteran Stevie Halliday took advantage to plunge over for a try converted by Walker. From this point the home side added regular touch downs from Simpson, to complete his hat-trick, Paton (2), Davie Walker and Ewan Lockhart with three being converted. In between the Linden managed a try from Simon Spalding who followed up a Pete Drysdale drive to dot the ball down and Stirling converted.

 

There was some spirited play from the Linden but they?ll be disappointed at the number of first up tackles that were missed, particularly off first phase, which allowed the home team to get in behind too easily and cause danger. Half-backs Euan Wood and Gavin Stirling had sound games as did Sandy Walker in the centre. The front row of Jordan White, Pete Drysdale and Simon Spalding, together with replacements Connor Tofts and Michael Boyle, put in a tough shift against much bigger opponents. Aaron Hume made an impressive return and Euan Hair and Matthew Mallin won some great line out ball.

 

Linden: J Frew, R Graham, P MacTaggart, S Walker, G Alexander, G Stirling, E Wood; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, E Hair, A Hume, M Parker, S Grant, M Mallin; Subs: M Boyle, C Tofts, M McRae, K Walley, M Knight. 

BT East Region League 2

 

17-09-16

 

Hawick Linden 13, Edinburgh University Medics 34

 

The Linden failed to secure their first win of the season at a sun-kissed Wilton Lodge Park as Edinburgh University Medics were just that bit tighter around the breakdown and direct in their running as they ran out deserved winners. The start was delayed for 15 minutes as the referee arrived late. The assembled crowd were able to pass the time though by enjoying the sunshine and taking in the feast of sporting action with two other rugby matches and four football games taking place ?up the Park.?

 

Perhaps the delay affected Linden?s concentration as they cheaply coughed up the kick off to hand the Students possession and territory which they dominated for the early part of the game. The Royal Blues eventually found their way to the other end of the field and won a penalty in front of the posts which they chose to run but came to nothing.

 

23 minutes were on the clock before the first score arrived as centre Rory Thompson burst through a gap in the home defence and Nick Bellamy converted. Kieran Murphy responded with a penalty goal for the Linden but Thompson, who was proving a handful, was on the end of an overlap to touch down for a second time for the Medics.

 

With the last play of the half, that man Thompson made another break before being well tackled just short of the try line. A forward picked and drove over but Gavin Stirling did well to get under the ball and prevent downward pressure but the referee who had been unsighted awarded a try. This appeared to knock some heart out of the home team as they were now 17-3 behind at the break.

 

Eight minutes into the second period and the ball was worked wide for Medics winger Scott Osborne to go over in the corner. Five minutes later the Linden hit back. After a couple of tap penalties and some phase play, Matthew Bell benefited from the overlap created to race over.

 

A neat inside pass put Uni centre Henry Searle clear to touch down and Bellamy converted. The city team added their sixth try of the day before the Linden had the final word when Murphy took a quick penalty and shot over.

 

Disappointment for the Linden that they couldn?t exert the control they would have liked on the game. Euan Wood had an encouraging first start at scrum-half and John Frew was once again full of determined running and was always threatening with ball in hand. Reece Hartdegen and Connor Tofts worked hard up front with sound support from the Hair twins.

 

Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, K Murphy, G Stirling, E Wood; R Hartdegen, M Parker, C Tofts, S Hair, E Hair, J Hogg, S Grant, M Mallin; Subs: K Walley, P MacTaggart, J White, R Graham, M Boyle, M McRae, M Knight.

BT East Region League 2

 

10-09-16

 

Broughton 80, Hawick Linden 17

 

The Linden returned from Edinburgh on the end of a thumping loss to Broughton. Whilst undoubtedly well beaten, there was some head shaking at the margin of defeat as the final scoreline was very harsh on the visitors. The Royal Blues were forced into a late change as Macaulay Parker was suffering from illness and swapped places with Michael Knight who had been due to start on the bench.

 

On a glorious day in the capital, Broughton struck first with a penalty after four minutes from what was to become the faultless boot of Gavin Tainish. In the lead up to the award, Stuart Hair took a blow to the mouth, which later required stiches, in an accidental clash of heads and left the field. The early loss of the big middle row forced a reshuffle as Scott Grant moved into the forwards and Gary Alexander came on to the wing for his Linden debut.

 

Broughton extended their lead with a try in the corner by Craig Wishart converted by Tainish. The Linden hit back after quarter of an hour. Simon Spalding started it off with a strike against the head and, following some hit ups near the line, it was Spalding who finished matters off somehow twisting and turning to get the ball down. Kieran Murphy converted and soon after added a penalty goal to tie the score at 10-all after 20 minutes.

 

The home team regained the lead with touchdowns from Wishart and Dan Smith both converted by Tainish. The Linden had a chance to add to their tally with a penalty but the kick slipped wide and the half-time whistle blew with Broughton 24-10 ahead.

 

The second period got off to the worst possible start for the Linden as Broughton scored in the first minute and added three more by the 51st minute of the game and suddenly, in what felt like no time at all, the Royal Blues were now trailing 52-10. Injuries and fatigue were kicking in as seemingly endless changes were required for the visitors.

 

However, they showed some character with their best period of the half. Some good picking and driving and then a thrust by Stuart Hair, having bravely returned to the fray, who popped a short ball to his brother Euan who burst the line and had the pace to go over for the touchdown which was well converted by Phil MacTaggart.

 

Linden though couldn?t contain the hard running Broughton side who were able to add three further converted tries. Their second half home touchdowns came from Wishart, to complete his hat-trick, Andy Archer, Scott Rogers, Phil Rogers, Scott McClenaghan, Stu Hagen and Gavin Tainish with a brace. Tainish had a 100% success with the boot for a personal haul of 35 points.

 

A very disappointing outcome for the Linden following a first quarter where they were in the game. The home team were stronger and more together at the breakdown and, with the hard running of their backs, too many tackles were missed by the Linden particularly in the second period. John Frew was the stand out in the backs with some lovely running and Stuart Hair put in some powerful bursts on his return and was well supported by Simon Spalding. A special mention for Macaulay Parker who somehow managed some game time from the bench when he was clearly not well.

 

Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, S Grant, K Murphy, R Graham; K Mabon, S Spalding, J White, S Hair, E Hair, M Knight, C Smith, M Mallin; Subs: M Parker, K Walley, E Wood, G Alexander, P MacTaggart, R Hamilton.

 

Footnote: Just to quell any potential rumors, Gary Alexander mentioned in the report is not the same as the Past-President who was running touch and most certainly hasn?t come out of retirement!

BT East Region League 2

 

03-09-16

 

Hawick Linden 24, Trinity Accies 24

 

Linden opened their League campaign in East 2 with a 24-all draw against Trinity Accies at Wilton Lodge Park. The visitors were first to press and, although the Linden repelled a number of five metre scrums, when the ball eventually went wide they couldn?t prevent a try near the posts which Trinity converted for a 7-0 lead.

 

The home team then hit a purple patch with three rapid scores. First, good inter-passing took play to the Accies line and MacAulay Parker jumped over the grounded bodies to touch down for Kieran Murphy to convert. Some excellent interplay between backs and forwards, together with a good run by Reece Hartdegen, saw Parker on the end of the final pass and show a clean pair of heels for his second try. Murphy converted.

 

From the kick-off Craig Smith bumped his initial tackler before setting off on a mazy run to the posts and Rory Graham was on hand to pick up to complete another great try. Murphy?s third conversion stretched the Linden lead to 21-7.

 

Trinity then gained a foothold in the home half and, after a series of infringements, John Frew was yellow carded. The Royal Blues managed to hold on in his absence and were more than satisfied to turn around 21-7 ahead.

 

Accies regrouped after the interval and started to starve the home side of the ball. A straightforward penalty goal reduced the deficit and then Trinity?s scrum dominance resulted in a converted push over try and the Linden were now looking shaky at only 21-17 in front.

 

Murphy settled some nerves with a successful penalty and then the Royal Blues had a glorious chance to stretch their lead but, after a turnover in the shadow of their own posts, Colin Richardson looked like he would round off a length of the field try but just couldn?t get downward pressure in the act of scoring.

 

Momentum changed when the visitors looked to have knocked on at half-way but play was allowed to continue taking matters into Linden territory and Keith Mabon was shown yellow for coming in at the side. With the middle row still absent, Trinity went over for their second pushover try with the conversion tying the scores up at 24-each.

 

Linden and Trinity both had chances to take the lead with penalty goals before, with just a couple of minutes remaining, the Royal Blues had one more opportunity. Alas Gavin Stirling?s kick came back off the post meaning the teams could not be separated.

 

Progress for the Linden from last season as Craig Smith showed his experience and Macaulay Parker was the stand out of the younger contingent. With a number of players unavailable, and still to come back into contention, the early signs are much more encouraging for the Royal Blues in the season ahead.

 

Linden: G Stirling, J Frew, G Anderson, S Walker, M Bell, K Murphy, R Graham; R Hartdegen, M Parker, C Tofts, K Mabon, G Wardle, J Hogg, C Smith, M Mallin; Subs: M Boyle, M McRae, L Sharkey, E Wood, C Richardson, S Grant, M Knight. 

Annan Tournament

20-08-16

The Linden continued their pre-season preparations by taking part in the Annan 15-a-side tournament at Violetbank in very wet conditions. With Stewartry unable to attend, the scheduled two groups of three were amended to a single group of five.

 

Linden?s first match was against Newton Stewart who already had a game under their belt as the Royal Blues lost out 21-5. Next up they took on National 3 side Dumfries Saints and did extremely well before going down 17-5 as Rory Graham touched down for the Linden.

 

Their third match against hosts Annan was scoreless with around 10 minutes remaining when Greg Baillie sustained a broken leg. This resulted in the game being abandoned. Thankfully an operation was successful and the best wishes of everyone go to Greg for a speedy recovery.

 

The Linden ended on a high as they won emphatically by 38-0 against Moffat including tries from John Frew, Simon Spalding, Kieran Murphy and Matthew Mallin.

 

Newton Stewart topped the table to claim the Violetbank Shield with runners-up Dumfries awarded the Coupland Trophy.

 

Apart from Baillie?s injury, this was a useful exercise for the Linden squad who all gained game-time as coach Kevin Brown tried various options that auger well for the season ahead.

Friendly 

13-08-16
Hawick Linden 14, North Berwick 38

 

In their first run-out of the season, the Linden took on old friends North Berwick at Wilton Lodge Park in a game played over three 20 minute periods. The Royal Blues put in an encouraging performance, and led 14-12 going into the final period.

 

The Linden tries came from Aiden Fairbairn, following a rumble near the line, and Graeme Anderson, both converted by Kieran Murphy. However, the weight and experience of the visitors told in the end as they stretched away to a 38-14 win to claim the Johnny Mitchell Trophy with tries from Matt Sanderson (2), Liam West (2), Bhrian Buchanan and Graeme Fairgrieve.

 

Linden skipper Anderson led from the front tackling everything that moved. The lineout worked well for the young home team and their scrum held up against a bigger pack. Matthew Mallin had a fine game at flanker with Jordan White and Pete Drysdale also showing up well in the pack. Gavin Stirling had a solid game after switching to scrum-half.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Match Reports Season 2015/16

BT East Regional League Division 1
13-04-16
Hawick Linden 3, St Boswells 34

 

The Linden played their last game on grass at the Volunteer on Wednesday night before the laying of the new 3G pitch. It was their sixth home game in less than six weeks as a result of only playing three home games in the first six months of this season. The paucity of matches at the Volunteer in the early part of the season was partly due to imbalanced fixture scheduling but mainly due to the very wet winter forcing so many cancellations. Many of the games called off may well have survived on a 3G surface. With the St Boswells match played on a mud-bath in April, the new facilities can’t come quickly enough.

 

Without a win to their name this season, and St Boswells having a 100% League record, it looked like the Linden would, in all likelihood, be on the receiving end of a hefty defeat. However, no-one foresaw the step up in the Royal Blues performance from Saturday’s match against Linlithgow and their desire and commitment forced the high-flying visitors into mistakes and regular back-chat to the referee that, on another day, would have seen some time spent on the naughty step.

 

The Linden had the chance to open the scoring after 12 minutes but Greg Baillie’s penalty kick went just wide. It was Baillie’s brother Andrew though, who grabbed the first score as he was up in support to charge over for St Boswells on 19 minutes. The Linden spent some time in the villagers 22, forcing a scrum five, but they could not get over the line. The first period ended with St Boswells just 5-0 ahead.

 

The villagers upped their game at the start of the second half and, from a scrum, Ross Nichol went over. A secure line out drive was then released to the backs and David Cassidy touched down for a try he converted himself to stretch his team’s lead to 17-0.

 

At the end of the third quarter, Greg Baillie put over a penalty kick to get the Linden on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the Royal Blues fluffed the kick-off to surrender territory cheaply and Dean McCracken capitalised by going over for the bonus point touchdown. Soon after James Parker showed his pace and power to race over, Cassidy converting, and replacement Scott Tomlinson had the final say twisting over for the last try.

 

A fantastic effort by the Linden as bottom gave top-of-the table a contest the visitors didn’t appear to be expecting. Veteran Barrie Keown was to the fore of a very youthful home team. Youngsters John Frew, Macaulay Parker and Kieran Murphy did well against much more experienced opponents. The pack were immense and all deserve praise for raising their game to make life difficult for the team that will surely be crowned East 1 champions.

 

Linden: G Baillie, K McLeod, J Frew, S Grant, M Parker, K Murphy, R Graham; J White, P Drysdale, R Beattie, S Spalding, C Tofts, L Sharkey, J Hogg, B Keown; Subs: M Knight, A Fairbairn, E Hair, T Skeet.

BT East Regional League Division 1 
09-04-16
Hawick Linden 10, Linlithgow 43

After recent promising performances, the Linden fell to defeat against Linlithgow where the damage was done in the first half as too many basic errors contributed to some soft tries from a Linden perspective.

 

The visitors’ got off the mark in the first minute as Jack Frame slotted a penalty goal and three minutes later they turned over Linden ball in their own half. When the ball was worked to Frame in space he had the pace to finish off and convert himself.

 

At the other end debutant Greig Scott had a snipe at the line followed by several thrusts by the forwards which were well defended. Eventually the pressure was rewarded as Greg Baillie put over a penalty goal on the 15 minute mark.

 

However, a simple dropped ball at the kick-off by Linden immediately handed back field position to Linlithgow and they wasted no time in taking advantage as they moved the ball from the resulting scrum and centre James Timlin crossed for a try converted by Frame.

 

The Royal Blues then came surging back as Simon Spalding made a thundering charge that took him to the visitors’ 22 but failed to spot the unmarked Joseph Chipakupaku on his outside. The Mains Park team went back on the attack and the Royal Blues looked to have thwarted the danger as they turned over ball at a ruck in their own 22. Linlithgow were quickest to react to the loose ball though and Billy Edment hacked on to touch down for Frame to convert.

 

The Linden had a chance to reduce the leeway on the half hour mark but a penalty attempt slipped wide. With time almost up in the first half, lock Stuart Bell found himself on the wing and his hand off allowed him to surge to the corner and stretch the lead to 29-3 at the break.

 

The Linden were unfortunate early in the second period as Peter Drysdale burst through for a great try at the posts but, alas, the referee had whistled prematurely for a Linden penalty and could not award the score. The home side continued to work out a way through the Linlithgow defence and almost did so through a most unlikely source as prop Ryan Beattie produced a marvellously weighted cross kick to winger Scott Grant who couldn’t quite escape his man and was bundled into touch.

 

A Linden try eventually arrived from a superb run by Connor Tofts who felt the gap and went for the line. Just as he looked set to score he was denied by a high tackle and the referee immediately headed for the posts to signal a penalty try but undoubtedly a score that will deservedly be claimed by Tofts. Baillie popped over the extras to make the score 29-10.

 

As the game entered the final ten minutes Linlithgow scored a couple of quick-fire tries both from Timlin to complete his hat-trick and an impressive debut for the Reds. Both were converted by Frame to complete the scoring.

 

The Linden performance slipped off from that of previous weeks but there was no doubt Connor Tofts stepped up producing one of his best games for the Linden as the front-rower settled in to the new surroundings of the back row. James Hogg and Simon Spalding also worked hard up front and Euan Hair showed his versatility filling in at stand-off.

 

Linden: G Baillie, S Grant, P MacTaggart, C Gracie, R Graham, E Hair, G Scott; J White, P Drysdale, R Beattie, S Hair, S Spalding, C Tofts, L Sharkey, J Hogg; Subs: M Knight, J Chipakupaku, M Boyle, J Wilson.

BT East Regional League Division 1 
26-03-16
Hawick Linden 0, Murrayfield Wanderers 20

 

In total contrast to last Saturday’s glorious sunshine it was back to wet and miserable conditions for Murrayfield Wanderers first ever visit to the Volunteer Park. A minute’s silence took place before the game in memory of Past-President and Life Member Jock Edgar who sadly passed away on Wednesday.

 

The visitors were a big and powerful looking side and, when lined up for the tribute to Jock the Dog, it looked like a long and difficult afternoon was ahead for the much smaller Linden team. However, the Royal Blues played with passion throwing themselves relentlessly into tackles against their bigger opponents and playing with wonderful enterprise in spite of the testing conditions.

 

There were 18 minutes on the clock when the home team had the chance to break the deadlock but a penalty attempt slipped wide. There was lots of good play from the Linden with Kieran Murphy making a nice little break and Shaun Fairbairn and Ryan Beattie having more than useful carries as they took the game to Murrayfield.

 

It was the Edinburgh team who opened the scoring after 22 minutes when they worked the Linden right and then left to suck in the defence and their winger took advantage of the space created to touch down in the corner. Six minutes later and the lead doubled following a scrum. After hitting up in midfield, the Murrayfield open-side was on hand to take the scoring pass. The hard running and tackling from both sides continued without further scoring before the half-time whistle blew with Murrayfield 10-0 ahead.

 

In the second period Fairbairn made a cracking break from a scrum in his own half and linked with James Hogg who thundered on. When Hogg was tackled, the Linden were awarded a penalty at the breakdown but the kick at goal missed the target. It was then the visitors who looked certain to score when their No. 8 gave what looked like the scoring pass but a tap tackle somehow prevented the try and the Linden secured a penalty and cleared their lines.

 

From a tap penalty Beattie, Fairbairn, Beattie again and Jordan White all made tremendous charges but, just when the Linden looked like they would score, they were turned over. Undeterred they went back on the attack and some great offloading contributed to creating an overlap, alas a potential scoring pass went forward.

 

The Royal Blues continued to have the better of the territory and there was no let up with their enterprising play with John Frew and Joseph Chipakupaku both having useful runs. The Linden though just couldn’t find a way through the Murrayfield defence.

 

On 65 minutes the Wanderers scored their third try on what was one of their few visits to the home 22 in the second period. Following a line out, their No. 8 had the power to go over too far out for the conversion.

 

The Linden worked their way back up the other end running kickable penalties in the 22 and even managing to drive their opponents back from a line out but all to no avail. With the Linden on the attack, they were turned over and Murrayfield went the length of the field to score the bonus point try with the last play of the game.

 

There was no denying Murrayfield were the better team overall but the Linden completely belied their lowly League position playing with real spirit, enterprise and no little adventure. Ryan Hamilton had a great game at nine, with youngsters Kieran Murphy and John Frew again running well. The pack were simply immense against their bigger opponents all deserving huge praise with Shaun Fairbairn, Peter Drysdale and Ryan Beattie sneaking an extra mention.

 

Linden: K Murphy, S Grant, C Gracie, P MacTaggart, J Frew, G Stirling, R Hamilton; J White, P Drysdale, R Beattie, S Hair, S Spalding, C Tofts, J Hogg, S Fairbairn; Subs: J Chipakupaku, M Boyle, M Parker, K McLeod.

BT East Regional League 1 
19-03-16
Hawick Linden 14, Duns 35

 

   In total contrast to the weather that twice forced cancellations of the visit of Duns earlier in the season, Linden entertained their visitors at a sun drenched Wilton Lodge Park. The Royal Blues quickly took to their new home surroundings as they started well and had the first chance to score but a penalty kick slipped wide of the posts.

   On eight minutes they did break the deadlock following some good rugby the ball reached John Frew on the left wing who ran hard, Craig Smith carried on and Nicky Little charged over for the try converted by Greg Baillie.

   With the Linden looking the livelier side in the early stages, Duns were now the team in the ascendancy. They were rewarded on the 20 minute mark when, after a scrum five, the Linden defence was sucked in and a good wide pass found Hayden Martin unmarked on the wing. The stand-off, playing possibly his last ever game for the club, had the easiest of tasks to dot down and Lewis Craik struck an impressive conversion to tie the scores.

   A great run by Sean Goodfellow, supported by Craig Smith, threatened to unlock the Duns defence but came to nothing when the Linden were turned over. With half-time approaching, it was the visitors who took the lead. From a scrum in their own half, Danny Lamb made a searing break following a missed tackle, found his support runner who returned the favour for Lamb to cross at the posts and Craik converted.

   Into the second period and Duns broke from a scrum and only a great tackle by Kieran Murphy managed to avert the danger. Soon after Duns did score when winger Josh Herbert was on hand to pick up and plunge over under the posts. Craik’s conversion took the lead to 21-7.

   Duns’ Angus Tullie was shown a yellow card for a trip and Linden sensed their chance to get back in the game. A great cover tackle by Frew saw the Linden awarded a penalty. A quick tap by Goodfellow with support from Stuart Renwick and Smith frustratingly ended in a knock-on. The Royal Blues continued to apply pressure and drove over in the corner. Even more frustratingly the referee was rooted to the spot nowhere near the incident and simply blew up without bothering to check if the ball might have been grounded.

   Undeterred, the Linden continued to go all out for a try and Craig Smith, switched to No. 8 due to injuries, picked and drove for the line. When tackled just short, Smith was penalised for holding on and, to add insult, was yellow carded into the bargain and left the field utterly bemused. With that, the long period of Linden pressure came to nothing and the sucker punch came at the other end as Duns No. 8, Richard Burns, who had carried well all afternoon, surged over from a scrum five and Craik converted once more.

   With that, the game was well out of Linden’s reach and things got worse as Keown was the second home player to see yellow and Duns immediately capitalised as middle row Gavin Tait touched down with Craik converting.

   However, the Linden were to have the final say through a remarkable individual try. Replacement Scott Grant received the ball outside the 22 and set off on a run through heavy traffic full of side-steps, dancing feet, pirouettes, there may even have been a triple salchow in there, before touching down to the loudest cheer of the day. Baillie converted with the last kick of the game.

   A disappointing final scoreline for the Linden in light of their promising start to the game. However, given that 18 players were unavailable, it was a decent display with young PSA players Kieran Murphy, John Frew and Michael Boyle, making his debut, all showing up well.

Linden: K Murphy, G Baillie, C Smith, S Renwick, J Frew, S Goodfellow, R Hamilton; N Little, C Tofts, R Beattie, J Wilson, A Fairbairn, L Sharkey, J Hogg, B Keown; Subs: P MacTaggart, M Boyle, G Wardle, S Grant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BT East Regional League Division 1 
12-03-16
Hawick Linden 15, Forrester 26

 

   Whilst the Linden fell to defeat again at the Volunteer Park, the improvement shown in their last couple of games continued and perhaps, on another day, they might just have squeezed over the winning line. A losing bonus point would certainly have been deserved.

   It was the home team who started the brightest with Barrie Keown driving repeatedly and continually getting well over the gain line. Despite the Linden’s promising play, it was all within their own half. With 10 minutes on the clock it was the visitors who took the lead when, following a line out, the ball was quickly moved to the opposite wing and Graeme Dudgeon sped over. Fraser Newbury converted impressively from the touch line.

   The Royal Blues got themselves up the other end and into the 22 courtesy of more carries from Keown well assisted by Jack Wilson who was in fine form before appearing to blow a gasket requiring some time on the sidelines before later returning to the fray.

   Forrester went further ahead after 29 minutes when the whereabouts of a penalty award to the visitors didn’t appear to be clearly communicated. The Edinburgh side were quick to take advantage of the uncertainty as a tap was moved to Stewart Fulton who went over for the try again converted by Newbury.

   Four minutes later the Linden hit back. Simon Spalding picked up a loose kick and when the Royal Blues recycled, they spread the ball wide and Conor Gracie timed his pass to perfection to send Euan Hair racing over. With no further scoring the first period ended with Forrester 14-5 ahead.

   Scott Grant replaced Kyle McLeod at the break but it was the Edinburgh side who were first to threaten in the second half. However, a double hit from Keown and Ryan Beattie forced a knock-on and the danger was relieved. On 50 minutes the visitors did add to their total. Linden lost their own line out and some simple passing to the opposite side was poorly defended allowing Dudgeon to cross for his second touchdown. Newbury again added the extras from wide out.

   The Linden were not for lying down and an impressive run by Greg Baillie up the cricket field side looked to have created a scoring possibility but a knock-on ended the danger. Linden encamped in the 22 pounding at the line and running penalties but an interception ended the siege. The pressure continued and from another tap penalty Scott Grant broke and his inside pass to Liam Sharkey saw the wing forward tackled without the ball with the line in sight. Another tap was taken and reward finally came when Stuart Hair joined his brother on the scoresheet.

   Trailing 21-10 the Linden were desperate to get up the other end again and ran the ball from the kick off with some lovely offloads but alas a knock-on surrendered field position. With six minutes remaining the Linden failed to clear their lines and when Forrester secured a line out in the home 22, a controlled catch and drive ended with captain Paddy Bree coming up with the ball that secured the try bonus point.

  The home team had the final say when some good handling, with both Hair twins involved, saw Gracie again turn provider for Baillie to cross for the try. The Linden had one last throw of the dice to try and secure a further touch down that would have secured two bonus points but it was to no avail.

   Up front Keown, Wilson and Beattie were outstanding with Liam Sharkey also showing up well. Behind the scrum the new centre pairing of Phil MacTaggart and Euan Hair both had fine games.

Linden: C Gracie, G Baillie, P MacTaggart, E Hair, K McLeod, G Stirling, R Hamilton; J White, C Tofts, R Beattie, S Hair, J Wilson, L Sharkey, J Hogg, B Keown; Subs: M Knight, A Fairbairn, S Grant, S Spalding.

BT East Regional League Division 1

05-03-16
Hawick Linden 6, Hawick Harlequins 27

Quins eventually came out on top in the local Derby at a soft and muddy Volunteer Park. The home team started well. Following a strong run by Barrie Keown, a chip ahead collected by Greg Baillie led to a long period of possession which eventually drew a penalty. Baillie slotted the kick in the fourth minute but only three minutes later Scott Peffers levelled matters when the Linden were caught offside.

In the 11th minute the Quins took the lead going blind from a scrum and Adam Hall drew the last man before passing inside to send Peffers over for a try that the centre converted himself. The Linden had an opportunity to reduce the deficit when awarded a penalty straight in front of the posts but opted for a quick tap which eventually came to nothing.

The Royal Blues continued to press and a Baillie penalty attempt caused havoc when it dropped slightly short rebounding into play off the post pad. This led to another penalty as the Quins tried to clear their lines and, when they transgressed once more near their line, it was Ieuan Elliot who was shown a yellow card. Baillie put over the resulting penalty to pull his team back to 6-10 behind.

The Quins looked to have created a try scoring chance with a great backs move but Gavin Stirling put in a superb cover tackle and won the ball to save the day as the first half drew to a close.

Kirk Ford replaced Kyle McLeod at the break and the Linden were first to threaten with some good running from their own half and a deft back-of-the-hand pass from Stuart Hair on the hoof. However, Quins began to take control with Gavin Douglas showing his experience with some astute kicking to get his team into the right areas of the field.

A long period of Quins pressure finally paid off when the ball was spread wide and Sam Bandeen crossed in the corner. The Linden were then penalised at the breakdown and a quick tap and kick ahead into the Royal Blues 22 saw Adam Hall hack on to dot down with Peffers converting. The two quick-fire tries effectively killed the game as a contest.

As the Quins returned to the home 22, Linden’s Simon Spalding became the second player to depart to the sin-bin for too many penalties in the red zone. Once again the visitors’ were able to draw in the Linden defence after sustained pressure and hooker Finlay Robb was on hand out wide to go over for the bonus point try to complete the scoring.

From a Linden perspective they will be a little disappointed not to have gained more for their first half efforts but the Quins turned the screw in the second period as Douglas exerted his authority. The home pack were outstanding with the front row of Ryan Beattie, Peter Drysdale and Jordan White ever-willing ball carriers. Aaron Hume had a great game, Barrie Keown showed life can begin at 40 and Euan Hair provided some choice line out ball. Greg Baillie had one of his best games in Royal Blue with centres Graeme Anderson and Craig Smith running hard.

Linden: K Murphy, G Baillie, C Smith, G Anderson, K McLeod, G Stirling, R Hamilton; R Beattie, P Drysdale, J White, S Hair, S Spalding, A Hume, E Hair, B Keown; Subs: K Mabon, K Ford, P MacTaggart, L Sharkey.

BT East Regional League Division 1

20-02-16

 Dunbar 33, Hawick Linden 0

Although falling to another defeat, the Linden put in an outstanding second half effort that, despite total dominance, failed to register on the scoreboard. On a soft pitch but one that was a whole lot firmer than could be found back home in Hawick, Dunbar took first advantage of a strong breeze blowing towards the Hallhill clubrooms.

After 15 minutes the Linden missed touch with a penalty kick but thought they had been thrown some good fortune when the attempted catch was dropped. Alas the glaring knock-on was deemed to have gone backwards, despite the recipient kicking the ball away in disgust. The home team regathered, were awarded a penalty and a quick tap reached full-back Andy Taylor who sped over in the corner and Ross Charlton converted well from the touchline.

The Linden were giving as good as they got until Dunbar added a second try after 26 minutes. A line out catch and drive ended with hooker Chris Baikie squeezing over. Four minutes later and a fight broke out in the Dunbar half. Scrum half Blair Mills ignored the distraction to weave his way through the stretched Linden defence to run under the sticks for Charlton to convert.

At 19-0 down, just a couple of minutes to the break and the elements in their favour in the second half, the position was encouraging for the Linden. However, two quick-fire tries transformed matters. The Royal Blues were pick-pocketed at their own scrum and Dunbar eventually worked their possession to Taylor whose hard running, aided by some weak tackling, saw him cross for his second touchdown converted by Charlton.

With the last play of the half, a five metre penalty was tapped by Baikie who forced his way over and Charlton’s kick meant the match had a whole new outlook as Dunbar turned around 33-0 ahead.

The Linden started the second period in determined fashion. First Aaron Hume was held up over the line and then Craig Russell was bundled into touch as he raced for the corner. Next Ryan Beattie was held up short as the Royal Blues set up camp in the home 22. The home team conceded endless penalties and the referee eventually lost patience and produced a yellow card.

The siege continued but the Linden just couldn’t find a way through the organised and resolute home defence. Further penalties resulted in a second Dunbar player seeing yellow but, even with their opponents down to 13 for a period, a score still eluded the Linden as they were once more held up in-goal. Alas the Royal Blues were not to gain any reward in a scoreless second period that was played almost entirely in the home 22. Credit to Dunbar for being more clinical in taking their chances in the first half and for firmly shutting the door on their visitor’s attempts to score.

The Linden pack put in a huge shift and can hold their heads up high especially after getting the squeeze on at scrum time in the second period. The backs played their part with centres Graeme Anderson and Craig Russell running hard and tackling like demons. Mark McCall made a welcome return until retiring following a head knock and there was a debut from the bench for Kyle McLeod.

Linden: M McCall, G Baillie, C Russell, G Anderson, J Wilson, G Stirling, R Hamilton; S Spalding, P Drysdale, R Beattie, S Hair, A Hume, L Sharkey, J Hogg, E Hair; Subs: M Knight, K McLeod, J White.

 

BT East Regional League Division 1
23-01-16
Dalkeith 104, Hawick Linden 13
 
In their first League game since the end of November, the Linden travelled to Dalkeith with a horrendous list of injuries and unavailability. Up against a bigger and slicker home team, the visitors were blown away and slumped to a huge defeat as Dalkeith hit the hundred mark in injury time with the last play of the game. The home team struck early with a converted try in the second minute. However, following a good Linden scrum, Jordan White won a penalty at the subsequent breakdown which Kirk Ford stroked over from distance. A wild pass at a Linden defensive scrum gifted an easy touchdown to Dalkeith but once more Ford responded with a penalty goal. From 14-6 down, the Kings Park side took hold of the game scoring five tries, four converted, to pull away to 47-6. The Linden showed great spirit and, from a scrum deep in their own half,
worked their way into opposition territory. Following a couple of penalties, one of which saw a Dalkeith player yellow carded, ended with Liam Sharkey plunging over at the posts with Ford converting. However, the home team had the final say of the half to touch down to put themselves 52-13 ahead at the interval.
The second period was pretty much one way traffic. The Royal Blues refused to fold though and indeed had a good period of pressure as the game went into the final 10 minutes. Alas a dropped pass was ruthlessly capitalized on with a try at the other end. Three home touchdowns in the final five minutes completed the scoring on a dispiriting day for the Linden.
In spite of the score line the predominantly young team battled hard and even had the squeeze on at scrum time, particularly in the first half. All deserve credit for their efforts and, although a hard result to stomach for those taking part, it perhaps wasn’t so much about the players that were there, but those who weren’t.
 
Linden: G Baillie, N Ballantyne, S Chapman, C Gracie, J Chipakupaku, K Ford, R Hamilton; J White, A McSorley, R Beattie, S Hair, S Watson, M Knight, J Hogg, L Sharkey; Sub: C Tofts.

 

 
BT East Regional League Division 1
 
28-11-15
 
Murrayfield Wanderers 65, Hawick Linden 10
 
Linden made the trip to Murrayfield on Saturday and took on Wanderers on the 3G pitch in the
shadows of the National stadium. It was cold and wet with the rain turning heavy during the
game but thankfully the artificial surface ensured there were no mud bath conditions.
The Royal Blues got off to a promising start dominating the early possession and playing with
great control. Reward came with a well struck Kirk Ford penalty goal and the Linden were on
the attack again when turn over ball on half way was ruthlessly capitalised on by Wanderers
as they went over for a converted try.
Their speedy winger crossed for his second try for a 14-3 lead after 22 minutes. Just after the
half hour Peter Drysdale was yellow carded as Murrayfield drove a line out to the line and
whilst he was off three further tries took the half-time score to 31-3. Drysdale returned just
before the break and looked likely to score after a powerful break but a clip to his ankle broke
his stride enough for him to be caught with the line agonisingly in sight.
The more physical home pack started to exert themselves in the second period but it did not
deter the young Linden side who continued to play rugby when they had possession. James
Hogg was extremely unlucky as the home stand-off dropped a pass, Hogg kicked on and was
certain to score but the referee had blown immediately for the knock-on.
The Royal Blues weren’t denied for too long as Simon Spalding plunged over after a tap
penalty and Ford converted. The home team had the final say though as they added further
scores to secure a 58-10 win.
Peter Drysdale was outstanding in the pack well supported by his youthful comrades. Kirk
Ford was the pick of the backs especially after switching to stand-off.
The worst performance, and not for the first time this season, came from Gavin Stirling with
another pitifully embarrassing effort in a post-match boat race bringing rightful ridicule from
the Murrayfield compere!
Linden: K Ford, G Baillie, G Anderson, C Gracie, S Grant, G Stirling, R Hamilton; J White, P
Drysdale, R Beattie, A Fairbairn, S Hair, S Spalding, E Hair, L Sharkey; Subs: C Tofts, J Hogg,
M Knight.

 

BT East Regional League Division 1

 

21-11-15

 

Hawick Harlequins 20, Hawick Linden 0

 

The ‘Quins lived up to their pre-match favorites tag by winning the East League Division 1 derby against local rivals the Linden. However, the Royal Blues gave their all and pushed the home team hard. It wasn’t the easiest game on the eye with heavy underfoot conditions being partly responsible for a number of unforced errors.

 

 

 

The threat of the ‘Quins backs was quickly evidenced as good hands and hard running, aided somewhat by poor Linden tackling, ended with Adam Hall crossing for the opening try on six minutes. The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped as Centre Will Barker retired injured after 17 minutes resulting in a reshuffle as Euan Hair moved to the midfield and Liam Sharkey came on in the back row.

 

 

 

As the game approached the half hour mark, a pick and drive to the line saw Finlay Robb plunge over for the ‘Quins and Adam Hall’s conversion took the score to 12-0. ‘Quins scored again soon after and a good line out catch and drive allowed the ball to be spread out wide and Sam Bandeen sped over to touch down. Following Linden hands in a ruck, Hall slotted a penalty goal with the last kick of the first period to put his team 20-0 ahead at the break.

 

 

 

The second half wasn’t much to shout about. Both teams huffed and puffed but no-one could break through each other’s defence and not another point was scored. Graeme Anderson had one dazzling run into ‘Quins territory but, when the ball was moved wide, the Royal Blues were squeezed out at the corner.

 

 

 

Anderson was undoubtedly the biggest threat for the Linden with some great runs, thumping tackles and one superb catch from his own high kick ahead. The Linden forwards worked hard as did the backs who were up against useful opposition. The visitor’s will be disappointed not to have got on the scoreboard but there are definite signs of progress from the heavy defeats of the recent past.

 

 

 

Linden: G Anderson, S Grant, C Richardson, W Barker, R Graham, G Stirling, S Beattie; J White, P Drysdale, R Beattie, S Spalding, S Hair, J Hogg, E Hair, B Keown; Subs: A Fairbairn, L Sharkey, G Baillie, C Tofts.

 

BT East Regional League Division 1

 

14-11-15

Hawick Linden 17, Dunbar 20

 

After their difficulties of the past few weeks, the Linden were a team transformed on Saturday putting in their best performance of the season. On possession and field positon they probably deserved their first win of the campaign but it was not to be as a lack of composure at times in the danger zone resulted in too many chances to capitalise slipping away.

With Hawick 2nds game called off the Linden resisted the temptation to make any changes to their line up with the exception of ex-skipper Shaun Fairbairn coming in for Aaron Hume who failed to recover from the injury he sustained at Linlithgow. The faith placed in those who had travelled to play in the recent tough fixtures was rewarded as they put in a top effort with the forwards in particular playing some great rugby. One other change was Kevin Brown returning for his first game since the North Berwick match and both he and Fairbairn were instrumental in getting the home side on the front foot.

 

 

 

Before the game a minutes silence was observed for Linden legend Ronnie Nichol, surely the best uncapped player to ever play for the club, including many of his former team-mates attending an ex-players day. It was Fairbairn who made a superb early break surging into the 22 but alas his scoring pass was adjudged forward. From looking certain to take the lead, the Royal Blues went behind after five minutes when Dunbar went blind from a line out and managed to create an overlap for John Peebles to touch down.

 

 

 

The Linden went back on the attack though but could not turn pressure into points. Worse than that an interception by the visitors in their own 22 allowed field position to be gained at the other end and a nice inside ball put Sandy Thomson under the posts. Ross Charlton converted and the home team and their supporters were left wondering how their side was 12-0 down.

 

 

 

They finally got themselves on the scoreboard after 17 minutes when, from a tap penalty, Fairbairn somehow managed to twist in the tackle to touch the ball down. Joseph Chipakupaku, who looked dangerous whenever in space, made a great run to get his team back in the Dunbar 22. After a number of phases, and a penalty coming Linden’s way, Peter Drysdale burst through a gap to score at the posts but, such is their luck this season, the referee had whistled a fraction beforehand to give the penalty.

 

 

 

A score wasn’t delayed for long though. Linden opted for a scrum from the penalty and No. 8 Fairbairn picked and drove. Euan Hair carried further then good hands from Gavin Stirling, Keiran Murphy and John Frew put Rory Graham over in the corner. On the stroke of half time the Linden had a chance to take the lead with a penalty goal but it just failed and they went into the break 12-10 down.

 

 

 

Early in the second period Dunbar stretched their lead. From a line out in their own half they put a neat little kick behind the Linden defensive line. The chaser certainly appeared to be in front but play went right on to the home line and, when the Linden were penalised at the breakdown, the penalty was spread wide and Peebles crossed in the corner for his second try of the game.

 

 

 

The Royal Blues went back on the offensive and Chipakupaku threatened when he went blind but was squeezed into touch. The second half was turning out like the first as Linden couldn’t turn field position into points, too many turn overs in the 22 not helping their cause. When awarded a penalty they opted, not for the first time, to take a scrum following which a number of thrusts were made which ended with Kevin Brown forcing his way over at the posts. Kieran Murphy’s conversion tied the scores at 17-all.

 

 

 

On 67 minutes the Linden infringed at the breakdown and Charlton stepped up to calmly slot the penalty to put Dunbar back in the lead. The Linden were straight back on the attack with another great run by Brown which resulted in a penalty being awarded. Unfortunately in tricky conditions the kick slipped wide. From this point Dunbar played with great control ensuring play was all in the Linden half and their stranglehold made it extremely difficult for the Royal Blues to escape. They did have one last go right at the death working their way into Dunbar territory but a knock on ended their chances.

 

 

 

Great credit to the whole 19 who pulled together after such a horrendous run of results to show what they are really capable of. Although a possible win may have slipped through their grasp, the confidence they will have gained from such a performance will stand them in good stead going forward.

 

 

 

Gavin Stirling and Ryan Hamilton were solid at half-back, Kieran Murphy had some lovely breaks and Chipakupaku was full of running. The forwards were immense with Fairbairn and Brown giving a great lead, the Hair twins having numerous carries, James Hogg did the unseen work and the front row were on top in the scrums.

 

 

 

Linden: J Frew, J Chipakupaku, K Murphy, W Barker, R Graham, G Stirling, R Hamilton; J White, P Drysdale, R Beattie, S Hair, E Hair, J Hogg, K Brown, S Fairbairn; Subs: A Fairbairn, L Sharkey, S Spalding, C Gracie.

 

 

BT East Regional League Division 1

 

07-11-15

 

Forrester 50, Hawick Linden 6

 

Showing six changes from last week’s trip to Linlithgow, the prospects did not look good again for the Linden as they travelled to Edinburgh to take on Forrester. However, they made a great start to the match and probably shaded things in the first 25 minutes, having worked extremely hard to take a narrow lead. Alas a costly interception try saw the momentum swing and the home team start to take control.

 

The visitors were caught out by a neat chip to the corner in the 14th minute and the home winger won the race for the touchdown. The Royal Blues responded well with some thundering charges by skipper Gary Wardle and two Steven Beattie penalty goals put the Linden 6-5 ahead after 24 minutes.

 

Just before the half hour mark came the crucial interception as the Linden tried to play their way out from deep and the Forrester stand-off read the situation to stroll over and convert. The Royal Blues were still well in the game but any chance of a positive outcome started to slip away as half-time approached.

 

Firstly, Forrester scored a lovely converted try through their full-back following nice handling after a line out. Then, deep into injury time, with Ryan Beattie receiving treatment, the remaining seven forwards couldn’t contain a controlled line out drive and the try took the Forrester lead to 24-6 at the break.

 

Two second half tries for Forrester both resulting from good line out play, the second nonchalantly converted by their wing forward from wide out, stretched the score to 34-6. The Linden then had a long period of pressure in the home 22 but they just couldn’t break down a stonewall defence.

 

Almost typically the next score was at the other end although it was somewhat controversial. The teams seemed set for a line out when Forrester took a quick throw-in away from the mark and got in behind the Linden defence in the 22. When they chipped ahead full-back Steven Beattie tackled the player without the ball for an unquestionable penalty and yellow card. However, although there were other Linden players converging, the referee awarded a penalty try and Beattie’s frustration took over and, when he spoke out of turn, the official showed him a red card.

 

The easy conversion was added and a further seven pointer followed with the game well into injury time to bring up a half-century for the home team. In the end a well-deserved victory for Forrester but a tough final scoreline for the Linden to take after being in the game for so much longer than has recently been the case. The effort was exemplary as they fought hard and tackled like demons from beginning to end.

 

Gary Wardle gave a captain’s lead with some excellent runs off retreating scrum ball, often making more yards than looked possible. The front five stuck manfully to their task and in the backs Graeme Anderson made a welcome return putting in some trademark big tackles.

 

BT East Regional League Division 1

 

 

31-10-15

 

Linlithgow 52, Hawick Linden 0

 

Once again unavailability and injuries badly affected the Linden as they made the trip to Mains Park, Linlithgow. However, there were positives with promising League debuts for PSA youngsters John Frew, Macaulay Parker and Kieran Murphy.

 

The home team took the lead when scrum half Mikey Walker went blind from a scrum to touch down. Wing forward Stuart Bell then surged through a gap to go under the posts despite protests from the Royal Blues that a potential tackler had been impeded by the referee. Prop John Pauley went over from close range and two Jack Frame conversions put the home team 19-0 ahead.

 

A yellow card was shown to Bell for a dangerous tackle on Aaron Hume to give the Linden a man advantage and they did their best to capitalise. A line out catch by Stuart Hair saw the big middle row make a strong surge for the line but he was stopped just short. Murphy also had a penalty attempt at goal from half-way which just slipped wide. Once back to full strength a second try by Walker converted by Frame made the half-time score 26-0.

 

The second period started disastrously for Linden as Ross Martin touched down and Frame converted. Injuries were starting to take their toll for the visitors with constant changes required. Further tries were scored by Garry Anderson, Walker (to complete his hat-trick) and Frame with the latter converting two. His last conversion stretched the lead to 52-0 and the referee’s final whistle brought relief for the Royal Blues who by this time had a number of players soldiering on in spite of injuries.

 

Despite the scoreline the Linden can be proud of their tackling, particularly at close quarters, against a big, strong side who have clearly spent more time in the gym than Greggs. It says a lot for the visitor’s young side that they continued to front up against a much more physical team.

 

Frew and Parker ran well when given the opportunity and Peter Drysdale, Gary Wardle and Hume put in big shifts up front. Man of the match for the Royal Blues was young fly-half Kieran Murphy who showed some lovely touches in a most assured performance.

 

Linden: J Frew, G Baillie, E Hair, S Grant, M Parker, K Murphy, R Hamilton; J White, P Drysdale, S Spalding, S Hair, J Wilson, G Wardle, J Hogg, A Hume; Subs: S Beattie, A Fairbairn, G Cunningham.

 

BT East Regional League Division 1

 

17-10-15

 

Hawick Linden 10, Dalkeith 52

 

Injuries and unavailability resulted in an understrength Linden team slumping to their fourth consecutive League defeat of the season. Seven players made their first appearance of the League campaign with debutants Aiden Fairbairn and Liam Sharkey giving determined performances.

 

An early converted try for the visitors was responded to when Steven Beattie stroked over a penalty goal. Two more converted touch downs stretched the Dalkeith lead to 21-3 as the strong running of their centres in particular was cutting holes in the Linden defence not helped by some poor tackling.

 

Dalkeith had secured the try bonus point before adding a fifth on the stroke of half-time to leave the Linden 33-3 in arrears at the break.

 

The Linden could not capitalise on a yellow card for one of the visitors’ forwards with no scoring during his ten minute break. Once back to a full complement Dalkeith showed great hands when attacking from their own 22 for a cracking length of the field try.

 

The Linden secured their only touchdown of the day when, following a line out catch and drive, hooker Peter Drysdale came on a short ball to stroll over and under the posts for Beattie to convert.

 

The home joy didn’t last long as Dalkeith went up the other end to score another try and the Linden couldn’t prevent the visitors from adding to their total resulting in the home team leaking over fifty points for the third time this season.

 

The Linden forwards stuck in well against a big pack with Simon Spalding and Barrie Keown showing up well. Ryan Hamilton did admirably filling in at stand-off whilst Will Barker and Euan Hair never gave up in the centre against slick opposite numbers.

 

Linden: P MacTaggart, R Elliot, W Barker, E Hair, S Grant, R Hamilton, S Beattie; R Beattie, P Drysdale, S Spalding, S Hair, A Fairbairn, J Hogg, L Sharkey, B Keown; Subs: A McSorley, G Baillie.

 

HAWICK LINDEN SEVENS
04/04/2015

Winners - Hawick Linden

The third Hawick Linden Sevens took place at the Volunteer Park on Saturday on a pitch heavy with midweek rain but managed to stand up well to an afternoon of entertaining rugby.

 

Unfortunately the holders St Boswells were a late withdrawal resulting in a group of four teams and another with only three. Pool A was topped by Berwick who won all three of their games with Hawick Harlequins runners-up. Pool B was won by Hawick Linden, winning both their games, followed by Jed-Forest.

 

There was controversy in the first tie of the day. Tries from Leon Farmer, Scott Grant, two from Nick McLennan and two Farmer conversions totaled 24 points for the Linden President’s VII. However, the referee had failed to record one of Farmer’s conversions so the official result was a 24-22 win for Hawick Harlequins. The President’s VII lost out 33-0 to Berwick but won their last tie against Langholm 22-12. Lewis Anderson scored three tries and a conversion with the other try going to Ben Gilchrist.

 

The host club were comfortable 29-10 winners in their first tie against Jed-Forest thanks to tries by Craig Russell (3), Kirk Ford and James Hogg with Ford adding two conversions.

 

Their other group game was against Penicuik and the Linden strolled to a 54-0 win. Tries were scored by Ryan Elliot (2), Kirk Ford, Stuart Renwick (2), Craig Russell and Graham Colville (2) and Ford converted six and Renwick one.

 

The other Hawick side, the Harlequins, made it to the semi-finals thanks to their 24-22 win over the President’s VII and 43-12 victory against Langholm. They gave Berwick an early scare taking a 12-0 lead before the East League 1 champions came back to win 24-12.

 

This resulted in an all Hawick semi-final. Two Craig Russell tries both converted by Ford put the Linden 14-0 up but the Quins hit back with tries by Dale Johnstone and Ross Anderson to make the half-time score 14-10. The Linden stretched away in the second period through touch downs by James Hogg, Kirk Ford and Conor Gracie, the latter two converting their own scores, to make the final score 33-10 to the hosts.

 

In the second semi-final Berwick were always in control of their tie with Jed-Forest and a 34-12 win secured their place in the final for the first time since they triumphed in the first tournament in 2012.

 

First blood in the final went to Berwick when a quick tap penalty saw Ally Grieve go over with Jack Learmonth converting. Linden responded as Russell put Ryan Elliot on a long run for the line and the youngster touched down in the corner. A Gracie break was supported by Phil MacTaggart. When the latter was tackled the ball was recycled and Kirk Ford went under the posts and his conversion made the half-time score 12-7 to the hosts.

 

A defensive mix-up allowed Tom Riddell the easiest of tasks to fall on the loose ball for a try that squared the tie at 12-all. The Linden then kept possession well and, when the gap eventually opened, Elliot had the pace to run in from half way. Craig Russell broke and linked with Ford who put Elliot over for his hat-trick to a great roar from the good sized crowd. The flying winger thought he had a fourth but a call from the touch judge brought play back for a forward pass. It proved irrelevant as, with no further scoring, the final score of 22-12 meant the Linden had won their own trophy for the first time.

 

Credit to the whole Linden squad who worked hard all day and deserved to win some silverware for themselves as well as coach Kenny Colville and Team Manager Davy Gray.

 

Club President John Tait presented Linden captain Graham Colville with the Life Members Cup. The medals, sponsored by the family of the late Billy Russell, past-President and Life Member of the Linden, were handed over by his good friend Bruce Logan.

 

The player of the tournament trophy donated by Moira Black was presented by the tea lady extraordinaire to the referees choice of Jack Webster of Berwick.

 

The Linden wish to express their thanks to all clubs who supported the event, the referees (G Denholm, D Douglas and I Dunlop), Moira and her kitchen staff, Desport & Gray (Flooring Specialists), the Russell family, tournament organiser George Wilson as well as everyone who helped on the day.

 

Linden: R Elliot, C Russell, K Ford, S Renwick (replaced by L Farmer who was replaced by A Hall), G Colville, S Spalding, J Hogg, P MacTaggart, C Gracie, W Barker.

 

Results:

Pool A

Hawick Harlequins 24, President’s VII 22; Langholm 7, Berwick 28; Hawick Harlequins 43, Langholm 12; President’s VII 0, Berwick 33; Hawick Harlequins 12, Berwick 24; President’s VII 22, Langholm 12.

Pool B

Jed-Forest 31, Penicuik 12; Hawick Linden 29, Jed-Forest 10; Hawick Linden 54, Penicuik 0.

Semi-Finals

Hawick Linden 33, Hawick Harlequins 10; Berwick 34, Jed-Forest 12.

Final

Hawick Linden 22, Berwick 12.

Player of the tournament: Jack Webster (Berwick). 

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
28/03/2015

Linden 10 - 24 North Berwick

It looked like the Linden would end their season on a high as they took early control and a deserved lead. Alas North Berwick were able to gain ascendancy in the second quarter to take a lead they never lost despite second half territorial dominance from the home team.

 

Only five minutes were on the clock when Kirk Ford stroked over a 45 metre penalty goal. Five minutes later and Rory Smith fielded a clearance kick near the touchline. Following his run the ball was worked wide to the other side of the pitch. Ryan Elliot showed his pace to go outside his opposite number then cut inside, drew the last man and found Kirk Ford up in support to go over for a lovely try. Ford’s conversion made the score 10-0.

 

North Berwick started to turn the screw and had a good chance to score but knocked-on. Although the home team managed to clear the danger, the visitors were straight back on the attack. They worked their way up the blind side from a ruck on the Linden 22 and Murray West ran in for the try converted by his older brother Liam.

 

The Linden were then guilty of conceding too many penalties which allowed North Berwick to work their way into good field position. From a close range line out, the catch and drive was finished off by Robbie Mercer. Soon after home skipper Graham Colville was forced to leave the field with a leg injury.

 

The visitors looked like they would score in the left corner but, when the Linden defence held firm, the ball was moved right. With defenders all sucked in, Graeme Fairgrieve was able to stroll over and Liam West’s conversion took the score to 19-10.


With Colville back in the fray, the Linden rejected a couple of possible penalty kicks at goal and instead kicked to touch. The second time was close to the North Berwick line but the gusting wind caught the throw and with the squint infringement came the half-time whistle.

 

Injuries started to take their toll for the Linden as Jordan White and Bradley Mercer both had to retire as did Connor Tofts later in the game. On 54 minutes a lovely backs move looked sure to end in a score for North Berwick until Steven Anderson put in a try saving tackle. The reprieve was short lived though as, from the line out, the visitors took play infield before spreading wide to Fairgrieve who touched down in the corner.

 

The remainder of second half saw the Linden have most of the possession and territory but they just could not crack the visiting defence to gain another score which they undoubtedly deserved. Defeat means the Linden end the season in a creditable 6th place in BT East League Division 1.

 

A good effort by the Royal Blues where the front row of White, Mercer and Tofts worked hard until all three retired with injuries. Gary Wardle was prominent in only his second start of the season and Rory Smith once again led from the front. Ryan Hamilton was a sound link at scrum-half and Steven Anderson had some dancing runs. Credit to Kirk Ford and Conor Gracie who played in all 24 games during the season with Bradley Mercer and Phil MacTaggart only one behind and Graham Colville, Stuart Hair and Alex McSorley each turning out 21 times.

 

 

Linden: S Anderson, P MacTaggart, G Anderson, C Gracie, R Elliot, K Ford, R Hamilton; J White, B Mercer, C Tofts, B Keown, J Hogg, R Smith, G Wardle, G Colville; Subs: W Barker, S Beattie, K Mabon, A McSorley.



BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
14/03/2015

Duns 40 - 14 Linden

After the high of defeating league leaders Berwick in their last outing, it was back to earth with a hefty bump for the Linden at Castle Park, Duns.

 

No-one could have foreseen the final outcome following an impressive start by the visitors’ with some early good play rewarded by a Kirk Ford penalty goal which brought up 200 points for the season for the young stand-off. Linden stretched their lead after 10 minutes when solid drives by David Lowrie and Jordan White saw ball recycled and Lowrie, involved again, delayed his pass to put Graeme Anderson over in the corner.

 

Duns hit back when a couple of short passes and good running lines created the space for Steven Crawford to go over at the posts and Lewis Craik converted. The Linden were having the better of exchanges but it took until the half hour mark to put more points on the board with a second penalty from Ford. Greg Cunningham was forced to retire with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Rory Smith.

 

The Royal Blues laid siege on the Duns line but a series of thrusts could not break down the Duns defence. Some reward finally came just before the break with a third Ford penalty for hands in the ruck. Turning round 14-7 ahead, the Linden could be satisfied with their performance although disappointed they had not been able to secure a more commanding lead.

 

The second half begun with a missed penalty by the Linden and soon after, a turn-over in midfield followed by good handling by the home team, saw Callum Redden racing in at the corner and Craik converted from the touchline. The score seemed to put belief into the Dingers and from this point they took charge of proceedings.

 

The Linden cause wasn’t helped by a host of injuries which had medic Brian Nichol working overtime but there was no escaping the transformation in Duns play with hard running, good support and a willingness to spread play into wide areas that regularly had the Linden defence at full stretch.

 

The Royal Blues thought they had been let off the hook when a simple penalty in front of the posts was pushed wide. However, when the drop-out failed to cross the 22, Danny Lamb broke from the resulting scrum and took advantage of some weak tackling to touch down under the posts and Craik made no mistake this time with the conversion.

 

Five minutes later Redden was credited with his second touch down which secured the try bonus point and Craik’s kick took the score to 28-14. Into the final 10 minutes and replacement Andrew Baxter finished off an overlap, Craik adding the extras. The Linden did try to have the final say as they ran a series of penalties with David Lowrie and Rory Smith prominent, Duns winger Scott Maceachen taking a yellow card for his team, but their efforts came to nothing. In injury time, from a scrum on the Duns 22, the home team went the length of the field with Dale Robertson finishing off to score the final try.


After such a promising start, it was a most disappointing outcome for the Linden. Injuries certainly didn’t help, with a few players playing on after the bench was emptied when they would otherwise have retired. Ryan Hamilton put out a good service and Conor Gracie ran hard in the centre. Jordan White carried ball well with James Hogg, David Lowrie and Rory Smith putting in a power of work.

 

Linden: S Anderson, P MacTaggart, C Gracie, G Anderson, S Beattie, K Ford, R Hamilton; A McSorley, B Mercer, J White, S Hair, D Lowrie, J Hogg, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: R Smith, G Baillie, K Mabon. 

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
28/02/2015

Linden 27 - 25 Berwick

After being unfortunate not to pick up any points on the road in the last two weeks against the second and third placed teams in East League Division 1, the Linden looked to be heading towards another hard luck story against top of the table Berwick at the Volunteer Park. Down 12-25 with only five minutes remaining, the Royal Blues only having scored seven points to that stage of a second half they had dominated, all the signs were pointing towards another tale of valiant losers.

 

However, reward came in a dramatic finale as the Linden touched down three times during the closing minutes to snatch a superb victory that meant only a second league defeat of the season for their high flying visitors.

 

Matters began in the same manner for the Linden as the past couple of weeks with their opponents taking a healthy lead and seemingly control of the game. A line out catch and drive by Berwick in the second minute ended with Shane Armstrong claiming the touch down. He added the conversion and a penalty goal for offside to take the score to 10-0.

 

From receipt of the kick-off, some neat offloading opened up space behind the Linden defence and hard running by Lee Douglas beat the last tackle for a superb try. The Linden managed to get themselves into the game but a period of pressure did not bring about a score. Berwick worked their way into the home half and another drive from a line out saw Scott Owens apply the downward pressure. Armstrong’s conversion put Berwick 22-0 ahead after only 25 minutes and it seemed the Linden were faced with keeping the score line respectable.


The introduction from the bench of Rory Smith and Gary Lowrie was the beginning of an unlikely turnaround. On the half hour mark, some controlled play through a number of phases ended with Graeme Anderson running hard to go over for the Linden’s first try of the day and the centre’s first of the season. Heading into the break 22-5 down, the Royal Blues had a sniff of a chance but Berwick were undoubtedly still firm favourites.

 

11 minutes into the second period the Linden kicked a penalty to the corner and following the line out Berwick were penalised again. Ryan Beattie took a quick tap and his fellow forwards drove on and took play to the visitors’ line. A surge by Graham Colville saw the skipper somehow twist himself when held in the tackle to force the ball down and Kirk Ford’s conversion reduced the deficit to ten points.

 

Berwick applied pressure at the kick-off and, when the Linden were penalised for holding on, Armstrong put over the penalty to take the score to 25-12. From this point the Linden were dominant. They showed great control to continually play through several phases against a well organised and forceful defence. Unfortunately they failed to get over the whitewash after a sustained period of pressure on the Berwick line.

 

After the Scremerston side cleared their lines the Linden once more gained a territorial foothold and pounded away at the Berwick line once more but just could not find a way through a resolute defence which quickly closed down any half gaps when they appeared.

 

It looked like it just was not going to be the Linden’s day. With five minutes remaining though, they switched play to the blind side and David Lowrie worked his hands out of the tackle to offload to Bradley Mercer who dived over in the corner. Ford’s touchline conversion came back off the crossbar.


With Berwick looking to wind down the clock they kept things tight from a scrum on half way by passing back inside but the alert Gary Lowrie read it perfectly to intercept and had the pace to go all the way. With Ford missing the conversion, the score read 25-22 to Berwick, but at least the Linden could take consolation that they had scored a fourth try and reduced the lead to less than seven and therefore, in all likelihood, secured two bonus points.

 

However, the Royal Blues were not finished and they tried one last throw of the dice which epitomised their efforts of the second half in particular. From a scrum they went blind and both Graeme Anderson and Ryan Elliot made good ground. Greg Cunningham took the ball on and he delayed his pass to put Graham Colville into space. The No. 8 charged on and he delivered the final pass to Elliot who went flying over for a spectacular score and a truly dramatic ending to the game. Linden hands were in the air and Berwick hands on heads. Ford’s missed conversion was immaterial as the referee immediately blew for full time.

 

A sore way for Berwick to lose but a fantastic finish for the Linden which in some ways was a reward for their efforts of the last three weeks. Some of their play in the second half on a heavy pitch was out of the top drawer especially against such a good side as Berwick who defended ferociously. It would be unfair to single anyone out from such a huge team effort as everyone in a royal blue jersey was a hero.

 

 

Linden: S Anderson, P MacTaggart, C Gracie, G Anderson, R Elliot, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, A McSorley, S Hair, B Keown, D Lowrie, J Hogg, G Colville; Subs: S Beattie, G Cunningham, R Smith, G Lowrie.


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
21/02/2015

Dalkeith 25 - 13 Linden


For the second week in a row the Linden were on the road, this time to Kings Park, Dalkeith, and for the second time came away with nothing from a game they contributed greatly to with an immense effort from start to finish.

 

The home team, sitting in third place in East League 1, put over an early penalty goal and went further ahead with a converted try after 15 minutes from good hard running aided by missed tackles by the Linden.

 

Kirk Ford missed a chance to put the Linden on the scoreboard as his penalty kick hit the outside of the post. Dalkeith stretched their tally to 17 with another converted try as their full-back dotted down following a scissors move.

 

Ford then pounced to charge down a kick following a Dalkeith scrum and easily picked up to run in for a touchdown he also converted. With the first half into injury time, a late tackle saw the home right winger sent for a 10 minute break but Ford hooked the relatively straightforward kick. Dalkeith worked their way up the other end and a high tackle offered a chance of a penalty kick at goal which was slotted over to put the home side 20-7 ahead at the break when it could so easily have been 17-10.

 

The Royal Blues upped their game in the second period and when the home team failed to roll away in the tackle Ford found his radar and put over the penalty. Four minutes later he added another for offside to bring the score to 20-13 and the Linden were looking the better side at this stage. However, they couldn’t quite get back into areas to control the game and when Dalkeith went blind from a scrum they managed to squeeze over in the corner.


In the remaining 11 minutes plus injury time the Linden tried their hearts out to get at least one more score. A scything break by Ford from his own half was taken on by Steven Anderson. Into the home 22 he had support either side but when he passed inside a great cover tackle checked the move and the visitors were a little unlucky to be penalised at the resulting ruck and the chance was gone.

 

The game ended on a sour note when the referee had little option but to show a straight red card to one of the home centres for a punch on Ryan Beattie. In the remaining five minutes the Linden just could not capitalise on the numbers advantage to secure a losing bonus point their efforts undoubtedly deserved.

 

Dalkeith were a very useful outfit and the Linden players from 1 to 15, as well as the replacements, showed real desire for the jersey. There were periods when bodies were put on the line as they at times defended heroically. All deserve praise with special mention warranted for David Lowrie who had a storming game and showed his experience in the way he cajoled his team mates.

 

 

Linden: C Gracie, R Elliot, S Anderson, G Anderson, P MacTaggart, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, S Spalding, S Hair, B Keown, D Lowrie, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: J Hogg, A McSorley, S Beattie, J White.



BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
14/02/2015

North Berwick 27 - 13 Linden

The Linden came away from Recreation Park with nothing when their second half efforts warranted some form of reward. Things didn’t start well for the Royal Blues playing up the tough slope as the home team opened the scoring after 7 minutes. Following a line out the ball went along the back line for full-back Nick Hammond to earn the touch down.

 

On the quarter hour mark it was a break from centre Dougie Laidlaw which led to North Berwick’s second try from Ben Inglis. When the kick-off failed to go 10, Jamie Dove picked and made good ground and Inglis was up in support to take the final pass to score and Liam West’s conversion stretched the lead to 17-0 after 17 minutes.

 

Five minutes later and the home team secured the bonus point try. Despite a great tackle by Graeme Anderson, North Berwick were able to recycle and Lee Inglis finished off and Liam West’s conversion left the Linden staring down the barrel at 22-0.

 

The Volunteer men started to get a foothold in the game and, after the home team had been penalised several times, a quick tap saw Kirk Ford go over for a try he also converted to give his team a sniff of a chance as they headed in to the break 22-7 down.

 

Ford added an early second half penalty for offside but North Berwick hit back straight away and good hands along the line ended with Murray West touching down. On 53 minutes Ford slotted his second penalty for offside and the Linden were now behind 27-13.


From this point the Royal Blues held the upper hand. Most of the play was in North Berwick territory and the home team were guilty of giving away numerous penalties which only resulted in one yellow card. The visitors opted to run a number of kickable penalties or take a scrum which all came up against brick wall defence and no reward on the scoreboard.

 

The pack all put in a great shift with David Lowrie and the Smith brothers to the fore and Graeme Anderson had another excellent game in the centre tackling everything that moved.

 

 

Linden: C Gracie, P MacTaggart, S Anderson, G Anderson, G Cunningham, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, S Spalding, S Hair, D Lowrie, R Smith, C Smith, G Colville; Subs: A McSorley, E Hair, R Graham.


BT BORDERS SHIELD
07/02/2015

St Boswells 47 - 10 Linden

Overnight frost left parts of Jenny Moores Park hard underneath the soft topping but both sides were keen to play and the BT Borders Regional Shield game went ahead. It was the visitors who started the liveliest and when the home team were caught offside, Kirk Ford missed what was an easy kick by his standards.

 

He made amends shortly after though. Ryan Hogg lashed out at Ryan Hamilton, making a welcome return to a Linden shirt for the first time since October. No card of any colour was shown and, following backchat, the penalty was advanced 20 metres. Ford waited whilst Hamilton received treatment but the scrum-half was forced to leave the field for repairs to be completed. Ford made a much sweeter strike than before to open the scoring.

 

St Boswells went on the attack but a turn over, courtesy of Alex McSorley, in the Linden 22 was followed by a good kick-chase into home territory. When St Boswells lost their own line out, Ford put a dangerous looking cross kick to the corner but it was just too heavy.

 

Another Linden hack and chase caused havoc in the home defence which resulted in Greg Cunningham going over near the posts for his first try of the season and Ford converted for a 10-0 lead after 17 minutes. A missed tackle in midfield meant St Boswells got in behind the Royal Blues defence and former Linden prop Terry Skeet finished things off from short range.

 

The home team were talked to twice for back chat but no penalty was forthcoming and both teams were guilty of breakdown offences which went unpunished. St Boswells then took the lead after 31 minutes. The Linden adopted the now common approach of standing off the line out catcher so that the drive becomes an illegal truck and trailer.


 However, no penalty was awarded and Stephen Hill took advantage to touch down with Dean McCracken converting.

 

From an attacking scrum Hogg picked and went on a loop move to score and McCracken converted to stretch the lead to 19-10 at the break. The referee had been struggling with the intensity of the game and there was a delay in his return to the field for the second period which was met with warm applause from the crowd to show their appreciation of his efforts.

 

The edge went out of the game in the second half and the home team started to take control of proceedings helped by their domination in the scrum. They scored four further touch downs from David Cassidy, Adrian Donoghue, Stephen Hill and Finlay Robb which were all converted by McCracken. The victory puts St Boswells top of the Borders Regional Shield group and a win in their final game against Hawick Harlequins would see them pip Berwick for a place in the semi-finals with the Linden in third place.

 

The Linden will take encouragement at their promising start, which had their hosts flustered, but disappointed at falling away in the second period. Ryan Hamilton did well in his comeback game especially playing on after his facial knock whilst Kirk Ford had another good game. The Anderson brothers tackled soundly with the front row all working hard well supported by the Smith brothers and Greg Cunningham prominent in the loose.

 

 

Linden: C Gracie, P MacTaggart, S Anderson, G Anderson, R Elliot, K Ford, R Hamilton; A McSorley, S Spalding, J White, S Hair, C Smith, R Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville.


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
24/01/2015

Linden 6 - 16 Quins

The Quins came out on top in a closely fought local derby with the Linden at the Volunteer Park. With the Linden having won twice at Wilton Lodge Park earlier in the season, in League and Shield, it was the Quins turn to win away from home in a game that didn’t have much flowing rugby as defences were well on top.

 

Kirk Ford kicked an early penalty goal for the Linden after Quins were caught offside at a line out. The Baker Street side then had a long period in Linden territory which they couldn’t turn into points as the home team struggled to clear their lines. Just when it looked like they had, a Quins kick and chase required Ford to go down on the ball in the shadow of his posts. When the referee penalised the Linden at the break down, Ford was shown a yellow card and Adam Hall slotted the goal.

 

The Royal Blues hit back with a strong run from Ryan Beattie which led to a penalty in front of the sticks on the 22. With Ford still off the field, Steven Anderson stepped up for the shot at goal which just slipped wide. It looked like the Linden would be made to pay further for their miss when, at the other end, the Quins worked the ball wide from a scrum and Hall made a run for the corner but good defending ended the threat.

 

After a series of penalties against the Quins, Mark Young was the recipient of a cumulative yellow card. Ford lined up the resulting penalty but hooked his kick to leave the scores tied 3-all at the break.

 

Three minutes into the second half and, when the Quins turned over Linden possession, old-head Fred Stevenson put in a deft chip to the corner which almost produced thefirst try. From the scrum it was the Linden who then turned over Quins ball but, when they kicked to clear, the Linden chaser was in front. With the Royal Blues caught napping, Quins took a quick tap and Ross Nichol crossed for the try that was too far out for Hall to convert.

 

A lovely break from their own half by the Linden with Conor Gracie, Greg Thomson and Phil MacTaggart all involved almost produced a score. The home team then set up camp near the Quins line with a series of scrums and thrusts at the line which they just couldn’t turn into points against some resolute defending.

 

From another period of Linden pressure, Ford put a chip kick into the in-goal area and Steven Anderson and a Quins defender dived for the ball which broke free for MacTaggart to touch down but alas for the Linden a knock-on was given against Anderson.

 

Eventually the Quins managed to break out and the Linden were penalised for holding on in the tackle. A quick tap, Linden offside at the ruck and Hall stepped up to put over the penalty kick to stretch the lead to 11-3.

 

The Linden were straight back on the attack and also took a quick tap penalty which caught the Quins not back ten. However, when they went wide and knocked on, play was not brought back for the penalty in a kickable position. With 11 minutes to go they were awarded a penalty which Ford put over and the Linden were only five points behind.

 

A silly late tackle gave Quins field position and a series of scrums near the Linden line. The home team did well to hold them but, when the Quins decided to pick up, scrum-half Young went blind and dived over in the corner for the clinching score.

 

With time up, the Linden had one last attempt to score and ran a couple of penalties in front of the post which, had they kicked one, would have at least secured the losing bonus point. Their efforts came to nothing and the hunger of the Quins defence, prevalent throughout the game, was rock solid and ensured the visitors a win they deserved on the balance of play and overall better decision making.

 

A frustrating defeat for the Linden but in tight local derbies it’s often the team who make least mistakes who come out on top and the Quins made less than their hosts. Rory Smith, returning from injury, was best for the Linden putting in a huge effort against his old team.

 

Linden: C Gracie, P MacTaggart, S Anderson, C Smith, R Elliot, P MacTaggart, K Ford, G Thomson; J White, B Mercer, R Beattie, S Hair, K Mabon, R Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Beattie, G Wardle, S Spalding, J Hogg.  


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
17/01/2015

Dunbar 31 - 25 Linden

Linden travelled to Hallhill Sports Ground looking to do the double over a Dunbar side they had defeated comfortably at the Volunteer just four weeks ago. The home team however were out to exact revenge and showed their intent right from the off.

 

With just five minutes on the clock, full-back Antoin Penrose burst through some weak Linden tackling to touch down at the posts and Ross Charlton converted. Kirk Ford responded with a penalty double to reduce the deficit to 7-6. A well organised line out drive from the home team ended with Connor McLellan claiming the touch down which Charlton converted.

 

Gary Peebles flew up the touchline to outpace the Linden defence and Charlton’s fine conversion stretched the Dunbar lead to 21-6 which was reduced by three when Ford struck his third penalty goal. The Linden cause wasn’t helped when Steven Beattie retired with a hand injury to be replaced by Greg Thomson.

 

Dunbar secured the bonus point try on 33 minutes through Chris Greco and the Linden were staring down the barrel at 26-9. The signs didn’t look good for the Royal Blues but they were not for folding and another Ford penalty was followed by a fine solo try from Craig Smith. The No. 8 latched onto a loose ball and his powerful run saw him barge through the final tackle fo a try near the posts which Ford converted. Now 26-19 down at the break the Linden were right back in the game.

 

Ten minutes into the second period and Ford put over his fifth penalty kick and the Linden started to gain the ascendancy as the home team gave away a number ofpenalties which escaped further sanction. When the home team attacked the Linden line Gary Wardle was adjudged offside at the side of the ruck and was also shown a yellow card to the frustration of the visitors. Once more the Linden could have crumbled but a Steven Anderson interception released the pressure although his efforts to run the distance were thwarted by a fine cover tackle.

 

The pendulum swung back in favour of Dunbar as Jordan White was helped from the field to leave the Linden with 13 but it then swung right back again. The home team were penalised for which Chris Bryce was sin-binned. At the same time prop Chris Baikie spoke out of turn and was also yellow carded which was immediately changed to red when further comment was directed to the referee.

 

Once the chaos had settled, Ford stroked over the resultant penalty and Linden were a point behind at 26-25 and had returned to a full complement to Dunbar’s 13. As often happens in such situations it was the short-handed home team who raised their game and from a forward drive, full-back Penrose kept the legs pumping to go over in the corner. Linden had one last chance when Phil MacTaggart charged down a clearance kick but to his bemusement a knock-on was awarded and his team had to settle for the losing bonus point.

 

An entertaining game that had many twists and turns that was influenced by both teams allowing refereeing decisions to affect them. The Linden can be happy at showing great character in coming back from a significant deficit against a well drilled side but frustrated they could not capitalise when Dunbar went down to 13. The forwards stuck in manfully against a bigger pack with Craig Smith having a number of powerful carries. Kirk Ford had a fine game at 10, striking the ball beautifully for a personal haul of 20 points.

 

Linden: C Gracie, R Elliot, S Anderson, G Anderson, P MacTaggart, K Ford, S Beattie; A McSorley, B Mercer,J White, S Hair, R Beattie, G Wardle, G Cunningham, C Smith; Sub: G Thomson. 

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
10/01/2015

Linden 39 - 14 Portobello

The Linden were back to league duty with Portobello the visitors to Volunteer Park.

Linden opted to play with the advantage of the cold gusty wind at their backs and they were soon on the attack. After 7 minutes Graham Colville made a typical barnstorming run he offloaded to James Hogg who fed Steven Anderson to sprint over for the opening score.

Portobello came back into the game and threatened the Linden line through their big pack. After 15 minutes Linden were caught offside and Porty scrumhalf Fraser Mackay took a quick penalty and plunged over for a try which was converted and give Portobello the lead by 7 points to five. 

 The lead however was short lived as KIrk Ford banged over a long range penalty after 20 minutes when Portobello were caught offside. At this stage the weather changed dramatically with driving snow making play difficult. From deep in their own half Linden turned over ball. Craig Smith was unleashed down the far side touch line ,he was eventually caught after a sixty meter dash but managed to offload the ball which Sean Goodfellow collected and dive over for a try. Kirk Ford added the conversion to make the score 15 - 7 after 23 minutes.

The snow was making playing conditions difficult but to the credit of both teams they continued to play attractive rugby. With halftime approaching the Linden won good ball from the scrum. Stuart Hair made a good break and the the ball was moved along the back line to winger Conor Gracie who scored a try in the far corner of the pitch. Shortly after the pitch was  covered with  snow and referee Iain Heard blew for halftime with Linden ahead 20 points to 7.

Both teams left the field to be revived with hot cups of tea and thankfully the snow stopped. With the lines cleared of snow and he sun coming out the second half commenced with Portobello having a slight advantage of the elements.

 Portobello were quick to put the Linden under pressure and good bursts from the Porty pack were met with a stout Linden deffence. In 45 minutes Potobello were attacking the Linden line but a pass went to ground and Graham Colville booted the ball up field. Phil MacTaggart kicked on again and when the Portobello winger failed to control the ball MacTaggart kicked on to the line and beat Colville to touchdown for a great opportunist try and give the Linden a healthy 25 - 7.

Portobello kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a try after fifty seven minutes when a strong break by Mitch Walker set up the pack to drive over for a converted try.

From the restart Linden worked their way up field but lost the ball near the Portobello line. Portobello opted to pass the ball out wide but a loose pass was intercepted by Steven Anderson who crashed over for his second try of the day with Kirk Ford adding the conversion.

At this stage the cold was taking effect on some players and both teams made several changes. With the match drawing to a close Linden prop Jordan White made two excellent surges towards the Porty line. The ball was recycled and spun along the line for Gary Wardle to break through and score a great team try, Kirk Ford stroked over the conversoin and the game ended with the Linden 39 - 14 winners.

Both teams take a lot of credit for serving up an entertaining game under very difficult conditions.  Craig Smith , Jordan White and Keith Mabon put in strong performances with Steven Anderson, Sean Goodfellow and Phil MacTaggart the pick of the backs.

Team

15 Steven Beattie 14 Phil MacTaggart 13 Steven Anderson 12 Graeme Anderson 11 Conor Gracie 10 Kirk Ford 9 Sean Goodfellow 8 Graham Colville 7
Jame Hogg 6 Craig Smith 5 Keith Mabon 4 Stuart Hair 3 Alex McSorley 2 Bradley Mercer 1 Jordan White

Subs

Gary Wardle Stewart Campbell Stewart Renwick

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
20/12/2014

Linden 46 - 0 Dunbar

There didn’t appear to be any Mad-Friday hangovers for the Linden as they blew visitor’s Dunbar away at the Volunteer Park. An early break by Steven Anderson set up the field position and a few phases later Gary Lowrie forced his way over for the touchdown with only 3 minutes on the clock.

 

A neat line out move between Gary Lowrie and Bradley Mercer sent the hooker storming up the touchline and his kick ahead was carried over by Dunbar. From the scrum 5, skipper Graham Colville somehow managed to drive himself over the try line at the corner to put his team 10-0 up after 6 minutes.

 

Dunbar broke through into the home 22 and a score looked likely until Sean Goodfellow, already imposing himself on the game, put in a try saving tackle. Some great counter rucking by the Anderson brothers won the Linden a penalty near half way. Goodfellow took a quick tap, raced deep into the 22 and the ball was moved blind for Colville to go over in the corner. Kirk Ford converted majestically from the touchline.

 

That man Goodfellow was at it again as he caught a missed kick to touch and was off on a scything run, leaving defenders in his wake with side-steps and dummies and his long pass looked to have created a certain try but alas it was dropped. Not only did it look a sure-fire score, it would also have been one of the tries of the season.

 

It was turning into the Goodfellow show as another superb run by the scrum-half led to Dunbar infringing at the breakdown and Ford put over the penalty kick. The visitor’s backs were ever willing to run the ball and an excellent breakout from their own 22 followed by good handling and running threatened at the other end until Graeme Anderson’s tackle saved the day.

 

With half-time approaching, Colville picked up from a scrum and fed Goodfellow whose lovely delayed pass put Ford under the posts and the stand-off converted to stretch the Linden lead to 27-0 at the break.

 

The Royal Blues started the second-half with another bang with a superb team score. Backs and forwards combined well, there was some fine handling with simple drawing and passing ending with Colville going over for his hat-trick. It was the No. 8’s 16th try of the season in only 13 appearances.

 

Soon after a nice move from the backs after a scrum was then taken on by David Lowrie and his nice offload was gratefully received by brother Gary who went under the posts. It was the younger Lowrie’s fifth try of the season in just three games. Ford’s conversion made it 39-0.

 

Into the final quarter and Dunbar, for the first time in the match, gained a foothold in the home 22. A sustained period of pressure was defended excellently by the Linden as they simply refused to give anything away. They were then able to exert the sucker punch by working their way up the other end, more aggressive defence turned the ball over and the ball was spread out to Steven Anderson who spun out of the tackle to race over and Ford converted.

 

The Linden waited for their last game of 2014 to put in their best performance of the current season. Sean Goodfellow was absolutely outstanding, giving his opposite number a torrid time, putting in some superb elusive runs and generally being at the heart of everything that was good for the home team. Even a superb hat-trick performance from Graham Colville couldn’t prise the man of the match award from Goodfellow. Graeme Anderson was the pick of the other backs, Gary Lowrie shone on his return from injury, brother David put in a big shift and Bradley Mercer had an excellent game. However, all in royal blue can be proud of their performance especially managing to nil a team that always looking threatening when they had ball and simply never gave up when lesser sides would have crumbled.

 

Linden: C Gracie, G Baillie, S Anderson, G Anderson, P MacTaggert, K Ford, S Goodfellow; J White, B Mercer, K Mabon, S Hair, D Lowrie, C Smith, G Lowrie, G Colville. 

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
06/12/2014

Linden 34 - 5 Langholm

The Linden got off to a flier in their East League game with Langholm at the Volunteer Park with a try in only the third minute. Steven Beattie fielded a clearing kick and some good hands spread the ball wide for Conor Gracie to run in at the corner. A second touchdown came 20 minutes later from a scrum on the Langholm 22. When it wheeled, skipper Graham Colville picked up and a huge gap opened up for the No. 8 to race over at the posts and Kirk Ford converted.

 

The Milntown men worked their way into the Linden 22 following a fine run by Alasdair Cavers. Several controlled phases later, a nice inside ball to Steven Nicol saw the visitor’s captain drive over for the try.

 

Linden scrum half Steven Beattie retired with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Ross Armstrong. From a line out the Royal Blues worked some space for Kirk Ford who had men outside but his pass was deliberately knocked-on. Ford stepped up to slot the penalty kick to stretch the lead to 15-5.

 

With time almost up in the first period, Ford put a deft chip over the Langholm defence but he was just beaten to the ball short of the line. However, it squirted from the Langholm players grasp and Phil MacTaggart was on-hand to pick up and fall over the line for the easiest of touchdowns.

 

After two squint feeds and a couple of penalties against the Linden, Ross Armstrong was shown a yellow card but Langholm were unable to take advantage. Mid-way through the second half the Royal Blues secured the try bonus point. Ford fielded a kick and linked with Graeme Anderson whose chip ahead struck a Langholm defender and rebounded straight to Anderson who offloaded to his brother Steven and the full-back raced over. Ford added the conversion.

 

A late tackle on Steven Anderson resulted in a sin-bin for the Langholm player. The Linden tried to capitalise and a lovely break by Ford cut-open the visitors defence but his long pass to the wing was dropped with a try looking certain if it had been held.

 

Scott Grant and Colville were both held up over the line before Steven Anderson went on a darting run and side-stepped his way over for the final try which Ford converted.

 

A great effort by both teams in the heavy conditions. The Linden will be happy with their defending as Langholm had periods of pressure which they couldn’t turn into points. The front row of Jordan White, Bradley Mercer and Alex McSorley all worked hard and Graham Colville had some storming runs. The Anderson brothers also had some good runs with Kirk Ford displaying some nice touches.

 

Linden: S Anderson, G Baillie, G Anderson, P MacTaggert, C Gracie, K Ford, S Beattie; J White, B Mercer, A McSorley, K Mabon, S Hair, C Smith, J Hogg, G Colville. Subs: G Cunningham, R Armstrong, S Grant, E Hair. 


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
29/11/2014

Linlithgow 50 - 11 Linden

With three wins in their last four games, and the only defeat being a narrow one to high-flying Berwick, hopes should have been high for the Linden’s trip to Mains Park, Linlithgow. However, some changes from the week before took the edge off such hopes to create some concern for the Linden faithful.

 

Such concerns came to fruition when the visitors were slow out of the blocks and some weak tackling contributed to two tries in the first five minutes for the home team. A third was to follow soon after and the Linden finally put themselves on the scoreboard after quarter of an hour with a Kirk Ford penalty to reduce the leeway to 3-17. It was a significant kick for the 19-year-old as it took him past the 100 point mark for the season.

 

Linlithgow clinched the bonus point touchdown with a converted try after 31 minutes to which Ford replied with his second penalty goal. A soft try from a Linden perspective by the home scrum-half just before the break left the Volunteer Park side trailing 6-29 at half-time.

 

The Royal Blues started to play better after the turn around and were rewarded for some pressure when Aaron Hume touched down. They continued to play well for just over half-an-hour of the second period with much of the play in their opponents half. However, the final few minutes were a disaster for the visitors as Linlithgow ran in three tries under the posts, all of which were converted.

 

The late scores meant a cruel final scoreline for the Linden but they can certainly take encouragement from their efforts in the second period until the floodgates opened in those last few minutes.


Linden: C Gracie, G Baillie, G Anderson, P MacTaggert, S Grant, K Ford, S Beattie; A McSorley, B Mercer, J White, S Hair, K Mabon, A Hume, G Cunningham, G Colville. 


BT BORDER SHIELD
22/11/2014

Quins 13 - 28 Linden

The Linden were the first to exert their authority on the BT Borders Regional Shield game at Wilton Lodge Park as three Kirk Ford penalty kicks put the visitors 9-0 up after 25 minutes. The Quins then started to turn the tide and, after too many penalties near their own line, Linden’s Craig Smith saw yellow and the home team quickly turned the numerical advantage in their favour when Ross Aitken forced his way over and Adam Hall converted.

 

The first half ended with the Linden pounding at the Quins line with Ross Armstrong, Graham Colville, Keith Mabon and Barrie Keown all making thrusts which were well defended by the Baker Street side. Finally the defensive lines were broken when Armstrong took a quick tap penalty and Kirk Ford kicked cross field. It looked a well-judged kick but the ball just evaded its intended target of Conor Gracie. The alert Steven Anderson was on hand though to pick up and spin over the line and the Linden led 14-7 at the break.

 

The Quins started the better in the second half and two Adam Hall penalties reduced the deficit to a single point after 50 minutes. The Linden responded with a drive by Craig Smith from which Armstrong’s kick eluded the Quins full-back and Steven Anderson dived on the ball with Ford converting.

 

When the Quins’ Dale Johnstone was sin-binned mid-way through the half, the Linden turned up the pressure which they took nine minutes of his sentence to turn into points. They were eventually rewarded when Stuart Hair did well to free his hands in the tackle to offload to Steven Anderson who dived under the posts to complete his hat-trick. Ford added the extras to complete the scoring.


A rather typical early forenoon kick-off with a number of mistakes throughout the game. For the Linden Steven Anderson had an excellent match. Aside from his hat-trick of tries, he had some fine runs and searching kicks. Up front Keith Mabon was a willing ball carrier assisted by Connor Tofts and Barrie Keown.

 

Linden: S Anderson, P MacTaggart, S Renwick, G Anderson, C Gracie, K Ford, S Beattie; K Mabon, B Mercer, C Tofts, S Hair, B Keown, C Smith, J Hogg, G Colville.



BT BORDER SHIELD
15/11/2014

Linden 43 - 18 Earlston

East Division 1 met East Division 2 in the BT Borders Regional Shield at the Volunteer Park. Based on League positions and recent results the Linden were overwhelming favourites but a rather ragged performance from the Royal Blues together with a great effort from Earlston ensured the home side had to work hard for their win.

 

The men from the Haugh opened the scoring with an early Scott Bell penalty goal. From a scrum five, Kirk Ford’s deft pass put Phil MacTaggart over at the posts and the stand-off converted. Connor Tofts won a penalty for his side near half-way and skipper Graham Colville took it quickly. When Earlston were penalised for not being 10 metres, Ford stepped up to land the penalty to put his team 10-3 ahead after 17 minutes.

 

It took the Royal Blues until the 33rd minute to score again. Another tap penalty by Colville, this time near the try line, saw the ball recycled and Craig Smith had the strength to go over with Ford converting. The half ended with the Linden 17-3 to the good.

 

10 minutes into the second period the Linden won a line out and Ford kicked into the in-goal area. An Earlston defender seemed to have it easily covered but made a mess of kicking clear and the alert Steven Anderson pounced for an opportunist try. With half-an-hour to go there seemed ample time for Linden to secure one more touchdown for the try bonus.

 

However, the game became bogged down and somewhat untidy. Some high tackles crept in culminating in a clothes-liner from Craig Smith who was rightly sent to the naughty  step. Earlston were not for lying down and after a long period of pressure, which had been well defended by the home team, scrum-half Ian Dick spun out of a tackle for try the visitors richly deserved to reduce the lead to 22-8 with just 10 minutes remaining.

 

It was only from this point that the Linden exerted some real authority going over for three converted touch downs before the final whistle. They came to life from the kick-off after the Earlston try with a thundering run by Chris Turnbull. Rory Smith came on a short ball breaking through at pace just outside the 22 and was able to take on the full-back and score although he was injured in the process. Ford added the extras.

 

With time almost up a scrum five was driven forward by the home pack which allowed Colville to go over for try number 12 of the season for the No. 8 and Ford converted. Into injury time and Craig Smith’s angle of run near the line saw him stroll over and Ford’s conversion completed the scoring.

 

Not a vintage performance from the Linden but they got the job done and the final 10 minutes put some gloss on the scoreline. Anything the Gray brothers could do, both scoring against Argentina, the Smith brothers could do too as each touched down although Craig managed to go one better than Rory. Their back-row colleague Graham Colville also put in another excellent shift and big Stuart Hair showed up with some surging runs.

 

With the Smith brothers scoring the tries it was the Anderson brothers who put in the big hits, Steven putting in some beauties at full-back. Phil MacTaggart and Greg Baillie also showed up well in the backs.

 

Linden: S Anderson, G Baillie, G Anderson, P MacTaggert, C Gracie, K Ford, S Beattie; A McSorley, C Turnbull, C Tofts, S Hair, J Hogg, R Smith, C Smith, G Colville; Subs: R Beattie, S Spalding, S Renwick, S Bouglas.

BT BORDERS SHIELD
08/11/2014

Duns 22 - 27 Linden


The Linden eventually came out on top after a thrilling contest on their first visit to Duns’ new home of Castle Park in a match played under floodlights. The Royal Blues got off to a flyer with an early Kirk Ford penalty goal in the third minute which was beautifully struck from distance. Soon after skipper Graham Colville picked up from a scrum five to go over for his 11th try of the season in only eight appearances. Ford added the conversion and another two penalty kicks and the Linden were 16-0 ahead after 16 minutes and looked in total command.

 

However, Duns had other ideas and after half an hour winger Scott Maceachen showed his pace to win the race to touch down. Stewart Calder then went over on the stroke of the interval and Lewis Craig converted with the last kick of the half to reduce the lead to 16-12.

 

The Linden had lost their early control so a good start to the second half was required. It couldn’t have been worse though as Duns No. 8 Richard Hume somehow clung on to a short ball, more or less catching it behind his back, to touch down at the posts. Maceachen’s conversion put the home team 19-16 ahead.

 

The Linden response was ideal as they went up the other end and Barrie Keown was on hand to take the final pass of some great play to plunge over. Ten minutes later and a Lewis Craig penalty put the Dingers back in the lead at 22-21.

 

On 61 minutes the lead changed hands yet again as Kirk Ford put over his fourth penalty kick. Six minutes later and he added another to stretch the Linden lead to 27-22. When Bradley Mercer went for an interception on half-way he was deemed to have deliberately knocked on and was yellow carded leaving the Royal Blues to see out the game with 14 men.

 

With a minute to go Sean Potts took a nasty blow to the head and, with the medics calling for the game to be halted, Duns were penalised when on the attack. Ford cleared to touch on half-way but it was clear there were real concerns over the seriousness of Potts’ condition and the game was halted as an ambulance was called.

 

With only five points between the teams consideration was given to playing the final minute on an adjoining pitch but eventually common sense prevailed and the game was ended.

 

Both teams deserve great credit for ensuring a ding-dong affair for the healthy sized crowd. An excellent performance from the Linden in the early part of the game although they will be concerned how they then drifted out of it. Steven Beattie filling in at scrum half put out a good service, there were some trademark hard hitting tackles from Graeme Anderson and stand-off Kirk Ford continues to blossom showing deft skills with ball in hand and with the boot.

 

The patched-up front row again worked hard, well supported by Stuart Hair and Barrie Keown in the engine room with Gary Wardle in fine form after coming off the bench.

 

The Linden wish to express their grateful thanks to all from Duns who assisted Brian Nichol and the paramedics in safely transferring Sean Potts to the ambulance. Thankfully, despite a thumping headache the next day, Potts did not suffer any serious injury and was discharged from hospital.

Linden: C Gracie, R Elliot, G Anderson, P MacTaggert, G Baillie, K Ford, S Beattie; A McSorley, B Mercer, K Mabon, B Keown, S Hair, C Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Potts, G Wardle. 

BT BORDERS SHIELD
01/11/2014

Linden 19 - 26 Berwick


Having lost 64-6 in a League game at Berwick just three weeks ago, the signs were ominous for the home team as they lined up against a largely unchanged visiting side in their opening BT Borders Regional Shield match.

 

In the first half-hour Berwick were able to show once again their pace and clinical ability to put away chances to seemingly wrap up the victory with only the extent of the margin to be determined in the remainder of the game. However, the Linden spirit was evident as they totally dominated territory in the second period and just fell short of producing another score that might have secured what would have been a well deserved draw.

 

With Craig Smith delayed in traffic, a last minute change was required as Keith Mabon moved into the starting line-up. The Linden were first on the attack with a Graeme Anderson break but when the Royal Blues were turned over Berwick worked their way down the other end for Roy McFarlane to touch down and Shane Armstrong to convert.

 

The Linden responded with a Kirk Ford penalty goal and were on the attack again until they lost their own line-out throw and excellent handling by Berwick saw them go from their own 22 for Armstrong to score a superb try which he also converted. Steven Anderson’s lovely run set up good field position for the Linden and, from a scrum pick up, skipper Graham Colville took Berwick bodies with him as he powered over the line to reduce the deficit to 8-14.

 

A solid catch and drive from a Berwick line out ended in hooker Gareth Black claiming the touch down and two minutes later the Scremerston men scored again. The Linden lost their own scrum, Berwick ran from deep and Gareth Hill had the pace to finish off. Armstrong’s conversion stretched the lead to 26-8 and the game looked beyond the home team.

 

They had other ideas though and a breakout from Rory Smith and a surge to the line by Greg Cunningham saw Berwick penalised for killing the ball. A yellow card was shown and Ford kicked the goal.

 

The second period was played almost entirely in the Berwick half. Eight minutes in, the Linden lost their throw on the Berwick 22 but the visitors sent back scrappy ball and Colville pounced to go over for his second try. A long period of Linden pressure ended in Berwick being penalised, receive another yellow card and Ford’s penalty reduced the leeway to one converted try with 18 minutes remaining. Despite their best efforts the Royal Blues just couldn’t conjure up another score.

 

Rory Graham had a solid game in his first start at scrum-half in a competitive match giving Ford good service. The Anderson brothers, Steven and Graeme, had some good runs and Phil MacTaggart hit up well at centre. There was another excellent performance from the back row of Rory Smith, Cunningham and Colville aided by the returning Kevin Brown.

 

The greatest credit however must go to the front row all of whom came into the game carrying injuries. They were no doubt grateful to Keith Mabon, pulled out of retirement again, who allowed some sensible rotation which helped avoid aggravation of the injured trios aches and pains.

Linden: S Anderson, S Beattie, G Anderson, P MacTaggert, C Gracie, K Ford, R Graham; A McSorley, B Mercer, C Tofts, S Hair, K Mabon, R Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Renwick, C Smith, G Thomson, K Brown. 


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
18/10/2014

Linden 12 - 6 Duns

With intermittent heavy downpours the weather was trying for both teams in the second match of the Volunteer Park double header. Each side was guilty of a number of errors, many due to the conditions, which led to a low scoring game that had supporters biting their nails right to the final whistle.

 

It was the Linden who started the brightest and a powerful surge by Barrie Keown, supported by his middle-row colleague Craig Smith, looked threatening but came to nothing. The Royal Blues were not averse to playing open rugby despite the weather and seemed certain to open the scoring just after the first half mid-point. Unfortunately with a 3-on-1 the scoring pass failed to go to hand. Almost immediately they created another opportunity when the Anderson brothers, Graeme and Steven, combined but again the chance was lost with a poor pass.

 

Just a minute later the forwards took over with a number of drives at the line and Graham Colville finally put points on the board as he drove across the line to touch down. Although the Linden had been in the ascendancy for the first half hour, Duns ended the half on top. After the Dingers missed an easy penalty goal, Dale Robertson took over kicking duties to slot a similar award a couple of minutes before the break.

 

Into first half injury time and Robertson had another shot from distance with the last kick of the half. When it fell short the Linden tried to kick to touch from centre field which sliced into their own in-goal area causing major panic before a Royal Blue hand was first to the ball.

 

After missing a penalty kick the Linden were back on the attack but handling errors let them down. On 61 minutes stand-off Kirk Ford was sin-binned after one-too-many penalties by the Linden but Duns failed to slot the goal. Four minutes later and Robertson found the target to put the visitors ahead 6-5.

 

The Royal Blues tried to respond straight away when Ryan Elliot pounced on a Duns dropped pass to hack on over the line but was called back due to an earlier Linden infringement. They were soon back on the attack from their own half when a good old kick and chase in the foul conditions resulted in Duns knocking-on near their line. From the scrum the Linden forwards pounded at the line which ended with Colville once more surging over. The normally right-footed Steven Beattie put the conversion over with his left.

 

Duns were not for giving up and they tried right to the end but the home defence, which had been good all game, held out. It was a victory they deserved more as a result of their first half ascendancy although they were perhaps guilty of playing too much rugby in the conditions. Duns played a simpler game through their forwards which accounted for them having the better of the second period.

 

Alex McSorley did a good job at hooker with Connor Tofts, Barrie Keown and Craig Smith carrying ball well. Ryan Elliot showed his pace at times and the experience of Steven Anderson was often evident. Graham Colville gave a captain’s lead, scoring both tries and, when awarded Linden man-of-the-match, comfortably defeated his Duns counterpart in their after match boat-race.


Linden: G Anderson, R Elliot, S Anderson, P MacTaggert, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; K Mabon, A McSorley, C Tofts, B Keown, C Smith, J Hogg, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: W Barker, B Mercer, S Beattie, R Graham. 

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
11/10/2014

Berwick 64 - 6 Linden

It was no picnic at the seaside for the Linden at Scremerston. Despite a tremendous start by the Royal Blues, the speed and ruthlessness in taking chances of the home team resulted in a comprehensive defeat. This was a much better performance by the Linden than the scoreline would suggest, the reality was though that Berwick were a very good side.

 

It was the visitors who started the brightest right from when Rory Smith, back in a Linden jersey for the first time in five years, caught the kick-off. The Linden dominated possession playing with real control through multi-phases with backs and forwards combining well. They took the lead after 10 minutes with a Kirk Ford penalty and the young stand-off added a second soon after.

 

The Linden were quickly back on the attack but, when they lost their line-out in the Berwick 22, the visitors showed their speed in breaking up the stand side and Gareth Hill touched down. Straight from the kick-off some great passing put Dan Law in at the corner. The lead was stretched further when lock Scott Owens profited from a line-out catch and drive.


The Linden had a great break out but unfortunately knocked-on. From the scrum Berwick found space on the outside for Jamie Pick to score the bonus point try. With the first half into injury time two quick-fire tries by Gareth Hill and Jack Webster had the Linden wondering how they were so far behind after their early promise. Flanker Shane Armstrong converted all six first half tries to put his side ahead 42-6 at the break.

 

The Linden cause hadn’t been helped by prop Alex McSorley being forced off in the first period with an ankle injury and he was followed off early in the second half by Greg Cunningham who suffered a head knock. The Linden dug in again though and they had a sustained period in the Berwick 22. After they were held up, the home team turned the ball over and went the length of the field for Hill to apply the finishing touch.

 

The Linden continued their efforts turning down kickable penalties. Once again they were turned over and a kind bounce allowed Shane Armstrong to race in for another full length try. Tommy McColl then found a gap to go over at the posts with Armstrong converting and the final try came from a forwards drive.

 

An unkind scoreline for the visitors after their excellent start. However, the difference was that they made no mistakes in the early stages whereas when they subsequently made any errors, the home team had the speed and firepower to ruthlessly punish them. Kirk Ford had a fine game with two cracking cover tackles and seemed to have added length to his kicking from hand. Graeme Anderson was solid in the tackle and up front Rory Smith was outstanding carrying ball relentlessly.


Linden: C Gracie, R Graham, P MacTaggert, G Anderson, S Potts, K Ford, R Hamilton; C Tofts, B Mercer, A McSorley, S Hair, J Hogg, R Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: G Baillie, K Mabon.

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
04/10/2014

Quins 18 - 32 Linden

The Linden gained a bonus point win at Wilton Lodge Park, a venue where they have often come unstuck against the Quins in the past. The heavy overnight rain saw the game played on the middle pitch rather than the traditional Quins riverside one. The underfoot conditions were surprisingly good though and the fine early autumnal sunshine attracted a healthy crowd.

 

The home side were straight on the scoreboard with an Adam Hall penalty kick in the second minute. Kirk Ford levelled the scores in similar fashion following hands in the ruck. The first try of the game came after a thumping hit by Greg Thomson when chasing a high kick. This set the platform for the Linden to camp on the Quins line and the forwards eventually surged their way over the line with the biggest surprise being winger Sean Potts emerging from the pile of bodies to claim the touch down.

 

Ryan Elliot did well on the right wing near half-way and then the ball was moved left. Potts showed his pace on the outside racing into the 22 and feeding inside to the supporting Conor Gracie who sold a glorious dummy to storm under the posts. Kirk Ford converted both tries to put his team 17-3 ahead.

 

The Linden looked certain to score again when Graham Colville took a short ball at pace and charged to the corner but lost the ball in the act of scoring. He didn’t take long to make amends though. The Quins were penalised at the resulting scrum, the Linden opted for a repeat, influenced by having regularly shunted their opponents backwards, and Colville picked and strolled over for the easiest of tries. Ford converted and the Linden were in command at 24-3 with only 28 minutes played.


With the Royal Blues seeming to think they had done the hard work, the Quins took control of possession and the Linden regularly offended which ultimately ended with Hall slotting his second penalty. Just before the break a Linden clearance kick was charged down, the Quins shipped the ball wide and Hall benefitted from the overlap to race over and reduce the Linden lead to 24-11 at the interval.

 

The visitors missed a couple of penalty kicks early in the second period. They then took to running a number of similar awards which eventually paid off when Kirk Ford shot through a gap to touch down. As the game moved into the final 10 minutes Colville ripped the ball and took off on a storming run to the line but incredibly, for the second time, lost the ball as he dived behind the posts.

 

The Quins were rewarded for a period of pressure when Dale Johnstone powered to the line and stretched out to score with Hall converting. The Linden had the final word when Ford put over his second penalty kick to complete a personal haul of 17 points.

 

The first appearances of the season by Graeme Anderson, Greg Thomson and Barrie Keown were big factors in the Linden performance showing not only their experience but their desire and hard edge in contact. Conor Gracie had a fine game at full-back capped by his try with the front row scrummaging extremely well. Released from the middle row, James Hogg excelled with the extra freedom of wing forward and all of the bench made an impact.

Linden: C Gracie, R Elliot, P MacTaggert, G Anderson, S Potts, K Ford, G Thomson; R Norman, B Mercer, A McSorley, S Hair, B Keown, J Hogg, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Beattie, C Tofts, J White, S Anderson.


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
27/09/2014

Linden vs Dunbar

GAME WAS CANCELLED DUE TO NO REFEREE BEING AVAILABLE

GAME WILL BE RESCHEDULED


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
20/09/2014

Portobello 26 - 14 Linden

For the second time this season the Linden were left wondering how they failed to secure even a bonus point when they made the trip to previously winless Portobello. With a number of players unavailable and a couple of late call-offs, the changes meant the Royal Blues took some time to settle and the home team took advantage with an early try from Mitch Walker converted by Robbie Mott.

 

After 15 minutes Kirk Ford broke following a scrum on half-way and Graham Colville surged on powering through several tackles to stretch out and touch down. Kirk Ford’s conversion levelled the scores.

 

The visitor’s joy was short lived as powerful running from Rob Ritchie and some weak tackling by the Linden saw the Portobello winger go over for a try. The half ended with the home side on the attack and Phil MacTaggart departed for ten minutes, paying the price for one too many penalties by his side compounded by consistent questioning of the referee’s decisions.

 

A half-time rollicking by assistant coach Ian Barnes ensured vastly improved discipline in the second period. Whilst still a man down, good Linden pressure resulted in Portobello being penalised. A quick tap penalty and Colville ran over and Ford’s conversion put the visitor’s 14-12 ahead.

 

The young stand-off tried to stretch the lead with a penalty and then a drop-goal, both from long range, but each fell short of their target. Despite the Royal Blues having been in the ascendancy for the early part of the second-half, Portobello broke out and forced a 5 metre scrum from which Will Murray drove over and Mott converted.

 

Portobello then applied considerable pressure but the Linden held out with some stout defence. With the match into injury time, the visitor’s bravely chased the game running from their own 22 but an interception saw Murray Boyter go over for the bonus point try, converted by Mott, to deny the Linden what would have been a deserved losing bonus point.

 

Although the first-half performance was marred by too much back-chat, the Linden should be congratulated for chanelling their efforts to much greater effect after the turn around. Josh Farmer worked hard on his return, Kirk Ford had some nice touches at stand-off and Ryan Hamilton stuck in well in the unaccustomed position of centre. In the pack the front row of Ross Norman, Bradley Mercer and Alex McSorley scrummaged their hearts out with Graham Colville carrying ball well and Greg Cunningham outstanding in the loose.

Linden: C Gracie, R Graham, P MacTaggert, R Hamilton, R Elliot, K Ford, J Farmer; R Norman, B Mercer, A McSorley, S Hair, J Hogg, G Cunningham, S Grant, G Colville; Subs: G Baillie, K Douglas. 

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
13/09/14

Linden 9 - 38 Dalkeith

On a gloriously sunny day, with the sounds of a pipe band in the distance, the Volunteer Park crowd were anticipating an afternoon of entertainment. Alas for the Linden faithful, the majority of the rugby, certainly in the first period, was played by the visitors from Dalkeith.

 

Playing with a physicality the lighter home pack struggled to cope with, Dalkeith also showed great enterprise in the backs. An early glimpse of this was shown after a Linden lineout went wrong and the visitors ran from their own half. When the Royal Blues were caught offside, a quick tap penalty saw Graeme Duke touch down with Paul Clugston converting.

 

Kirk Ford responded with a penalty goal for the Linden which was quickly followed in similar fashion by Clugston. When put under pressure in their 22, the Linden did well to work the ball into space but a poor clearing kick was run back by Dalkeith and full-back Steven Hamilton crossed and Clugston converted.

 

Ford slotted a penalty but Dalkeith went straight up the other end to score. After a driving maul, skipper Ryan Reid came on a short ball to go over at the posts giving Clugston an easy conversion.

 

Ford put over his third penalty before Dalkeith secured the try bonus when Chris Naylor stepped inside and a huge gap opened up to allow him to race over with Hamilton this time converting.

 

With Dalkeith 31-9 ahead at half-time, the Linden were staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat. However, they showed great character in the second period but just couldnot put anything on the scoreboard. Their best efforts were a superb run from his own half by Stuart Renwick, until he was turned over in the tackle, and when Kirk Ford fielded a kick and put a deft chip in behind the Dalkeith defence. Unfortunately the bounce was unkind and he just couldn’t get to the ball before it went over the dead-ball line.

 

The second half had been scoreless until, with the final play of the game, a chip through by Dalkeith ricocheted off legs straight into the arms of Stef Paton who fed Naylor and he went over for his second touchdown. Hamilton converted with the last kick of the game.

 

Although well beaten in the end the Linden can take heart from their performance particularly in the second half. They had no answer to the Dalkeith driving maul and found it difficult to play through phases as they were often out-muscled at the break down and yet will feel disappointed at not getting any reward for their second half efforts.

 

With a number of players missing, Greg Bouglas was forced into back row action and put in a great performance. Graham Colville also had a fine game with Alex McSorley showing up well at hooker. Despite a lack of bulk, James Hogg gave another hard working display. Kirk Ford did well at stand-off with Stuart Renwick showing some nice touches in his first game of the season.

 

Linden: S Renwick, S Potts, P MacTaggert, S Bouglas, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, A McSorley, J White, S Hair, J Hogg, G Cunningham, G Bouglas, G Colville; Subs: B Mercer, C Turnbull, G Baillie, R Graham.  

BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
06/09/14

Langholm 36 - 48 Linden

The late summer sunshine and good underfoot conditions saw a points bonanza at Milntown as the Linden eventually ended up comfortable victors but not before the home team had made them work hard for the spoils.

 

Langholm took the lead with a well-taken Steven Nicol try converted by Nathan Smith. The Royal Blues hit back with two quick tries courtesy of Graham Colville, following an excellent Linden scrum, and Gary Lowrie, after Conor Gracie’s break taken on by Steven Bouglas who passed on to Lowrie to finish in style.

 

Stand-off Niall Cubbon broke through some weak tackling to go over at the posts and Smith’s conversion put Langholm back in the lead at 14-10. From another dominant scrum, Ford linked with Steven Bouglas who sprinted over and Ford converted. Just before the break Smith slotted a penalty goal to tie the scores at 17-all at the interval.

 

The Milntown men were back in front again when Nathan Smith carved his way over for a touchdown he also converted. The Linden evened things up with Steven Bouglas’ second try and Ford’s conversion. Two minutes later and Colville also touched down for the second time with Ford adding the extras.

 

When Langholm lost a man to the sin-bin the visitors grabbed hold of the game. First Phil MacTaggart dived over at the posts for Ford to convert quickly followed by Colville completing his hat-trick and the Linden were 43-24 to the good. Langholm responded when Jordan Reid ploughed over with Smith converting.

 

The Linden went up the other end and after a Jordan White surge, Sean Potts finished off an overlap in the corner. A Colin Jardine try gave Langholm the final word in a ding-dong affair that was great entertainment for the sun-drenched crowd.

 

A heartening performance by the Linden although they will be disappointed at shipping so many points which contributed to taking so long in taking control of the game. Kirk Ford put in a fine performance linking well with Steven Bouglas at centre whose angles of hard running were a constant threat. The front five put in a powerful shift with the scrummaging first class, regularly putting the home eight in all kinds of trouble.


Linden: C Gracie, S Potts, P MacTaggert, S Bouglas, G Bouglas, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, S Hair, C Smith, A Hume, G Lowrie, G Colville; S
ubs: S Grant, A McSorrley, G Cunningham, J Hogg.


BT EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 1
30/08/14

Linden 12 - 20 Linlithgow

At the full time whistle the Linden were left wondering how they ended up with nothing from their game with Linlithgow, not even a losing bonus point. On reflection they would feel a failure to turn possession and field position into points, areas which were adversely affected by a creaking scrum and regularly losing their own line out ball, were crucial. In addition Linlithgow had a well organised defence which was difficult to break down.

After an early Kirk Ford penalty miss, Linlithgow lost their centre with a leg injury before the visitors took the lead with a penalty goal after the Linden failed to release in the tackle. A quick Linden riposte came from a tap penalty taken on by Gary Lowrie and Kirk Ford’s chip kick behind the advancing defensive line to the corner saw Linlithgow just manage to scramble clear as two Linden players homed in.

As the Linden continued to apply pressure in the 22 they were turned over and the Mains Park side burst away. A kind bounce sat up and some lovely inter-passing put their winger in the clear who raced over for a cracking try which was converted. Three minutes later and a tap penalty by Linlithgow was recycled and they plunged over for a second converted try to stretch their lead to 17-0.

At this point the visitors had control of the game and it looked like a hard day at the office ahead for the lighter home team. However, they hit back after 31 minutes as Lowrie took a free kick near the try-line and forced his way over for a touchdown which Ford converted. Crucially, right on the stroke of half-time, Ford was given offside in the backs and Linlithgow slotted the resulting penalty with the last kick of the half. To rub salt in the wounds, the young stand-off was shown a yellow card and once again the Linden were looking down the barrel at 7-20 and only 14 men.

Into the second period and it was Linlithgow’s turn to see yellow after 57 minutes and the Royal Blues soon took advantage as they managed to put the squeeze on a visitors scrum near their own line and Chris Telfer pounced for an opportunist try. Ford’s conversion was met with one raised flag and one not, the referee’s casting vote being no-goal. With the majority of play in the Linlithgow half the Linden opted to kick penalties to touch despite continually failing to secure their own throw.

With the game into the final quarter controversy arose for the good sized crowd to debate. For the first time in the match Ryan Elliot was able to display his blistering pace and, with limited space to work in, rounded his man on the outside. As the Linden threatened to score, and looking to quickly recycle near the line, the ball was killed. It looked a certain yellow card offence and as the Linden looked to free the ball to take the penalty hands continued to hold it in on the deck. Josh Farmer, who had been having a fine game on his return to a Linden jersey, looked to free it with his feet as scrum-halves do. The referee took exception though and showed Farmer a red card to the consternation of the vocal home crowd which was further compounded with no yellow produced for the original offence.

With 13 minutes to go and down to 14 there looked no way back for the Linden but they displayed great character to keep working their way into enemy territory where they won a penalty kick. For the first time in the second period they opted for goal but alas the kick that could have secured a well-deserved losing bonus point just slipped wide. They were not finished though as they continued to work their way into decent field positions but just could not find any further reward on the scoreboard.

An encouraging if somewhat frustrating start for the Linden to their League campaign although work is required on scrums and line-outs. For all their good field position the Royal Blues struggled to create real clear-cut chances against a fine Linlithgow defence who were quicker to the breakdown where Linden support runners were often just that yard or two slower in getting there. Josh Farmer linked well with Ford until the former’s red card and Conor Gracie ran hard at centre. Props Ryan Beattie and Jordan White carried ball well and the back row worked hard with No. 8 Gary Lowrie outstanding.
Linden: N Murray, R Elliot, P MacTaggert, C Gracie, S Potts, K Ford, J Farmer; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, S Hair, J Hogg, C Telfer, G Cunningham, G Lowrie; Subs: G Baillie, R Norman, S Grant, A McSorrley


HAWICK LINDEN Vs SELKIRK 2nds

Pre season Friendly
23/08/14


The Linden kicked off the season at home against a Selkirk 2nd's team strengthened by a few 1st team players.

The home team started brightly and had Selkirk pinned in their own half. However they were unfortunate to fall behind when after a Selkirk breakout the ball was knocked on but they were allowed to recycle the ball and send their winger in for a converted try after five minutes.

 Selkirk were in command but the Linden line held firm with standoff Kirk Ford able to clear the danger with some fine touch kicks. After twenty minutes Selkirk finally broke the Linden line when their No5 received a short pass and crashed over for another converted try.

The match was following a similar pattern with a well drilled Selkirk pack giving their backs ample ball to attack. After 26 minutes the Linden were caught offside and Selkirk took a quick penalty and moved the ball wide to score a try in the corner to increase the lead to 19 - 0.  

The Linden pack were still competing well but the Selkirk backs were dangerous with ball in hand and after 36 minutes they broke from their own half spinning the ball out to the their winger who scorched up the stand side to score a further converted try. 

With halftime approaching Selkirk again were able to control the ball and after good backing up their No5  crashed over  the line for a converted try and end the half with a commanding 31 - 0 lead.

The Linden started the 2nd half in determined fashion with some good forays deep into the Selkirk half. After 45 minutes the ball broke loose from a  Selkirk lineout five yards from their line .  Ross Norman was on hand to  pounce  on the ball to score his first try for the Linden and receive the loudest cheer of the day.

Linden had their best spell of the game for the next 15 minutes with Shaun Fairbairn, Sean Goodfellow and Ryan Beattie giving a good lead and giving  Selkirk a sterner test. In 60 minutes after some good Linden forward play the ball was moved wide but the Selkirk winger intercepted a loose pass and raced in for a converted try against the run of play. 

After 70 minutes the Linden again tried to run the ball   but in a repeat performance the Selkirk center intercepted and he won the chase to the line to score a converted try and increase the score to 45 - 5,

The last ten minutes saw a tired Linden outfit leak a further three tries all scored by the Selkirk fullback and with the addition one conversions the match ended with the score 62 - 5 to Selkirk.

This was a tough opening match for the Linden against a good Selkirk outfit.

 The full pool of twenty two players getting a much needed run out and thankfully no injuries. 

Season 2013/2014 - scroll down for previous match reports

Hawick Linden 7s Tournament

Winners St Boswells RFC

05/04/2014

The second Hawick Linden Sevens took place at the Volunteer Park on Saturday on a pitch heavy with midweek rain but managed to stand up well to an afternoon of entertaining rugby.

The eight competing teams were split into two groups of four with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals. Pool A was topped by Selkirk who won all three of their games with Berwick runners-up. Pool B was won by St Boswells with a 100% record followed by the Linden who pushed the villagers all the way in a narrow 21-22 loss.

The host club were comfortable 26-10 winners in their first tie against Jed-Forest thanks to tries by Stuart Williams, Kirk Ford (2) and Greg Thomson with Ford adding three conversions.

Next up were St Boswells and Shaun Fairbairn intercepted to score the opening touchdown converted by Ford. St Boswells then took what looked a commanding 22-7 lead before Fairbairn and Thomson scored tries which they each converted themselves but the Royal Blues couldn’t find a winning score.

Some good running by Scott Grant saw the winger touch down twice against Annan with Ford slotting one kick. In a tight second half the Linden held on to win 12-7 and qualify for the semi-finals.

The other Hawick side, the Harlequins, just failed to make it from their group after a big win over Penicuik wasn’t enough due to losses to Selkirk and Berwick.

The Linden got off to a flyer in their semi-final with Selkirk, Stuart Williams scoring from the kick-off and he followed up with another try soon after. Ford’s conversions put the Linden into a 14-0 lead and things could have been even better when Greg Thomson kicked ahead and won the race to the ball but crucially the try was ruled out for a knock-on. 

Selkirk got on the scoreboard just before half-time and added two second half scores to squeeze home 17-14 in a tie which could have gone either way.

The second semi was even closer as St Boswells pipped Berwick by a point winning 15-14 to put out the cup holders.

In the final Selkirk appeared to have emptied their tank in the semi as St Boswells played some excellent sevens running hard, looking for space and supporting the ball carrier. They were the best side on the day and romped to a 50-5 victory to claim the trophy. Tries were scored by Ian Dautry, Ryan Hogg, Dean McCracken (2), Ben Gilchrist, Steven Hill, Garry Douglas and Adam Haig with conversions by McCracken (2), Hill, Douglas and Haig.

Linden President John Tait presented St Boswells with the Life Members Cup and the medals, sponsored by the family of the late Billy Russell, past-President and Life Member of the Linden, were handed over by his son Barry.

The player of the tournament trophy donated by Moira Black was presented by the tea lady extraordinaire to the referees choice of Ryan Hogg of St Boswells.

The Linden wish to express their thanks to all clubs who supported the event, the referees, Moira and her kitchen staff, George Harrow & Son, the Russell family as well as everyone who helped on the day.

Linden: C Gracie, S Williams, K Ford, G Thomson, A Hume, B Mercer, S Fairbairn, S Grant, J Hogg, T Skeet.
St Boswells: C Brown, I Dautry, G Douglas, B Gilchrist, A Haig, S Hill, R Hogg, G Lothian, D McCracken, A Williams.

Results:
Pool A
Hawick Harlequins 7, Selkirk 10; Penicuik 5, Berwick 56; Hawick Harlequins 61, Penicuik 0; Selkirk 12, Berwick 10; Hawick Harlequins 5, Berwick 33; Selkirk 33, Penicuik 12.
Pool B
Hawick Linden 26, Jed-Forest 10; St Boswells 22, Annan 14; Hawick Linden 21, St Boswells 22; Jed-Forest 12, Annan 24; Hawick Linden 12, Annan 7; Jed-Forest 7, St Boswells 33.
Semi-Finals
Selkirk 17, Hawick Linden 14; St Boswells 15, Berwick 14.
Final
Selkirk 5, St Boswells 50

Player of the tournament: Ryan Hogg (St Boswells)



RBS Border Rgional Shield

Langholm 29 - 13 Hawick Linden

22/3/2014

The curtain came down on the Linden’s rollercoaster of a XVs season at Milntown in the RBS Border Shield. Not for the first time the Royal Blues travelled light with only 15 players and once again injuries left them playing men down and contributing to the eventual outcome.

 

From an attacking scrum, Aaron Hume picked up and, when Langholm failed to release in the tackle, Ryan Beattie put over the penalty. The visitors increased their lead when they kicked a penalty to touch. Following the lineout, Langholm were penalised and a quick tap created the chance for Shaun Fairbairn to plunge over for a try.

 

The Milntown men hit back when No. 8 Alan Tyler picked from a scrum and found a gap in the Linden’s open-side defence to touch down and Niall Cubbon converted. Right on half time Langholm had a scrum in a similar position to their first score but this time they went blind. Simple hands created an overlap for winger Dane Massie to dot down in the corner to put his side 12-8 ahead at the break.

 

Linden started the second half with a bang. From a scrum on half-way, Fairbairn went on a nice run and put Greg Baillie away on a scorching run up the waterside touchline. Baillie’s kick ahead hit the corner flag, no longer out of play, and sat nicely over the try line for the winger to dive on the ball for a great try. It was a bittersweet score though as Ross Norman was knocked in the lead-up and was led groggily from the field to leave the Linden down to 14.

 

From this point the home team took more control of the game and their good work was rewarded when Massie scored his second try and Langholm were back in front at 17-13. After a long period of pressure Niall Cubbon darted over for a try converted by Massie. Aaron Hume had to depart with a shoulder injury and for the last quarter of an hour the Linden’s 13 remaining players tackled their hearts out.


It took deep into injury time with the last play of the game for Langholm to exploit their numerical advantage when Josh Duffy touched down.


Greg Thomson put in a typically wholehearted performance in his final game, Shaun Fairbairn didn’t look out of place at stand-off with Greg Baillie showing his pace when he got the chance. The forwards may have lacked height and weight but were not short on heart and passion throwing themselves into contact.

 

Team: S Grant, G Baillie, P MacTaggart, C Gracie, K Douglas, S Fairbairn, G Thomson; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, M Knight, K Mabon, R Norman, G Blacklock, A Hume.


RBS Border Regional Shield

Hawick Linden 12 - 7 Hawick Quinns

08/3/2014

The RBS Border Shield clash between Linden and Quins at the Volunteer certainly wasn’t a classic but it ultimately turned into a nail biter that had both sets of supporters on the edge of their seats right up to the final whistle.

Andrew Baillie made an early appearance from the Linden bench as Chris Telfer left for blood repairs but was able to return soon after. The home side took a 16th minute lead when Kirk Ford struck a nice penalty from wide on the right.

Although the Linden held the ascendancy, and the Quins were on the wrong end of the penalty count, it took until the 33rd minute for the Royal Blues to add to their tally when Ford put over his second penalty when the Quins handled in a ruck.

Just before the break the Quins were penalised again at the breakdown and a lovely strike from distance by Ford put his team 9-0 ahead at the interval.

Early in the second period the Linden brought on Andrew Baillie and Connor Tofts but there was little to excite the large crowd until Stuart Williams was penalised as the visitors pressed the home line. The centre was shown a yellow card and left the field looking somewhat bemused.

Euan Hair came off the bench to join his brother Stuart in the Linden pack. Shortly after Ford put over his fourth penalty goal when the Quins infringed in front of their posts to stretch the lead to 12-0. A tap free kick saw Shaun Fairbairn go off on a great run taken on by Andrew Baillie which ultimately came to nothing. A few minutes later Baillie departed to the sin bin as he paid the price for one too many penalties by his team.

With only four minutes remaining, from a tap penalty, Riki Kiore spun out of a tackle to touch down and Sean Peffers’ conversion suddenly gave the Quins hope of snatching something from the game.

Greg Baillie replaced Phil MacTaggart to complete a second set of brothers in royal blue as the Quins threw everything at the home line. With time almost up, a knock on by Quins on half-way was missed and they took advantage to work their way into good field position. They sucked in the Linden defence to create a massive overlap but inexplicably cut-back inside and the chance was lost.

Relief in the end for the Linden as they showed tenacious defence in the latter part of the game. However, they were in control at 12-0 and should have closed out the game from there but the Quins deserve great credit for the spirit they displayed putting the Linden under severe pressure for a prolonged period.

Greg Thomson put out an excellent service from the unaccustomed scrum-half position which assisted his stand-off Kirk Ford whose goal kicking proved vital. Stuart Renwick had a sound game at full-back and Bradley Mercer and Aaron Hume combined to ensure the Linden ruled the lineouts.

Team: S Renwick, P MacTaggart, G Anderson, S Williams, C Gracie, K Ford, G Thomson; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, S Hair, S Fairbairn, G Blacklock, C Telfer, A Hume; Subs: A Baillie, C Tofts, E Hair, G Baillie.


RBS Border Regional Shield

Hawick Linden 13 - 30 Duns

1/3/2014

Having defeated Duns in a League fixture five weeks ago, the tables were turned on the Linden as the Dingers ultimately ran out comfortable 31-13 winners.

Things were tight in the first half but it was in the second period that a potential victory slipped away from the Linden. They started brightly through an early Kirk Ford penalty with another effort shortly after falling short. The Royal Blues looked like adding to their tally when Phil MacTaggart darted into the 22 but his pass to Greg Thomson was a poor one and his fellow centre knocked on when a try looked likely.

On 24 minutes a great kick and chase by the home team put Duns under real pressure but they managed to recycle ball and break out of their 22 and, once in behind the Linden defence, their winger had the pace to go the distance. Ford responded with his second penalty to put his side ahead at 6-5. Greg Baillie threatened when put into space but Duns won the race to his kick ahead into the in-goal area.

With the time almost up in the first half the Linden were awarded a kickable penalty but chose to take a quick tap. They pounded the Duns line but when the ball was passed wide it was intercepted for another length of the field try. Instead of going into the break with a potential 9-5 lead the Linden were behind 10-6.

Duns turned up the heat after the changeover and, after a long period deep in home territory, failed to score as a result of a bad pass. Their pressure was eventually rewarded with a try created by a good line-out catch and drive. The conversion stretched the Duns lead to 17-6.

Another try was averted thanks to an excellent last-ditch tackle by Kirk Ford and excellent home defence kept the visitors out which eventually ended when Duns ignored an overlap and were penalised at the breakdown. The Linden won the resulting line-out but a poor kick surrendered possession and the Duns scrum half burst out of a maul to scamper over for a converted try.

Some good running by Stuart Renwick took the Linden into the visitors 22. When Duns were penalised, a quick tap penalty allowed Greg Thomson to dive over and Kirk Ford converted. The Dingers were to have the final say when, with the last play of the game, their stand-off broke from his own half and a lovely weaving run left some tired home defenders in his wake to go under the posts. The conversion completed the scoring. 

Skipper Ryan Beattie gave his side a good lead before he was injured. He received good support up front from Ross Norman, Connor Tofts and the back-row. Kirk Ford showed some nice touches despite being put under pressure by the opposition and Greg Thomson and Phil MacTaggart combined well at centre. 

Team: S Renwick, G Baillie, P MacTaggart, G Thomson, C Gracie, K Ford, S Beattie; R Beattie, R Norman, J White, M Knight, C Tofts, B Mercer, G Blacklock, C Telfer; Subs: J Trimby, K Douglas, S Campbell.


RBS Border Regional Shield

Berwick 46 - 0 Hawick Linden

15/02/2014

The Linden traveled to Berwick to play their second RBS Border Regional Shield match.

The main pitch was waterlogged so the match took place on one of the outer pitches with the Linden playing into a strong wind but thankfully no rain.

Berwick were soon on the attack and the Linden defence was tested to its limits to keep the home side at bay. In nine minutes Berwick scored their first try of the day when their wing forward crashed over the line. The try was converted to give Berwick a 7 - 0 lead. The big Berwick pack were controlling possession and after fifteen minutes they won clean line out ball. The ball was moved along their back division and their centre scored in the corner to increase the lead to 12 - 0.

The Linden started to work their way into the Berwick half through good runs from Keith Mabon, Graham Blacklock and Aaron Hume. Berwick started to give away penalties but the wind was making place kicks difficult and Kirk Ford's two attempts just fell short of their mark. In twenty five minutes Linden were attacking deep in the Berwick half but the ball was turned over and Berwick moved the ball out wide. Their fullback took the ball at pace and he raced down the wing to score a try under the posts to increase the lead to 19 - 0.
In thirty two minutes Berwick increased their lead again when their wing forward scored a converted try to give the home team a comfortable half time lead of 26 - 0. 

With the wind advantage in the second half Linden held some hope that they would get back into the game. Alas it was Berwick who added to their tally in fifty minutes when their pack drove over the line for an unconverted try. The Linden were having to tackle non stop but Berwick scored another try through their stand off after sixty minutes to increase their lead to 36 - 0. The score remained the same until the last five minutes when Berwick added a further two unconverted tries to give them a convincing 46 - 0 victory.

A disappointing result for the Linden who struggled to get a foothold in the game against a strong home pack and a speedy back division. The Linden back row tackled their hearts out with Graham Blacklock putting in some fine hits. Ryan Beattie battled bravely against much bigger opponents.

Team

15 Greg Thomson 14 Greg Baillie 13 Stuart Williams 12 Phil MacTaggart 11 Conor Gracie 10 Kirk Ford 9 Steven Beattie
8 Aaron Hume 7 Ross Norman 6 Graham Blacklock 5 Keith Mabon 4 Conor Tofts 3 Ryan Beattir 2 Bradley Mercer 1 Jordan White

Subs Gavin Stirling Kyle Douglas Steven Harkness

RBS East League Division 1

Hawick Linden 10 - 37 Linlithgow

08/02/2014

The Linden concluded their league programme against Linlithgow on a heavy Volunteer Park pitch.

It was a youthful team that took the park with five of the pack under twenty. Brothers Stuart and Euan Hair were making their Linden debuts and Chris Telfer was returning from injury after more than a year out the game.

Playing conditions were tricky from the start and there was a few unforced errors from both teams in the early exchanges. The young Linden pack made a good start matching their heavier counterparts and taking the game to them with some good driving play.   After eight minutes Linlithgow were caught offside and Kirk Ford duly slotted the penalty to take an early lead. 

In thirteen minutes Linlithgow were awarded a penalty when the home team were also caught offside and their fullback slotted the kick to level the score. The Linden mounted several good attacks into the Linlithgow half but faltered when the final pass did not go to hand. Midway through the half Steven Beattie pounced on a loose ball and was able to kick and chase from his own half but was just beaten to the touchdown by the cover defence.

Linlithgow were next to score in thirty minutes when their pack made several good surges and the wing  forward crashed over the line to score unconverted try.

Disaster struck in 33 minutes when the Linden had mounted another attack deep into the Linlithgow half. A loose pass was collected by Linlithgow and the ball was moved to their winger who sped up the stand side on a powerful run. He then cut inside and wrong footed the Linden defence to score a great opportunist try. The try was converted and with no further scores the Linden were unfortunate to turn round 15 - 3 down.

The Linden started the second half in determined fashion and Linlithgow were reduced to fourteen men when their prop was yellow carded for killing the ball repeatedly on the ground. Linden enjoyed their best spell of the game and in fifty minutes they 
won good ball from a scrum in the Linlithgow half. Kirk Ford moved the ball to Greg Thomson who sliced through the Linlithgow defence and touch down at the posts for a fine try. Kirk Ford kicked the goal  to reduce the leeway to 15 - 10 and the Linden were back in the game. 

Linlithgow made several changes which bolstered their pack and with a change of tactics they began to use their heavy forwards to sap the energy out of the young Linden eight. In sixty minutes Linlithgow kept the ball tight in their pack and they drove and rumbled over the Linden line to score an unconverted try.  Linden tried to fight back and attacked the Linlithgow line but again they were hit with a sucker punch when they coughed up possession . Linlithgow moved the ball to their speedy winger and he raced half the length of the field to score a converted try and end the Linden challenge.

Linden brought on all their replacements to freshen up the team but Linlithgow were finishing the stronger. In seventy minutes in a repeat show their pack drove and rumbled over the line for an unconverted try. They completed the scoring in seventy eight minutes when their full back carved through a tired Linden defence to score a try and end the match as 37 - 13 winners.

Linden deserved to take more from the game and the final score slightly flattered Linlithgow who to their credit played for the full eighty minutes . In the pack young guns Jordan White. Aaron Hume , Stuart and Euan Hair gave a  good account of themselves with Chris Telfer and Keith Mabon always in the thick of things. On a difficult day for back play Steven Beattie was the pick of the backs.

Team

15 Greg Thomson 14 Greg Baillie 13 Phil MacTaggart 12 Stuart Williams 11 Conor Gracie 10 Kirk Ford 9 Steven Beattie 8 Aaron Hume 7 Chris Telfer 6 Euan Hair 5 Stuart Hair 4 Keith Mabon 3Ryan Beattie 2Bradley Mercer 1Jordan White

REPLACEMENTS  16 James Hogg 17 Michael Knight 18 Ross Norman 19 Kyle Douglas

RBS East League Division 1

North Berwick 40 - 13 Hawick Linden

01/02/2014

The Linden played their last away league fixture of the season against a high flying North Berwick who were sitting third in RBS East Region League Division 1.
Thankfully weather conditions were a lot better in North Berwick compared to the weather experienced  during the bus journey.

 Linden kicked off with the advantage of a strong wind and soon had the home team under pressure when Craig Smith charged down a  clearance kick. Linden won their own scrum and after several surges to the line Craig Smith picked and drove over the line for a fine try. Kirk Ford converted and the Linden took a well deserve 7 - 0 lead after five minutes of play.

In nine minutes North Berwick scored an unconverted try when Linden were unable to clear their line, the ball was recycled along their backs and the winger dived in at the corner. North Berwick took the lead in fifteen minutes when their centre barged over from a crash ball to score a try which was converted.

Using the wind Linden kicked deep into North Berwick territory and when the home team were caught offside Kirk Ford slotted the kick to make the score 12 - 10 to North Berwick. Disaster struck in twenty five minutes when captain Shaun Fairbairn left the field injured to be replaced by Kyle Douglas making his debut on the wing.

 Undeterred by the set back Linden kept up the pressure forcing North Berwick into several mistakes as they were unable to master the tricky wind. In thirty five minutes Linden regained the lead when again North Berwick were caught offside and Kirk Ford  kicked the goal to make the score 13 - 12. Just before half time Linden suffered another injury blow when Graham Blacklock was forced to leave the field. With no other replacements available Linden would have to play the whole second half with fourteen men.

Playing with the wind North Berwick were soon on the attack and after a good forward drive their No 8 dived over to score a converted try in forty five minutes. With the one man advantage North Berwick took control and a further converted try by their winger gave them a 26 - 13 lead after forty eight minutes. 

The Linden defended bravely determined not let North Berwick run away with the game.  North Berwick were at times guilty of one or two off the ball incidents which went unpunished  by the referee and did not help the Linden cause with further injury's being picked up.

Eventually North Berwick increased their tally in sixty eight minutes when again their hard running centre crashed through a tiring Linden defence to score a try which again was converted. North Berwick completed the scoring in seventy five minutes when their winger sliced through to score a try and with the conversion added the game finished with the final score of 40 - 13 to North Berwick.

Again Linden found the going tough on the road, however they played with pride and passion right to the final whistle. Having played with fourteen men for the whole of the second half and against the wind the Linden took much credit from the match.  The whole team gave one hundred percent effort. Craig Smith and Ryan Beattie were outstanding in the pack , halfbacks Steven Beattie and Kirk Ford were a steadying influence

Team

15 Conor Gracie 14 Greg Baillie 13 Gred Thomson 12 Graeme Anderson 11 Daniel Kyle 10 Kirk Ford 9 Steven Beattie 8 Craig Smith 7 Shaun Fairbairn 6 Grahm Blacklock 5 Connor Tofts 4 Ross Norman 3 Ryan Beattie 2 Lee Stewart 1 Jordan White

RBS East League Division 1

Hawick Linden 22 - 16 Duns

25/01/2014

Saturday’s heavy lunchtime rain on top of an already very wet Volunteer Park forced a late switch of the Linden’s game with Duns to Wilton Lodge Park. Although still very soft underfoot, both teams put the difficult conditions aside to serve up a close encounter which could have gone either way.

 

The Linden had the first opportunities to open the scoring. However , the tricky surface contributed to Kirk Ford being unable to strike the ball well with two early penalty kicks. After 12 minutes Danny Lamb struck a penalty for Duns when the Linden were caught offside. It was third time lucky for Ford as he found his range to tie the scores but Lamb regained the lead for the visitor’s when he put over his second penalty goal.

 

The Royal Blues struck back with a cracking score. Greg Thomson fielded a clearance kick near half-way and took off. Some lovely inter-passing with Conor Grace, simply letting the ball do the work, ended with Shaun Fairbairn up in support for the skipper to romp over. Ford slotted the conversion and followed up soon after with a penalty earned through Graeme Anderson’s excellent kick-chase and thumping tackle.

 

Turning around 13-6 behind, Duns brought the scores level after 8 minutes of the second period. A penalty kick to touch gained field position and a period of pressure by the forwards ended with Colin Tait claiming the try which Lamb converted. The Dingers scrum-half then added a penalty goal to put his side back in the lead.

 

It was a welcome return after injury for the Linden’s Chris Telfer, who made his first appearance since September 2012 when he replaced Keith Mabon. He made an immediate impact as his aggressive running lead to a penalty which Ford put over to tie the scores once more.

 

Phil MacTaggart did well to retain possession in contact and, when Duns were penalised at the breakdown, Ford put the Linden back in the lead with another penalty. He added his fifth such award when Stuart Williams was high tackled and with 10 minutes remaining the home side led 22-16.

 

Duns made great efforts to snatch the win, running a kickable penalty and applying sustained pressure on the Linden line. A mixture of heroic tackling and spurning an overlap  with a forward pass left the Linden celebrating as the full-time whistle blew with no further scoring.

 

The match programme asked for the players to respond with character after last week’s record defeat and there was character in abundance. The front row scrummaged well and Graham Blacklock and Aaron Hume once again tackled with the force of men twice their size.

 

The centre pairing of Stuart Williams and Graeme Anderson were solid throughout, the latter putting in big hits and securing a number of turn overs. Conor Grace had one of his best games for the club and Greg Thomson was a steadying influence at full-back.

 

On a surface like a thick bowl of broth, and with a ball that resembled a pound of haggis, goal kicking was no easy task. However, Kirk Ford belied the difficult conditions and his 17 point haul proved to be the fine malt that secured the win for his side thus ensuring he was the toast of all Linden laddies and lassies!

 

Linden: G Thomson, P MacTaggart, G Anderson, S Williams, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, K Mabon, G Wardle, G Blacklock, A Hume, S Fairbairn; Subs: R Norman, C Tofts, G Baillie, C Telfer


RBS East League Division 1

Preston Lodge 129 - 0 Hawick Linden

18/01/2014


Preston Lodge clinched the RBS East League Division 1 title in style as they subjected the Linden to a record 129-0 defeat at Pennypit Park. The Linden had given the East Lothian side a real run for their money at the Volunteer earlier in the season but injuries and unavailability meant it was a vastly different Linden team for the return fixture, particularly up front.


This was where the visitor’s found it difficult to obtain possession of any note. With all three of their front row starting the game carrying injuries, the Linden scrum was under constant pressure and the soft pitch did not suit their lightweight pack.


It took the home team 21 minutes to secure the four try bonus point and by half time they stretched their lead to 49-0 with seven converted tries. Mid-way through the second half the tally was 75 points when the Royal Blues were a little unlucky to be penalised at the breakdown which was compounded when the bemused Andrew Ford was yellow carded for a comment which appeared to have come from the crowd.


This wasn’t the only time the Linden felt harshly treated as they were strictly refereed from 1st to the 80th minute and, even when over 100 points down, were forced to kick-off when a player was receiving treatment. Admittedly not front row, so technically correct, but somehow it just didn’t sit comfortably with the state of the game.


League reconstruction in recent years has held Preston Lodge back from playing at a higher level and they can now deservedly move on to where their power, pace and the intensity they play the game will challenge any side. They played quality rugby and scored some thrilling tries for their large support.


For those not in attendance at the game, most will view the result from a Linden perspective with astonishment but no-one should criticise the predominantly young side who pulled on the jerseys and never threw in the towel. The front row all played through the pain barrier whilst the back row, led by skipper Shaun Fairbairn were immense, flankers Aaron Hume, making his debut, and Graham Blacklock tackling like demons throughout.


Linden: G Thomson, G Baillie, P MacTaggart, S Williams, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, A Ford, J Hogg, G Blacklock, A Hume, S Fairbairn; Subs: M Knight, R Norman.


RBS East League Division 1

Hawick Quins 15 - 10 Hawick Linden

11/01/2014


The Linden returned to league duty on Saturday and made the short journey to Wilton Lodge Park to play Hawick Harlequins.


On a cold but bright day Linden started with a bang and after a good surge into the Quins half they were awarded a penalty for offside, however Kirk Ford just failed with his kick to open the score. Quins began to pressure the Linden in their own half and they opened the scoring in six minutes when Linden were penalised and Peffers slotted the kick. 


The Quins were dominating territory and in the scrum they were causing the Linden all sorts of problems . In twelve minutes Quins increased their lead to 6 - 0 when the Linden conceded another needless penalty and again kicked the points. The Linden were finding it difficult to break out of their own half and when they tried to run the ball they were met by determined Quins tackling. After thirty minutes the Linden had conceded a further two penalties and Peffers kicked the  Quins to a  12-0 lead.


 Worse to follow for Linden in thirty three minutes when  standoff Kirk Ford was yellow carded. Down to fourteen men the Linden finally got into the game and after a good break by Stuart Williams they were awarded a penalty which Shaun Fairbairn kicked to make the score 12-3. From the restart the Linden again swept up to the Quins line but a solid defence held the Linden at bay to half time.


The Linden raised their game in the second half and it was their turn to pin the Quins in their own half. Good breaks by Shaun Fairbairn and Craig Smith put Linden on the front foot but the Quins defence held firm. In fifty minutes the Linden scored a try when Craig Smith broke down field the ball was moved to Stuart Williams who side stepped the Quins defence and crashed over to the right of the posts. Kirk Ford converted the try and the Linden were back in the game at 12-10. Straight from the restart the Linden coughed up another penalty and again Peffers kicked the points to increase their lead to 15-10. 


In sixty nine minutes Linden winger Sean Potts suffered a serious injury and the match was halted so the player could be attended to. After consulting both teams it was agreed to restart the match on the next pitch. 


The Linden pounded away at the Quins line looking to win the match. The Quins were giving away penalties which the Linden opted to run but again the Quins tackled like demons and they held the Linden out to the final whistle.


Linden Team


1 C Turnbull 2 C Tofts 3 R Beattie 4 B Keown 5 A Baillie 6 G Wardle 7 C Smith 8 S Fairbairn

9 R Hamilton 10 K Ford 11 C Gracie 12 S Williams 13 P McTaggart 14 G Thomson 15 G Anderson

Subs B Mercer J White J Hogg S Potts


Friendly vs Selkirk 2nds

Selkirk 2nds 34 - 0 Hawick Linden

04/01/2014


The Linden were able to blow away some of the festive cobwebs in their first game for three weeks at Philiphaugh. The home team opened the scoring in the eighth minutes when a long switch pass back to the blind side by stand-off Rory Banks created the space for his inside centre to go over for the touchdown. The lead was doubled when Linden lost their own line out and the home loose head prop came on a short ball to plunge over.


A poor Linden line out in the Selkirk half squandered possession and a half break by their centre allowed his right wing to show his pace and race in at the corner. After half an hour Jordan White was forced to retire and was replaced by Graham Blacklock.


A wide pass by Ford led to Greg Thomson making good inroads into Selkirk territory and Stuart Williams’ thrust to the line ended with Selkirk turning the ball over. The Linden were trying hard to open their account and Greg Baillie’s chase of his own kick ahead into the in-goal area just failed to do so.


Just before the break Bradley Mercer left the field injured with Sean Potts coming on necessitating some reshuffling of the Linden line up.


The home team stretched their lead to 20-0 when they went blind from a scrum five and their centre touched down as he twisted in the tackle. This was quickly followed by a soft try from the Linden’s perspective as a Selkirk middle row barged over from a quick tap penalty and Banks converted. At this point a hand injury forced Blacklock to retire leaving the Linden with only 14 players.


Selkirk’s final score came when play was spread wide and their right wing flirted with the touchline as he sped up the stand side and Banks’ conversion completed the scoring.


Team: G Thomson, G Baillie, S Williams, P MacTaggart, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; J White, C Tofts, R Beattie, C Turnbull, K Mabon, B Mercer, B Keown, S Fairbairn; Subs: G Blacklock, S Potts.


RBS East League Division 1

Hawick Linden 0 - 39 Dunbar 

14/12/2013


The Linden’s injury woes continued on Saturday. In the lead in to the game Blaine Willison fell through a roof and Barry Sutherland dropped a kettle on his foot. The squad of 19 was picked from those left standing, including the returning Stuart Williams who passed a fitness test, however, he proceeded to severely cut a finger on a tuna tin at lunchtime whilst Chris Turnbull was forced into calling off 15 minutes before kick-off.

 

They say it never rain but it pours. Not only was that the case with the Linden’s injuries but also from the heavens as it was certainly pouring. The howling cold wind didn’t help either. After seven minutes the Linden defence was sucked in and Dunbar’s right wing ran over in the corner.

 

The Linden went on the attack and had an easily kickable penalty in front of the posts but chose to go for a quick tap penalty. Ryan Beattie was held up over the line, Dunbar turned over the resulting scrum, shipped the ball wide and it was their left-winger’s turn to score as he finished off a length of the field try. Stunning by the visitor’s but soul destroying for the home team as the conversion rubbed further salt in the wounds.

 

Gary Wardle then suffered an ankle injury to be replaced by Graham Blacklock. Dunbar had a sustained period of pressure as the Linden defended their line and a series of scrums for fully 12 minutes. The pressure eventually told when the Hallhill side sneaked over in the corner.

 

With the interval looming, a Dunbar move deep in the home half broke down and Graeme Anderson hacked and chased on. His kicks took him right into the visiting 22 when he was cynically taken to ground and the Dunbar full-back was binned. The home crowd roared in vain for a penalty try and a couple of tap penalties by the Linden came to nothing as they left the field for new jerseys 17-0 down.

 

Wardle returned early in the second period when Blacklock took a loud hit. Some controlled pick and drives led to the bonus point try for Dunbar and some good continuity play in the conditions saw them go over again soon after. Bradley Mercer then took play close to the Dunbar line with another kick and chase but the ball was kicked dead by the visitors. From the scrum five, a Linden pass was caught in the wind and Dunbar ran down the other end for a converted try.

The visitors added one more try to stretch their lead to 39-0 at which point Greg Thomson left the field suffering from hypothermia. With others heading the same way officials and coaches of both club’s agreed the match should end early and the referee sensibly brought matters to a conclusion after 60 minutes which, under league rules, would allow the result to stand.

Cups of tea were hurriedly supplied to each changing room to assist the players recovery from the elements. Well done to both teams for playing as long as they did in such trying conditions.

Team: G Thomson, G Baillie, P MacTaggart, G Anderson, C Gracie, C Russell, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, C Tofts, K Mabon, M Kali, G Wardle, J Hogg, S Fairbairn; Subs: G Blacklock, S Campbell. 



RBS East League Division 1

Portobello 52 - 10 Hawick Linden

07/12/2013


Despite suffering from injuries and unavailability, the Linden had a squad of 16 selected which they still felt was strong enough to get a result at Cavalry Park having gained a bonus point win over Portobello at the Volunteer earlier in the season.


Their plans were turned upside down when three players with whom arrangements had been made to be picked up en route did not show. All efforts to make contact proved fruitless and, even with Coach Lee Stewart forced into action, the visitors were still left to play with only 14 players.


Before the kick-off a minute’s applause took place in recognition of Alastair Cuthbertson, an esteemed school coach and of the Portobello club in its glory days. The home side started with a bang as their tight-head prop crashed over for a converted try after only 2 minutes. The Linden hit back quickly with a Kirk Ford penalty goal but the home side responded immediately. A quick tap penalty followed by some poor Linden tackling saw the Portobello hooker storm over. The try was converted as was the next touchdown when the Royal Blues were pushed off their own scrum.


The home team scored another three tries, two converted to stretch their lead to 40-3 after only 29 minutes. The visitor’s chaotic preparations had clearly had an adverse effect and it obviously took some players who were playing out of position a little time to settle into their new roles. However, from this point forward the Linden were immense. Their tackling improved to the point of being heroic and the effort was huge.


Seven minutes into the second half, a lovely wide pass by stand-off Ford created the space for Greg Cunningham, playing on the wing, and he linked with Conor Gracie who gave the scoring pass to Graeme Anderson for a fine try. Ford converted. Alas Cunningham was forced to retire with a shoulder injury after just 15 minutes of the second period to leave the visitors with just 13 players.


This did not dampen the Linden spirit which was typified when they turned over a Portobello 5 metre scrum, then won their own scrum ball which had been under severe pressure throughout the game and ultimately cleared their lines. It took until the 71st minutes for the home team to score which was followed by a converted try with five minutes remaining and the Linden down to 12 following another retiral.


If ever a team could take heart in a comprehensive defeat then it was the Linden. No-one should be singled out for acclaim as the commitment of all those who pulled on the blue jersey with pride was absolutely immense. Questions however remain over those who failed their club and team-mates in not appearing for duty.


Team: C Gracie, G Cunningham, G Anderson, S Fairbairn, G Baillie, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, A Ford, M Knight, J Hogg, G Wardle, L Stewart.


RBS East League Division 1

Hawick Linden 7 - 68 RHC Cougars

30/11/2013


The Linden had come up against a very useful RHC Cougars team earlier in the season but on Saturday at Wilton Lodge Park the Barnton side had improved even further from that match in September.


With RHC playing a high tempo game with strong running, offloading and excellent support play, the home side were under the cosh for much of the match. They did however tackle like demons throughout and looked threatening on the few occasions they were able to gain good go forward ball.


There were 10 minutes on the clock when the visitor’s opened the scoring with a pushover try by their No. 8, the scrum being an area of dominance for RHC. By the 27th minute they had scored four converted tries to lead 28-0. At this point Blaine Willison, Craig Mitchell and Greg Bouglas entered the fray and this seemed to give the Linden a lift.


Just before half-time, following some good phase play, Kirk Ford dinked a kick behind the RHC defence which bounced up for the onrushing Greg Thomson whose offload found Graeme Anderson in support and the full-back stormed over from the 10 metre line for a great score converted by Ford.


The second period started badly for the Royal Blues as RHC scored after two minutes thanks to the scorer making a great pick-up off his toes and then a lineout catch and drive stretched the lead to 42-7. Following this the Linden enjoyed a good period of possession but were eventually turned over and RHC were clinical in scoring at the other end. Two late converted tries, the RHC kicker only missed one all day, completed the scoring.


Credit to the Linden who never faltered in their effort against a slick side who were not only physically bigger but also well conditioned. Greg Thomson stood out in defensive duties throwing himself into numerous tackles and Graeme Anderson showed how to put bigger men down by going low. The front row of Ryan Beattie, Bradley Mercer and Jordan White, making his first start, simply never gave in against bigger opponents.


Team: G Anderson, G Thomson, S Renwick, S Williams, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; R Beattie, B Mercer, J White, K Mabon, J Hogg, G Wardle, G Cunningham, S Fairbairn; Subs: C Mitchell, B Willison, G Baillie, G Bouglas.


RBS East League Division 1:
Langholm RFC 21 - 22 Hawick linden
23/11/2013

The Linden traveled to Langholm seeking  to avenge the league defeat they suffered to the men from The Muckle Toon at the start of the season.It was a bright but cold day, and the firm pitch provided perfect conditions for running rugby. It was Langholm who hit the ground running when after only four minutes of play they opened their account. Standoff N Cubbon made a good break and when tackled he fed his wing forward who crashed over for a try which was converted. It took the Linden time to settle and after nine minutes the forwards won good turnover ball in there own half . The ball was taken on by Stuart Williams then Shaun Fairbairn who fed winger Sean Potts who sliced through the Langholm defence to score an unconverted try.
 
From the restart Langholm put pressure on the Linden and  their forwards won good turnover ball. The ball was switched to No 8 S Nichol who romped through to score a try with the Linden defence posted missing, Cubbon converted to make the score 14 - 5 to Langholm. The game ebbed and flowed and in thirty minutes Linden won good lineout ball through Shaun Fairbairn. Standoff Kirk Ford broke then fed Stuart Williams, he in turn fed Conor Gracie who broke through to score a try which again was not converted to reduce Langholm's lead to 14- 10. Just before halftime Ryan Beattie left the field injured and was replaced by Jordan White who was making his Linden debut.

The second half started with both teams playing open rugby. It was Langholm who extended there lead after fifty five minutes after several forward surges they were finally barged over for a try which was converted by Cubbon. This served as a wake up call to the Linden as they started to play with more purpose  and urgency. After continual pressure Linden were awarded a penalty, standoff Kirk Ford took a quick tap and broke through, he passed to Andrew Baillie and he stormed through to score at the posts to give Ford an easy conversion and reduce to deficit to 21-17. Linden reshuffled the team and brought on Stuart Renwick and Cush Willison for the last fifteen minutes. Willison made an instant impact with some good surges and strong tackling. The Linden were now getting on top of a tiring Langholm team and in seventy seven minutes they scored the winning try. The ball was recycled after a good break by Keith Mabon, Kirk Ford made a break and he fed Greg Thomson who in turn sent Shaun Fairbairn through to score the match winning try. The Linden saw out the last few tense minutes to secure a 22-21 victory.

Team

15. G Thomson 14.S Potts.13 S Williams 12. P MacTaggart. 11 C Gracie. 10 K Ford. 9 R Hamilton.8 S Fairbairn.7 G Wardle.6 G Cunningham.5 A  Baillie. 4 K Mabon. 3 C Turnbull.2  B Mercer. 1 R Beattie

Subs
B Willison S Renwick J White G Baillie

RBS East League Division 1:
Hawick Linden 5 - 10 North Berwick
02/11/2013

It was heartache for the Linden at the Volunteer Park as visitors North Berwick scored a try deep into injury time to snatch a narrow 10-5 victory.

The Linden’s lengthening injury list resulted in three changes from the previous week, stand-off Kirk Ford failing a late fitness test. Heavy rain left the pitch extremely soft and contributed to an error strewn match which made it difficult for either side to play with any fluency.

It was fully 26 minutes before the first real scoring chance as the home side missed a penalty kick at goal. Just a minute later though the Linden opened the scoring. Craig Mitchell fielded a kick inside his own half. Play was taken on by Shaun Fairbairn then good hands put Conor Gracie into space on the wing. As he was closed down he kicked on and, in the trying conditions, the ball was misfielded by North Berwick and Graeme Anderson hacked on to dive over for the touchdown.

The East Lothian side turned up the pressure and the Royal Blues were furiously defending their line when a stray boot connected with Gary Wardle who left for repairs to his nose to be replaced by Andrew Baillie. The visiting prop was arguably a little fortunate to only be yellow carded.

Being a man down did not deter North Berwick and a scything run looked as though it might lead to a try until full-back Anderson put in a superb tackle. Although the visitors had more of the first half territory, the home side went into the break 5-0 ahead.

The lead didn’t last long as early in the second half a series of scrums had the Linden under real pressure. Just when it looked like the Royal Blues might escape as the ball squirted out, North Berwick quickly worked it to their winger who went over in the corner for the equalizing score.

Some great play from a quick line out throw inside the Linden half took play deep into the North Berwick half resulting in a penalty but the kick at goal was missed. Another penalty was awarded to the home team and this time they kicked to touch. A great drive was taken down on the visiting try line and North Berwick’s saw yellow for the second time. Despite their efforts the Linden couldn’t secure a score.

It was then North Berwick’s turn to apply the pressure and a dart for the line by their stand-off was stopped by a great tackle by Wardle. The Linden responded with some hard rrunning by Anderson following a scrum which resulted in another penalty. Alas, for the third time, the relatively easy kick failed to hit the target.

As the game went into injury time a draw would probably been a fair result. However, North Berwick had one last push for victory. Scrum ball went wide to their winger who dived for the corner but a massive hit by Stuart Williams saved what looked a certain try. The Linden weren’t off the hook though. With the game deep into injury time an attacking scrum wheeled for the North Berwick No. 8 to plunge over for the try that broke Linden hearts. There was only time for the visitors to catch the kick off and send the ball into touch to end the game.

The Linden probably didn’t deserve to lose in such circumstances but will rue their missed opportunities. Graeme Anderson and Stuart Williams put in the big hits in the backs whilst up front Connor Tofts was an ever willing ball carrier, James Hogg put in a big shift aided by the back row of Wardle, Cunningham and Fairbairn. Andrew Baillie also showed up well and was joined late on by brother Greg making his debut.

Linden Team: G Anderson, D Kyle, P MacTaggart, S Williams, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; K Mabon, B Mercer, C Tofts, C Mitchell, J Hogg, G Wardle, G Cunningham, S Fairbairn; Subs: R Beattie, A Baillie, G Baillie, G Blacklock. 




RBS East League Division 1:
Duns 10 - 19 Hawick Linden
26/10/2013

The Linden traveled to Duns with an air of confidence following last weeks courageous performance against league leaders Preston Lodge. The selected team had a good balance of youth and experience and were playing a Duns team who themselves had some of their experienced players returning from injury.

The match was played in dry windy conditions with Duns playing with the advantage of the wind. The Linden started smartly forcing Duns back with some big tackles and counter attacking through the backs and forwards. After six minutes Barry Keown set off on a barnstorming run, the ball was then moved on to Ryan Hamilton who made a great break. the ball was recycled and Colin Murray burst over the line to score a great try. The match continued at a frantic pace with the Linden giving Duns plenty problems in attack and putting in some earth shuddering tackles in deffence.  After twenty two minutes Linden increased their lead when they won good scrum ball deep in their own half, Colin Murray broke clear and passed to Barry Keown in support, he then found  Stuart Williams who broke clear from his own half and sped up the wing to score a brilliant try. Shaun Fairbairn added the conversion from out wide to take the score to 12 - 0 to Linden. After a loose kick by Duns, Greg Thomson gathered and broke clear up the wing , when tackled Duns conceded a penalty and the Linden kicked to the corner. Unfortunately from a great attacking position Linden were penalised and Duns were able to clear their line. Duns were coming more and more into the match and only a great last ditch double hit by Conor Tofts and Greg Thomson stopped the Duns winger short of the try line in thirty five minutes. Eventually the Duns pressure paid off when Linden were penalised and Duns kicked the penalty to end the half 12 - 3 to Linden.

The second half started with Duns again coming more into the match through their forwards and adopting clever tactics of rotating their squad.  The Linden reacted by replacing the injured James Hogg with Andrew Baillie who was making his Linden debut and bringing on Chris Turnbull for Conor Tofts. After fifty minutes disaster struck Linden after they won good ball from a scrum deep in their own half, Colin Murray was unable hold the pass from Ryan Hamilton and before he could react the Duns wing forward pounced to score a try which was converted. The score acted as a wake up call to Linden and they went back on the attack sweeping back down field. After intense pressure on the Duns line the home team were penalised and before they could settle Linden captain Shaun Fairbairn took a quick penalty and he side stepped through to score a much needed try which Colin Murray converted to take score to 19 - 10. Duns again came back at the Linden but were hampered some what when they had a man yellow carded for a late tackle on Greg Thomson after sixty five minutes. Linden went all out for the fourth try but stout defending by Duns kept them at bay and the game finished with no further scoring.

On reflection this was a good result for Linden against an improving Duns team starting to get back some of their injured players, however they will be kicking themselves for not securing a bonus point win. A feature of the match was Linden's deffence with some thundering tackles from Keown,Thomson, Mabon and Fairbairn. Stuart Williams caught the eye with his hard running which earned him the try of the match.

Linden Team

15 G Thomson 14 Daniel Kyle 13 Stuart Williams 12 P Mac Taggart 11 C Gracie 10 C Murray 9 R Hamilton

8 S Fairbairn CAPT 7 G Cunningham 6 G Wardle 5 J Hogg 4 B Keown 3 C Tofts 2 B Mercer 1K Mabon

SUBS A Baillie C Turnbull W Barker G Baillie

RBS East League Division 1:
Hawick Linden 10 - 22 Preston Lodge
19/10/13

It was certainly a day of entertainment at the Volunteer Park on Saturday. The large gathering at the pre-match lunch enjoyed the feast laid on by Moira Black and her helpers and then were thoroughly enthralled by the amazing recollections and amusing stories of Ian Barnes. With top-of-the-table Preston Lodge looking certainties for a comfortable victory, the high level of entertainment continued on the field as the Linden put in a heroic effort to upset the form book and push their visitors all the way where some second half decisions proved crucial in not pulling off the ultimate shock.

There was an early setback for the home team when Jamie Gilchrist had to leave the field with an ankle injury but it didn’t stop the Linden from applying early pressure which unfortunately they couldn’t turn in to points. A penalty kick was missed and then, following a Craig Smith offload, taken on well by Greg Cunningham and Conor Tofts, Craig Russell found stand-off Kirk Ford whose dink kick through agonizingly ran into touch in goal.

Following a penalty miss by Preston Lodge, the visitors opened the scoring after 25 minutes. The Linden failed to clear their lines, PL pulled in the home defence and, when the ball was spread wide, Peter Johnston sped over for a try converted by Graeme Paterson. It was the visitors turn to apply some pressure but some great defence by the Royal Blues saw the half close with Preston Lodge 7-0 ahead.

The Linden’s Craig Russell was forced to retire at half-time to be replaced by Sean Goodfellow. The second half started well for the Volunteer side as Kirk Ford struck over a nice penalty kick. Four minutes later and the Linden were in front with a cracking try. Ford took a quick 22 drop-out to himself and fed Shaun Fairbairn. When the ball was recycled, Ford’s miss pass hit Greg Thomson at pace on his own 10 metre line. The full-back went through a gap and found Sean Goodfellow on his inside who raced over for a try which brought the virtually full stand to its feet.

Preston Lodge responded quickly. Craig Smith had been a nuisance to the visitor’s line out but was penalised for jumping early. PL tapped the free kick and a well-judged cross kick was gathered by Finlay Hughes who went over in the corner. Soon after Smith became the third Linden player to succumb to injury and Will Barker entered the fray.

This didn’t deter the home side as Ford went on a lovely run and released Conor Gracie who was tackled just short but a knock on failed to bring a score. It was all Linden at this stage as they were camped on the visiting line. Thrice they decided to take quick penalties when goal kicks were on, two in front of the posts, any of which would have put the Linden ahead. Their pressure continued though and Ford went off on another great run and sliced through to go over only for the score to be ruled out for crossing.

After all the Linden’s territory and possession came to naught, the sucker punch arrived on 68 minutes as Preston Lodge worked their way up the other end and a line-out catch and drive saw Bruce Stoddart credited with the try. Soon after Keith Mabon was penalised at a ruck outside the 22 when the ball appeared to be out and he seemed to come through the gate. To add insult to injury he was yellow carded, Preston Lodge kicked to touch and Stoddart repeated his act of three minutes earlier. It was a decision which caused debate given how many penalties PL had conceded on their own line in the first half that did not bring about any further sanction. It must be said though, that referee Tony Leighton had an otherwise excellent game more than matching the high standard of play.

With the clock running down Preston Lodge did receive a yellow card when a Linden player was taken out off the ball. Despite their best efforts the Linden couldn’t salvage even a losing bonus point which was the least they deserved for a heroic display that shocked the League leaders and perhaps even some of their own supporters. It would be unfair to single anyone out from a team performance where every player from 1 to 19 put in a huge shift raising their game to a level not previously shown this season. Although they only have two wins from seven, a repeat effort would see the Linden capable of beating any side in the League.

Team: G Thomson, P MacTaggart, S Williams, C Russell, C Gracie, K Ford, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, B Mercer, T Skeet, J Hogg, K Mabon, C Smith, G Cunningham, S Fairbairn; Subs: W Barker, D Kyle, C Tofts, S Goodfellow.


RBS East League Division 1:
Hawick Linden 43 - 19 Hawick Quins
12/10/2013

Both Linden and Quins fielded much changed teams due to unavailability and injury but still served up an entertaining match played at The Volunteer Park in bright and breezy conditions.

Things started slowly with both teams struggling to find any momentum and the first scoring chance fell to the Quins when they narrowly missed a penalty attempt on nineteen minutes.The match began to gain some momentum and in thirty two minutes Linden lock Keith Mabon had a strong drive into the Quins half  The ball was recycled and Linden standoff Kirk Ford fed Greg Cunningham on a switch ball and he ran hard to score a try under the posts which was converted by Ford. Just before half time Linden lost the services of Ross Armstrong with a shoulder injury and he was replaced with Colin Murray. The first half ended with no further score with the Linden in front with a slender 7 - Nil lead.

The second half started with far more momentum as both teams were showing a willingness to run the ball. Linden kicked a penalty in forty five minutes to stretch their lead to 10 -0.  Quins came straight back at the Linden with Ricki Kiore leading the way with some good driving play. The Quins forwards won good ball deep in the Linden half and when it was moved crisply to Ross Nichol he burst through Linden tackles and crashed over at the posts to score a try converted by Chris Ritson to make the score 10 - 7 to Linden. The Quins were sensing an upset and were keeping the Linden pinned in their own half and forcing them onto the back foot. From deep in his own half Linden fullback Greg Thomson sprinted up the wing and when he kicked ahead he was late tackled and a penalty was awarded close to the Quins line. The penalty was taken quickly and moved to Terry Skeet who broke several tackles and barged over the line to score an unconverted try a put Linden 15 - 7 ahead after sixty five minutes. Linden now were playing with confidence and when they won good lineout ball Shaun Fairbairn broke up field he fed to Stuart Williams who sprinted round the Quins defenders to score a try at the posts converted by Ford to increase the score to 22 - 7. The Linden were on fire and another late tackle saw the Quins penalised ten yards from their line. Linden opted to run the penalty and Kirk Ford danced through to score a try at the posts which he also converted pushing the score to 29 - 7. To the Quins credit they did not give up and after a great solo run by prop Daniel Finnigan he was halted just short of the line and Mark Nichol was on hand to dive over the line to score a try  which Ritson converted to make the score 29 - 14. In an end to end finish Chris Ritson kicked down field the ball was collected by Greg Thomson who dodged his way through the Quins defenders,he was held just short and popped the ball to Colin Murray who stretched over the line to score a try again converted by Ford. Not to be outdone the Quins swept back down into the Linden half and this time it was winger Greg Hunter who gathered the ball and dived over for an unconverted try and take the score to 36 - 19. Deep into injury time Linden had the last say when Colin Murray made a good break from a quick penalty and he dived over the line for his second try of the day again converted by Ford to finish the game with the score 43 - 19 to the Linden.

The game was certainly a game of two halfs with the Linden finally showing some of the rugby they were playing last season. The Quins played their part and were always in the game and just ran out of steam at the end. Kirk Ford had a great debut for the Linden and Ricki Kiore was the pick of the Quins.

Teams

Linden

15 G Thomson 14 S Potts 13 S Williams 12 R Armstrong 11 C Gracie 10 K Ford 9 R Hamilton
8 S Fairbairn 7 G Cunningham 6 G Wardle 5 K Mabon 4 J Hogg  3 T Skeet 2 B Mercer 1 C Tofts

Res C Murray P MacTaggart G Blacklock R Beattie

Quins

15 N Swanson 14 G Hunter 13 R Nichol 12 M Nichol 11 W Sanderson 10 C Ritson 9 G Whillans

8 R Kiore 7 N Hay 6 C Richardson 5 A Pretswell 4 M Davidson 3 S Robson 2 G McLeod 1 D Finnigan

Res A Bell I Elliot S Robson J Beeby

RBS East League Division 1:
Dunbar RFC 60 - 24 Hawick Linden
05/10/2013


The Linden were forced into making five changes from the previous week due to injuries and work commitments resulting in no specialised middle rows against a big and  well drilled Dunbar pack. On the plus side Barry Sutherland returned for his first game of the season but had to leave the field with a knee injury after only 12 minutes.

The home team opened the scoring with a try in the corner by Keith Courtney in the third minute. The Royal Blues responded in positive fashion kicking a penalty to the corner and ball from Shaun Fairbairn led to Ross Armstrong, who had moved in to stand-off for Sutherland, releasing Stuart Williams through a gap to touch down and Armstrong converted.

Hooker Andrew Wightman squeezed over to put the home side ahead with Jamie Peters converting. The Linden then lost Terry Skeet for 10 minutes although it is arguable that the Dunbar player to whom he retaliated could also have joined him. The only score during Skeet’s absence saw Matt McPhillips go over in the corner, converted by Peters. Right on half-time Armstrong put over an easy penalty and the Linden were well in the game at 10-19 at the break.

The referee had to retire injured at this point but fortunately his assessor was able to take over the whistle to allow the game to continue. A terrible start to the second half saw the Linden leak tries from Callum Low 2, Andrew Wightman and Blair Mills with a Peters conversion and, after just 13 minutes of the half, the visitors were suddenly out of the game.

The home team added a further try by Ally Brown before the Linden had an excellent period of play and a series of penalties in the Dunbar danger zone ultimately resulted in a yellow card which perhaps could have been brandished earlier. The Linden opted for a scrum from the penalty and once again the Armstrong, Williams partnership created space for the latter to go over for a lovely try. Armstrong converted.

The home team responded with Ally Brown’s second try and a Peters conversion. Once more the Linden hit back. Armstrong put in a nice kick to the corner. Dunbar took the line out quickly and Phil MacTaggart couldn’t believe his luck when the throw went straight to him for the easiest of scores. Armstrong converted well from out wide. Unfortunately the home team had the final say with Keith Courtney going over and Peters converting with the last kick of the game.

This was always going to be a tough game against one of the top teams in the League but the Linden put in a good performance for 60 minutes. Crucially the 20 minutes after half-time was where they switched off and the game ran away from them. An already weakened team wasn’t helped by the early loss of Sutherland but great credit to James Hogg and Keith Mabon in the middle row who played above their size against much bigger opponents. Armstrong and Williams were always a threat whilst Greg Thomson was sound at full-back.

Team: G Thomson, P MacTaggart, S Williams, R Armstrong, C Gracie, B Sutherland, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, B Mercer, T Skeet, J Hogg, K Mabon, G Wardle, G Cunningham, S Fairbairn; Subs: M Knight, D Kyle, C Tofts.


RBS East League Division 1:
Hawick Linden 22 - 5 Portobello RFC
28/09/2013

The Linden gained their first League win of the season against Portobello in more convincing fashion than the scoreline suggests. The Royal Blues came flying out the blocks, winning their own kick off and playing through phases with runners coming on at pace. The high tempo caught Portobello offside and the home team elected to kick for the corner. From the line out they were held up over the line resulting in an attacking scrum. A long pass was well picked up by Ross Armstrong who found Samisoni Rakabu and, with a lovely step, the full-back beat his man to sprint over.

Fellow Fijian Josataki Wakolo burst out of a maul in his own half to make a searing break and round the full-back. He found Greg Cunningham in support but the Linden were penalised at the break down. Portobello’s first foray into the home 22 saw them drive a line out but were turned over on the try line by Shaun Fairbairn who sprinted away and linked with Craig Mitchell who made further inroads into Portobello territory but, once again, a thrilling passage of play came to nothing.

The returning Terry Skeet had helped bolster the Royal Blues’ scrum which was in command, pressure forcing a number of heels against the head. When the home team were awarded a penalty close to the Portobello line, they opted for the scrum but were then penalised and after 25 minutes of dominance they only held a 5-0 lead.

With the visitors never having been in the game at this point, as is often the way, they went up the other end and scored. Penalties against the Linden allowed field position to be gained, Porty pressurised the home line and eventually the defence was sucked in to create an overlap for their right winger to go over in the corner. There was much head shaking amongst the home support at half-time at how their team could play such excellent rugby, hold the upper hand for the majority of the half and end up level at 5-all.

The second half started badly with Greg Cunningham taking a blow to the head and was replaced by James Hogg. A second try eventually came for the home team when, from a steal at a Portobello scrum, Ryan Hamilton linked with Hogg, and quick ruck ball then good hands allowed Rakabu to go over for his second touch down.

Gary Wardle collected the kick off and, when the ball was set up, Wakolo came on a short ball for another great run. However, the big man saw yellow shortly after when interfering at the breakdown. Despite being a man down the Linden scored a third try. Rakabu intercepted deep in his own half, kicked and chased. When the home team reclaimed the ball superb work between Stuart Williams and Conor Gracie allowed the former to loop his man and power up the stand side touchline and go over to great roars from the crowd.

The home team were now intent on gaining the bonus point try and after sustained pressure on the Porty line looked like scoring until, not for the first time, they were penalised. The visitors ran the ball from their own line and some great play took them deep into the Linden 22 but the home team managed to hold out.

With five minutes remaining the Royal Blues were awarded a free kick and opted for a scrum. Armstrong ran a good line sucking defenders onto him and his off load to the supporting Fairbairn saw the skipper storm under the posts from 20 metres for Nathan Mather to convert and complete the scoring.

Overall an excellent performance from the Linden who played some lovely rugby at times particularly when they were able to lift the pace of the game. They were let down by too many mistakes and giving away too many penalties which meant the match wasn’t put to bed as early as it might have been. Credit to Portobello who also played some entertaining rugby and were a danger when they opened up.

The front row of Gilchrist, Mercer and Skeet deserve praise for setting a sound platform in the scrum with Wakolo and Wardle prominent in the loose. Nathan Mather had his best game so far with some searching touch kicks and great passing to his three quarters and Ross Armstrong showed up well on his return to a royal blue jersey. 

Team: S Rakabu, S Potts, S Williams, R Armstrong, C Gracie, N Mather, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, B Mercer, T Skeet, J Wakolo, S Fairbairn, G Wardle, G Cunningham, C Mitchell; Subs: J Hogg, W Barker, P MacTaggart, C Turnbull.


RBS East League Division 1:
RHC 39 - 0 Hawick Linden
21/09/2013

The Linden travelled to Barnton in Edinburgh to play RHC Cougars one of the favourites to win the East League One title.

RHC had won their previous home game by over fifty points with the bonus in the bag after thirty minutes so the Linden knew they would need to hit the ground running. The match started at a frantic pace with the Linden having their fair share of the ball and forcing play in the RHC half for the first ten minutes. In twelve minutes RHC won a line out and  the ball was worked along the line to their winger who dived in at the corner for the first try which was unconverted. RHC were playing a high tempo game and the Linden were having to make every tackle count. In twenty minutes RHC won a line out deep in the Linden half their pack were able to keep a stranglehold on the ball and drove over for another unconverted try. Linden were still giving a good account of themselves disrupting the RHC play and making the home team make mistakes. In thirty three minutes Linden were caught offside and RHC opted to kick the three points. The first half ended with no further score and RHC seemed frustrated that Linden had held them to 13 - 0. 

RHC increased their efforts in the second half and after a series of attacks through their backs and forwards the ball was worked to their winger who cut inside to score at the posts this was converted to make the score 20-0 after 55 minutes. The home team were now on top and a converted try by their standoff and a try from another strong line out drive saw the score move to 32-0 after sixty minutes. In the last twenty minutes the Linden showed immense
 character only conceding one converted try and finished the last five minutes hammering at the RHC line but to no avail. The game ended 39-0 to the home side.

Although well beaten by a strong well drilled RHC side there were plenty of positives to be taken from the game. Linden gave a sound first half performance and gave RHC plenty to think about. Their heads never dropped in the second half and finished with a flourish

In the forwards Will Barker had a strong game  and Josataki Wakolo ran hard. The front row of Tofts, Mercer 
and Gilchrist put in a great shift against much bigger opposition . Nathan Mather kicked well at standoff and the backs gave their all against a slick back division.

Team

15 Samisoni Rakabu 14 Sean Potts 13.Stewart Williams12. Greg Thomson11.Connor Gracie10. Nathan Mather9 Ryan Hamilton

8. Josataki Wakolo7.Greg Cunningham.6Will Barker5.Shaun Fairbairn.4.Gary Wardle.3Jaimie Gilchrist.2Bradly Mercer.1Connor Tofts

Sub Graham Blacklock

RBS East League Division 1:

Hawick Linden 15 - 24 Langholm 
14/9/2013

Even calling in the Army couldn’t help the Linden to victory against Langholm. The Royal Blues’ Craig Mitchell had recruited from amongst his colleagues with Nathan Mather, Samisoni Rakabu and Josataki Wakolo making their Linden debuts.

The two Fijians were straight into the action as lock Wakolo caught the kick-off and set off on a storming run deep into Langholm territory. When the visitors turned over possession, scrum-half Rakabu put in a typically South Sea island big hit. Not to be outdone, Mather got in on the act with the first try after 12 minutes. A lovely wide pass by Stuart Renwick put Stuart Williams into space and his hard running and offload to Mather saw the centre scamper over at the posts for Renwick to convert.

It was then skipper Shaun Fairbairn’s turn to take a great catch at the kick-off and charge off on a thundering run which ultimately came to nothing. After the home team’s great start the Milntown men started to gain more of the ball and showed good control. Handling by the Royal Blues at a ruck allowed Niall Cubbon to stroke over a penalty goal.

A great break up the middle by Langholm captain Alasdair Cavers set up good field position and, following a period of sustained pressure, Cubbon sneaked through a gap to go under the sticks and add the conversion.

The Linden tried to respond immediately as another Williams run was then taken on by Wakolo. His long pass put Gary Wardle over the line but alas it had gone forward. From a line out, Wakolo’s one handed offload saw Williams charging for the line and, when he was tackled, hands in the ruck gave Renwick a simple penalty to draw the scores level. Just before the break the Linden were caught offside and Cubbon’s penalty put the visitors 13-10 ahead at the interval.

Will Barker came on at half-time and slotted in at centre with Mather moving to stand-off. Mather had an early chance to tie the scores but his penalty kick just slipped past the post. However, it didn’t take long for the Linden to score. Sean Potts was tackled just short of the line after a great run and Langholm’s Stuart Graham was binned for killing the ball. With a quick tap by Rakabu the supporting Fairbairn plunged over and once more the home team were ahead.

Mid-way through the half the men from the Muckle Toon re-took the lead with another Cubbon penalty. Rakabu then showed his running skills when he called for a mark on his tryline which wasn’t given. He consequently took off on a sparkling run, linked with Wardle who also ran well and, when Langholm killed what would have been quick ball, were perhaps fortunate not to receive another yellow card.

The Milntown side managed to work their way up the other end and constant pressure on the Linden line saw the home defence run out of numbers and Graham squeezed over in the corner. With time running out Cubbon kicked his fourth penalty to deny the Linden of even a losing bonus point which they probably deserved.

A frustrating loss for the Linden after a good start but the visitors were able to play with a little more control. The Linden’s new recruits all showed up well, Williams was in fine form and in the forwards Conor Tofts, Fairbairn, Wardle and Cunningham all put in big shifts.

Team: G Thomson, S Potts, S Williams, N Mather, C Gracie, S Renwick, S Rakabu; J Gilchrist, B Mercer, C Tofts, S Fairbairn, J Wakolo, G Wardle, G Cunningham, C Mitchell; Subs: G Blacklock, J Hogg, W Barker, R Beattie.


East league Division 1:
Linlithgow 33 - 7 Linden

Linden travelled to Linlithgow and were beaten 33 - 7 by a well drilled home team who played attractive fifteen man rugby.

Linlithgow started with a bang and after several good breaks the ball was moved to their winger who scored a good try  which was converted.  After ten minutes Linlithgow won good ball from a lineout on the Linden line and their forwards drove over  for a converted try to make the score 14 - 0. Linden eventually started to get a grip of the game and after some good breaks the ball was moved to winger Daniel Kyle, after a fine run up the touchline he was stopped just short of the line.  Linlithgow scored another converted try just before halftime to make the score 21 - 0.

It was a different Linden who started the second half and after several forward breaks the ball was quickly moved to Graham Colville who barged over the line for a fine try which was converted by Gary Lowrie.  The Linden were enjoying their best spell of the match and were unlucky not to score again after a good break by Stewart Williams. Linden lost the services of Graham Colville with a nasty knee injury and Linden lost a bit of momemtum. The game ebbed and flowed with Linden showing some stout defence but after seventy minutes Linlithgow finally scored their bonus point try which was converted. Linden  gave all they had in the last ten minutes with Stewart Williams again being stopped just short of the line on a couple of occasions. The match ended when Linlithgow pounded  the Linden line and scored an unconverted try as the Linden simply ran out of defenders. 

Linden paid heavily for a slow start to the match , however they competed reasonably well for long periods once they found the pace of the game. In the forwards Graham Colville stood out as did James Hogg who tackled his heart out. In the backs Gary Lowrie had a solid game at standoff, scrum half Greg Thomson defended courageously and Stewart Williams was a dangerous runner with ball in hand.

Team

Backs

15 G Anderson 14 G Cunningham 13 S Williams 12 W Barker 11 D Kyle 10 G Lowrie 9 G Thomson

Forwards

8 G Colville 7 G Wardle 6  J Hogg  5  C Mitchell 4 S Fairbairn 3 K Mabon 2 B Mercer 1 C Turnbull

SUBS

M Knight
G Blacklock

Border Shield
Earlston 20 - 26 Linden

Linden traveled to Earlston to play their opening Border Shield match of the season.

Conditions were bright and breezy and Linden opted to play with the breeze knowing they would need to put points on the board with the advantage of the wind in the first half.

The opening stages saw the the Linden forwards give their counterparts a torrid time with plenty go forward ball won from lineouts and a dominant scrum. As a result the backs were receiving plenty ball to attack at will and threaten the Earlston line. After ten minutes the Linden forwards swept up field, the ball was moved to Stewart Renwick and from twenty yards out he danced his way through the Earlston defence to score at try under the posts which he also converted. The match continued in the same manner with the Linden using the strong wind to attack deep into the Earlston half. From another dominant scrum the ball was fed to Stewart Renwick who fed to Stewart Williams on a crash ball and he smashed over at the posts for a try which was converted again by Renwick to make the score 14 -0 to Linden. After twenty seven minutes Craig Mitchell set off on a bulldozing run the ball was taken on by Gary Wardle who was stopped short of the post the ball was recycled and it was that man Renwick who crashed over for another fine try which he again converted to put the Linden in total control at 21 - 0.  Earlston made some enforced changes through injury but this seemed to work to their advantage as Linden somewhat lost  their way. Earlston took heart and after a good break by their center they worked the ball to the wing and they scored a try which was converted just on the stroke of halftime to make the score 21 - 7 to Linden.
 
The Linden were struck a hammer blow five minutes into the second half when an off the ball fracas saw Linden prop Terry Skeet red carded and the Earlston fullback yellow carded, Earlston were awarded a penalty which they duly kicked. Earlston took full advantage again when another strong run by their center saw him feed their winger who scored a try out wide which again was converted to make the score 21 - 17 to Linden. This caused the Linden to react in a positive manner with the pack controlling the ball and sensible kicking to touch by the backs kept Earlston in their on half. Linden steadied the ship on fifty five minutes when another good scrum Graham Colville was able to barge over for an unconverted try.  Earlston replied with a penalty of their own to make the score 26 - 20 after sixty six minutes. Linden brought on Barry Sutherland and debutants Connor Tofts,Jaimie Beattie and Daniel Kyle to freshen up the team. After seventy two minutes Earlston were reduced to fourteen men when their center was finally yellow carded for foul play and the Linden were able to see out the game with no further scores.

A good result for the Linden having played most of the second half with fourteen men however their discipline must improve if they hope to compete in the forthcoming league matches. The Linden forwards put in a solid display, in the backs Sean Potts was solid in defence and dangerous in attack. Man of the match Stewart Renwick was as sharp as his haircut. 

Team :

Backs

G Thomson,S Potts,S Williams,W Barker,C Gracie,S Renwick,R Hamilton

Forwards

C Turnbull,B Mercer,T Skeet,S Fairbairn,C Mitchell,G Wardle,G Cunningham,G Colville

Subs

C Tofts, B Sutherland,J Beattie,D Kyle


Annan 15s Tournament

Linden enjoyed a day of mixed weather and fortune when they competed at the Annan RFC annual 15-aside tournament for the Violetbank Shield last Saturday. 

Due to late call offs the tournament comprised two sections of three teams playing twenty minutes each half. Linden were  in pool two with Dumfries and Stewartry.

Linden played Dumfries in their first match and had the advatage of a strong wind and driving rain at their backs. Both teams were evenly matched in the early stages with both defences on top . Some indifferent refereeing allowed Dumfries to work their way to the Linden line and from a strong scrum they pushed over for the first try. Linden stormed back down the field and spurned a couple of good opportunities when the last pass was not held. Again the Linden defended stoutly but Dumfries worked the ball wide and their winger crashed over in the corner for their second try. In the second half Linden more than held there own until the last Five minutes when tiring legs let Dumfries run in two well constructed tries which were both converted. Final score Linden 0 Dumfries 24 which slightly flattered Lindens higher ranked opponents.

In the second match of the day Linden played Stewartry and this time they faced the elements in the first half. Linden started with a bang hitting Stewatry back in the tackle and causing havoc with some great breakout runs. It was no surprise that the Linden took the lead through a barnstorming run from Sean Goodfellow. Linden kept up the tempo and again it was that man Goodfellow who scored his and Lindens second try  converted by  Stewart Renwick. Half time score Linden 12 Stewartry 0. With the elements in their favour the Linden never looked in danger and they added to their tally when the ball was moved sweetly to Greg Cunningham who crashed over in the corner for an unconverted try. The linden rounded of the match when Conor Gracie made a fine break up the wing and fed to Will Barker to score with Renwick adding the convertion. Final score Linden 24 Stewartry 0.

The tournament was won by Dumfries who easily defeated Newton Stewart in the final. 

Although not reaching the final this proved a worthwhile exercise  for the Linden giving them some valuable early season match practice. Commitment and fitness was good on the day and the whole squad played there part in difficult conditions.

Season 2012/2013 - scroll down for previous match reports

R B S East League Div 2

30-3-13

Ross High     8      Hawick Linden      36

This was Linden`s first game for 4 weeks and it showed in an rather ordinary and lethargic first half,  against the bottom of the league team . Linden forwards struggled to gain possestion against  a big and overweight pack  who continually rumbled forward with the ball, keeping it tight, allied to the fact that they played uphill on a pitch with quite a slope.Kicking off with the slope ,early pressure by the home side kept Linden pinned back in own 22 ,Sean Goodfellow relieved the  pressure with a couple of good clearance kicks . Remarkably it was Linden who took the lead . Quick pass by Stuart Campbell from a rather untidy line out to stand off Ryan Hamilton on to Steven Bouglas who released S Goodfellow on a powerfull run to line and touch down

Ross High replied with a penalty goal, A lovely cross kick by R Hamilton saw winger Greg Thomson impeded as tried to pick ball on run for line, which went unoticed by ref. Back on Linden`s line good work by S Bouglas and Blaine Willison foiled Ross High`s hopes of a try.

Indiscipline in the Linden ranks then talking back to ref led to a yellow card for Terry Skeet , and 20yds of lost ground, a lucky escape as an easy penalty went wide from in front of the posts. Half time and an edgy lead for Linden .

A stern half time team talk by coach Lee Stewart, change of personel and a shuffle of players did the trick . Almost from kick off ,on the attack ,great take by Sean Fairbairn at the line out, taken on by B Willison fed Craig Mitchell who sent center Stuart Williams at pace crashing over at posts to score, Barry Sutherland converted. From the kick off C Mitchell set off on 50yd galloping run though a memerised defence, pulled down, ball was won and B Willison strode majestically down the wing to touch down at corner,B Sutherland converted. An Linden committee man was overhead commenting `weve dun more in 10 minutes  than in the first half`.

With Linden now in control ,scrum against the head, stand off B Sutherland long pass found S Bouglas unmarked and a strong run down the line to score,B Sutherland converted.With Linden backs now getting plenty of good possesion a powerfull scamper by S Goodfellow should have been a score if not a penalty try as G Thomson was in position to take scoring pass only to be pulled back by the jersey,once again went unoticed by ref, not Greg`s day. Powerfull brenge by forwards from poor line out saw winger Ben Gilchrist dive over in corner. Ross High replied with a forward`s rumble try. Just on full time good line this time second rower C Mitchell acting as stand off ,run open then pass to the blind for B Gilchrist to pick his second try. A very poor first half followed by a powerfull second half that just blew Ross High challenge away. For Linden center`s S Bouglas and S Goodfellow were in top form in attack and defence , R Hamilton had a solid first half,till replaced by B Sutherland who controlled with ease in second half, he was luckier ,Linden`s pack were in control. In the forwards K Mabon worked tirelessly,C Mitchell , G Cunningham and B Willison were the pick

Team     N Murray     G Thomson     S Bouglas    S Gooodfellow      C Gracie     R Hamilton    S Campbell    T Skeet    C Turnbull    K Mabon   S Fairbairn    C Mitchell     B Willison     G Cunningham    G Colville     S Williams    B Sutherland     B Gilchrist    G Wardle     W Davies     S Harkness    S Renwick  

 

 


 

Hawick Linden v's Forrester RFC

02/03/2013

The Linden knew nothing less than a victory was required to maintain their position as league leaders. Their hosts were undefeated at home and on a perfect day for rugby this always going to be a pulsating match and so it proved.


Playing with the sun in their faces the Linden were soon on the attack and after a good forward drive Forrester were penalised. however Stuart Renwick was just short with his kick . Forrester also missed their first penalty attempt but were soon on the scoreboard after their winger collected a slightly forward pass and then fed to their wing forward who crashed over under the posts for the try which was converted. The Linden found it difficult to get into their stride and they gave a further penalty away then marched back a further ten for back chat, Forrester kicked the easy 3 points and the Linden were 10 Nil down after twenty two minutes. There was worse to follow as Forrester pinned the Linden down with a long range kick to the Linden Twenty two. They regained possession and after a forward surge to the Linden line and their prop barged over for an unconverted try and after twenty four minutes things were looking bleak for the Linden trailing 17-0.

Undeterred the Linden stormed back straight from the kickoff. The forwards kept control of the ball and gained good field position deep in the Forrester half, the ball was moved swiftly along the backs and Nathan Murray ran in for a great team try, the conversion was missed but the score worked as a tonic for the Linden. It was all Linden for the next five minutes with the Linden forwards giving their counterparts a torrid time. Forrester conceded a penalty and the Linden drilled the ball deep into the Forrester twenty two. From the resulting lineout Sean Fairbairn won tidy ball and after several surges by forwards and backs Greg Goofellow crashed over for the try the conversion was missed and the score was 17 - 10 after thirty three minutes. The game was pulsating and both teams were feeling the pace and picking up knocks however the Linden were waxing stronger and after Forrester conceded a further penalty for a high tackle the Linden secured a lineout deep into the Forrester half. From the lineout the Linden secured possession and it was Terry Skeet who ploughed over for another fine try, the conversion was missed but the Linden were now back in contention at 17-15. Just before half time Forrester made a great break towards the Linden line, their dangerous centre looked all but certain to score but Nathan Murray put in a fine tackle and held him up over the line to thwart the score the referee blew his whistle for half time

The Linden took the lead for the first time after 46 minutes when Stuart Renwick kicked a penalty but the lead was short lived as Forrester replied with a penalty of their own to make the score 20 - 18 in Forresters favour. There followed a spell where both defences were on top as both teams went out to win the game. Linden freshened up their lineup by bringing on Graham Colville and Wattie Davies into the forwards and Ben Gilchrist into the backs. The fresh legs paid dividend but the Linden were thwarted on three occasions when the final scoring pass was deemed forward by the referee. Forrester tried to pin back the Linden with long kicks and on seventy two minutes the Linden gathered a kick the ball spun out to Greg Thomson who ran then drilled the ball long down the line ,the Forrester defence was pressured into conceeding a ten yard scrum. The Linden pack put in a massive effort at the scrum and Graham Colville was able to pick and drive over for the Lindens fourth try of the day, again the conversion was missed but the Linden were in front at 23 -20. There followed a frantic last eight minutes with Forrester running the ball at every opportunity but Linden confined them to their own half until the referee blew for full time.

This was a victory full of character with the whole squad playing their part. In the forwards Terry Skeet made some great yardage and Sean Fairbairn had some great lineout takes. Nathan Murray was a danger in attack and his try saving tackle was a turning point in the game.

 

 

 


RBS Borders Regional Shield

 

23-02-13

 

Gala YM 51, Hawick Linden 6

 

On paper the same two teams were playing on consecutive weeks but in reality the sides lined up vastly different from the previous week’s League contest. The Linden were weakened by eight enforced changes whilst Gala YM looked significantly stronger than the week before with their backs running strongly whenever the opportunity arose.

 

The wider spaces of the main Netherdale pitch was to their liking with Gala 2nds curiously playing their match against West of Scotland on the traditional YM pitch. Interestingly, off fields matters were orchestrated for the YM by Gala 2nds coaches Chris Dalgleish and Ewan Johnstone.

 

The Linden started well with a period of pressure but a loose pass in the home 22 allowed a turn over and counter attack for a spectacular length of the field try as the speedy YM right winger finished off in the corner. The unfortunate Ryan Beattie, given a starting berth, picked up an injury and was replaced by Terry Skeet after only 13 minutes.

 

Straight after this change, the YM scrum half took a quick tap penalty and shot off to put his winger in for his second try. An excellent scrum by the Linden forced a penalty which Stuart Renwick stroked over. YM responded with a penalty for offside and then stretched their lead when a neat kick over the Linden defensive line took a wicked bounce and YM strolled over for a converted try.

 

When YM failed to roll away at the tackle, and were penalised 10 metres for protesting – it could have been more, Renwick kicked his second penalty goal. Right from the restart, a poor Linden kick was run back for YM’s bonus point try. Skipper for the day Blaine Willison had to leave the field to be replaced by Jamie Scott and the Linden went into the break trailing 25-6.

 

The second period couldn’t have begun much worse for the visitors when Keith Mabon was yellow carded and YM touched down thrice in his absence, two converted, whilst Blair Irving, on as a replacement, retired with a recurrence of a knee injury. The Linden then had their best period of the game but the final score went to the Gala side as their replacement prop crashed over from short range and the conversion completed the scoring.

 

Perhaps a game Linden could have done without, Shield qualification beyond them before the start, and a number of injuries picked up which disrupted matters further. Greg Thomson was the pick of the backs running and tackling hard. Credit to the Royal Blues pack, who were dominant in the scrum, with Greg Cunningham prominent in the loose.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, G Stirling, S Renwick, C Gracie, R Hamilton, S Campbell; J Gilchrist, S Harkness, R Beattie, K mabon, J Hogg, B Willison, G Cunningham, C Mitchell; Subs: T Skeet, B Irving, M Knight, J Scott.

 

 


 

RBS East League Division 2

16-02-13

Hawick Linden 44, Gala YM 3

Following their defeat at Trinity Accies a fortnight ago, the Linden got back to winning ways in East League Division Two to maintain their push towards promotion. It was a much changed Gala YM side they faced at the Volunteer Park to what they had faced at Netherdale earlier in the season. The YM proved a tough nut to crack as they were very competitive at the breakdown, carried ball well through their forwards, particularly the front row, and their half-backs were a constant threat.

 

The home backs always looked dangerous but took some time to exert themselves fully on the game. The Linden were quickly off the mark with a Stuart Renwick penalty goal in the second minute with the visiting stand-off leveling matters soon after with a similar award. The first try came from a line out catch and drive and, when ball was released to the backs, Nathan Murray hit space and cut inside the full-back to go over at the posts with Renwick converting.

 

The second try couldn’t have been simpler. As a scrum twisted near the YM line, scrum-half Ryan Hamilton found wing forward Gary Wardle looping round to speed over in the corner. As the first period moved into injury time some great play by the Linden gained good field position. A scrum pick up followed by ruck ball found Steven Bouglas coming back on a good angle to cross over and stretch the Royal Blues lead to 20-3 at the break.

The Linden were now looking for a vital bonus point try which took until the 23rd minute of the second half before it arrived. Replacement scrum-half Stuart Campbell found Hamilton, who had moved to stand-off, and his pass to Sean Goodfellow saw the strong running centre spin out of a tackle and go under the posts. Goodfellow converted his own try.

 

The Linden emptied their bench and this seemed to inject more urgency into their play. Greg Thomson retreated to field a Gala clearance kick and ran back with vigour. A couple of rucks later and Craig Mitchell burst through in midfield and linked with Blair Irving who gave Greg Bouglas an easy run in to the corner. Some great handling in the lead up, saw Thomson surge into enemy territory and Steven Bouglas was in support to touch down under the posts. Terry Skeet majestically drop-kicked the conversion.

 

With time almost up, Thomson sped up the touchline and his kick ahead ricocheted kindly for Greg Bouglas to hack on and plunge over for his second try of the day and the Linden’s seventh. Skeet’s conversion slipped narrowly wide.

 

Greg Thomson ran hard and defended well with Stuart Campbell looking like he had never been away. Ryan Hamilton showed his versatility proving a useful link at fly-half. The front row of Jamie Gilchrist, Chris Turnbull and Terry Skeet worked hard against experienced opponents with Ryan Beattie showing up well from the bench.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, S Goodfellow, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, C Turnbull, T Skeet, K Mabon, S Fairbairn, G Wardle, B Willison, C Mitchell; Subs: G Bouglas, S Harkness, G Cunningham, R Beattie, S Campbell, B Irving

 

 

 


 

RBS Borders Regional Shield

 

02-02-13

 

Hawick Linden 27, Hawick Harlequins 0

 

With both teams out of the running for qualification from their group in the RBS Borders Shield, it came as little surprise that the match took a while to get going. Even when it did, it didn’t get much beyond second gear. There were fully 20 minutes on the clock before the Quins had the chance to open the scoring but Rory Anderson’s penalty attempt slipped wide.

 

Seven minutes from the interval the Linden finally broke the deadlock. Sean Fairbairn took good line out ball and Sean Goodfellow bashed into the midfield. From probably their first quick ruck ball of the match, the Royal Blues went right and good hands found Terry Skeet lurking out on the wing and the prop crashed over in the corner. With time almost up in the first half it was the Linden forwards who took ball on followed by another strong run from Goodfellow. Some more good handling, with Stuart Renwick giving the final pass, led to Nathan Murray racing in at the opposite corner and Renwick’s touchline conversion stretched the home lead to 12-0 at the break.

 

Into the second period and a good counter ruck by the Linden enabled Steven Bouglas to hack on from inside his own half right to the Quins line but the hard running centre stumbled just as he looked like scoring. With the Quins defending furiously, as they had done all game, stand-off Renwick resorted to a drop goal attempt which he slotted over off his weaker left foot.

 

With the visitors suffering injuries in their front row the game went to contested scrums. Soon after a neat Renwick grubber into the in-goal area saw Greg Thomson race on and dive for the ball as it neared the touchline but no try was awarded and the Linden were penalised for backchat, something that is happening too often. Keith Mabon sent Skeet tearing up the wing and, although the prop showed a remarkable turn of pace, he was tackled just short.

 

The Linden finally stretched their lead with a straightforward score. From a scrum they broke blind and simple hands put Greg Thomson into space to touchdown in the corner. Shortly after, Goodfellow burst up the cricket field touchline. From the subsequent ruck Skeet took a short ball at pace and broke through the Quins defence on the 22 and ran round behind the posts for a deserved second try. Renwick’s conversion was the final kick of the game as the referee blew up a little early.

 

Not a vintage performance from the Linden but they will be satisfied at securing a bonus point win against a plucky understrength Quins side. Continuing where they left off last week, the front row put in a dominant performance at scrum time. After having some running repairs attended to in the first half, Skeet put in an impressive display in the loose whilst Nathan Murray was full of running when the opportunity arose.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, S Goodfellow, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, C Turnbull, T Skeet, K Mabon, S Fairbairn, B Willison, G Wardle, C Mitchell; Subs; S Harkness, M Kali, W Barker, R Beattie

 


 

 

RBS East League Division 2

26-01-13

Trinity Accies 18, Hawick Linden 10

 

The Linden found that, having worked their way to the top of the League, teams will now be gunning for them and that was certainly the case at Bangholm on Saturday. A fired up Trinity Accies were well up for the fight in a tight encounter that the home side had more control of especially after gaining a useful lead.

 

It was the Linden who started the brighter playing some excellent structured phase play into the relatively stiff breeze but the organisation and tackling of Accies proved hard to break down. The visitors took their chance to spread play wide from a tap penalty but, having created space on the left, an inside pass was intercepted by the home right winger who had the pace to run in to the corner from his own half to strike a real hammer blow for the Royal Blues. The lead was stretched to eight points with a penalty goal when the Linden were caught offside.

Soon after Sean Fairbairn was harshly sin-binned for what was deemed a deliberate knock-on when he tried to intercept a pass although no damage was done on the scoreboard during his absence. Sean Goodfellow burst into enemy territory to create real danger but when Steven Bouglas was tackled in the 22 the threat came to nothing. The visitors would have been satisfied with only an eight point deficit at the break but Accies struck a crucial blow right on half-time. A line out catch and drive was released to the backs and the Trinity full back ran a nice angle to slice through and go over at the posts and the conversion left the home side 15-0 ahead.

 

Turning round with the slight slope and wind in their favour the game was far from beyond the Linden although the breeze did drop off significantly as the half wore on. They started well enough as Renwick slotted a penalty when Accies came in at the side of a ruck and worked their way back into good field position. A home scrum near their own line was destroyed by the Linden pack and Craig Mitchell picked and drove for the line. Although he and others around him were convinced he had scored no try was awarded nor any penalty when he appeared to be tackled by a defender who had broken early from the disintegrated home scrum. Backchat by the visitors was penalised and field position was lost.

 

The Accies stand-off who turned in a useful all round performance kicked a penalty to restore the 15 point lead. Substitutions were made by the Linden as they tried to inject more urgency. A kickable penalty was unwisely run as the Linden chased the game too early. After a Goodfellow break the home team failed to roll away in the tackle. The offender was yellow carded and the Linden opted for a scrum. They marched Accies back which led to Goodfellow going for the line and he had the strength to stretch over. It was that man Goodfellow again who somehow broke straight through a lineout inside his own half and made a lung bursting run into the Accies 22 but was tackled just short of the line.

 

A disappointing result for the Linden, especially the failure to secure even a bonus point. Accies were however a well organised side who played with greater control and had done their homework to deny space to the threat of the Linden backs. Sean Goodfellow had an inspirational game proving hard to put down in the tackle. The pack were tremendous in the scrums which they dominated, constantly shunting their opponents back so great credit to the front row of Jamie Gilchrist, Terry Skeet and Chris Turnbull who was a revelation at hooker. Craig Mitchell carried ball tirelessly and was well supported by young James Hogg.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, S Goodfellow, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, C Turnbull, T Skeet, K Mabon, S Fairbairn, B Willison, J Hogg, C Mitchell; Subs: L Stewart, G Cunningham, R Beattie, M Knight, S Williams, S Campbell


R B S East League 2

12-1-13

Lismore 18 Hawick Linden 62

In a high scoring game Linden proved to good for their city opponents running in 10 try`s in the process .Some sparkling running and passing overwhelmed their opponents who`s only answer to Linden`s attacking style was to tuck the ball up their jumper and roll forward, a real turn off for the rugby conessuir. This has become to prevalent in today`s game as teams with big heavy forwards rule ,to the detriment of their backs . In perfect coditions on a slightly soft pitch Linden got off to a sticky start ,Lismore took no time in showing of their tatics of the forward roll ,their reward a penalty in front of the posts.

This was the last time they threatened LInden, till they found themselves 45points down and Linden brought on subs. A yellow card against Linden was the catylist for them to wake up , a great run by Sean Goodfellow took play to Lismore ,good work from Sean Fairbairn and cross kick from Stuart Renwick saw Greg Thomson pick up and race in to score. converted by S Renwick. Good line out ball resulted in quick release of ball, out to center S Goodfellow dummy and inside break ,touch down at posts ,S Renwick coversion. From kick strong run by Terry Skeet supported by Keith Mabon and Jamie Gilchrist out to backs in came No8 Craig Mitchell at pace to power over. Try`s were coming quick and fast ,pressure on Lismore line,penalty in front of posts Quickly taken by S Renwick who danced over to score and convert. A brilliant solo effort next Gary Wardle robbing opponent of ball in own 22 raced through a demoralised defence to score.A yellow card against Lismore just before half time .

With the turn around their was no relief for 14 man Lismore, a sloppy kick into Linden`s 22 by the Lismore stand off was picked up by full back Nathan Murray who raced down the touch line, past a bedraggled defence to eventually score between posts, S Renwick converted. Pressure once more on Lismore line T Skeet drove forward out to S Fairbairn who drove through the defence to score, S Renwick converted. Changes to the Linden team plus they seemed to sit back as the game was well and truly won ,allowed the big Lismore forwards to drive forward and pick up a push over try. Back came LInden ball won by forwards along line to Steven Bouglas inside to S Goodfellow to score.S Renwick converted Back came Lismore with a roll by big forwards to score. Another couple of Yellow cards by ref, one to each side reduced both teams ,the ref seemed to be enjoying giving out cards. While Lismore concentrated on rolling the ball with their forwards , not Linden ,S Bouglas picked up loose ball to jink through the opposition defence and send in N Murray to score.Back came Lismore with a forward rumble to score. Linden had last laugh C Mitchell and Ryan Hamilton combined to set up S Renwick an outrageous dummy sent in Conor Gracie at corner to score.

A good solid victory for Linden, with G Thomson ,R Hamilton and S Goodfellow full of running,S Renwick pulling the strings at stand off. In the forwards T Skeet ,J Gilchrist and S Fairbairn to the fore with G Wardle outstanding in everything except his yellow card.

Team

N Murray GThomson S Bouglas S Goodfellow C Gracie S Renwick R Hamilton T Skeet S Harkness J Gilchrist K Mabon S Fairbairn G Bouglas G Wardle C Michell R K Beattie K Murray M Knight B Sutherland G Cunningham L Stewart


 

RBS Borders Regional Shield

 

05-01-13

 

Hawick Linden 13, Duns 32

 

The Linden returned to action after five weeks when East One side Duns visited the Volunteer in the RBS Borders Regional Shield. The home team got off to a great start. Greg Thomson made a lovely break and chipped ahead but was late tackled. Skipper Barry Sutherland slotted the resulting penalty goal. Duns hit back straight away. From scrum ball David Hutchison came off his wing to slice through the Linden defence and had the pace to round the last man and touchdown.

 

It was then the Linden’s turn to respond. Blaine Willison’s line out take set up Terry Skeet to crash on. Sutherland darted blind to breach the defensive line, draw the full-back and his inside pass allowed the supporting Sean Fairbairn to romp home and Sutherland converted. Linden went off their feet at a ruck and Kieran Wilkinson kicked the penalty to reduce the Royal Blues lead to 10-8.

Following some great play by the Linden they looked likely to score but Wardle was tackled just short of the line. Duns appeared to be lying over the ball and managed to turn it over, clear their lines and make their way into the Linden half. They were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but chose to run it and Andrew Connor burst over from short range with Wilkinson converting.

The referee finally lost patience with the visitors ruck infringements and showed a yellow card for killing the ball. Sutherland kicked the penalty to bring the Linden back to 15-13 behind. The home team had a further period of pressure on the Duns line but failed to score. Once more the Dingers went right up the other end and looked sure to score when Scott Lindsay once the race to a chip through but knocked on as he dived for the ball.

 

The Linden started the second half brightly. Sutherland made a half break and sent Steven Bouglas charging up the middle of the field. He linked up with his support but a bad pass to Conor Gracie saw the threat come to nothing. Duns were starting to control more of the possession and were rewarded when Duncan Budge plunged over after a period of pressure. Wilkinson added the extras and followed up soon after with a penalty goal.

 

A second Duns player was sent to the sin bin for slowing ball but the Linden could not capitalise on their numerical advantage. Their best chance came from a turn over in the home 22. Keith Mabon made a great break and linked up with the Bouglas brothers, the ball was hacked on but Duns won the ball right on their own line to thwart the danger. Injuries to Willison, Skeet and Greg Cunningham didn’t help the home cause and it was the visitors who had the final say with the last play of the game. They sucked in the home defence on one side of the field before spreading it wide to the other for Hutchison to run in for his second try of the day and his 100th in all for Duns 1st XV. Wilkinson converted from out wide.

The Linden can take encouragement from their display against higher league opposition. Had they made more of their first half pressure, and perhaps taken an easy penalty kick at goal, then things might have turned out differently. Ryan Hamilton’s service gave time to stand-off Sutherland and the three-quarters worked hard against a useful Duns midfield. Jamie Gilchrist put in a good shift as did Keith Mabon whilst Gary Wardle was the stand out forward with some rampaging runs.

 

Team: G Thomson, G Bouglas, S Bouglas, S Renwick, C Gracie, B Sutherland, R Hamilton; J Gilchrist, S Harkness, T Skeet, S Fairbairn, K Mabon, G Wardle, G Cunningham, B Willison; Subs: S Goodfellow, W Barker, R Beattie, M Knight

 


R B S Border League Shield

1-12-12

Berwick 21 Hawick Linden 8

Linden`s game went ahead with Berwick on a bitterly cold but sunny day at Scremerston with the pitch suprisingly soft considering the frosty weather. Linden went ahead with a Barry Sutherland penalty after Berwick backs conseeded when under pressure .Linden should really have went further ahead with another penalty right in front of posts ,it was quickly taken, Berwick did not retire the requisite 10 and play just fizeled out. Berwick began to get on the ascendancy with their forwards popping and bashing their way forward from one such move they went ahead with a converted try. Linden back on the attack were denied ,after a great run up the touch line by Conor Gracie who was pulled down just short of line .From the resultant play,Linden were awarded penalty in corner, quick thinking by Greg Cunningham say him dive over for try before the home side could get organised. B Sutherland hit post with conversion. Turning round 8-7 up Linden you could say were happy with the way things were going .

Second half was an uphill battle as they were continually battered back by the Berwick forwards and penalty`s as Berwick kicked three in sucesion. Though Linden were never out of game in second half they never realy got into it at all .With time running out ,calamity in defence say Berwick pick up an very easy try .

For Linden full back Greg Thomson was a pillar in defence putting in some crushing tackles,with Ryan Hamilton and Greg Bouglas in the backs to the fore, especially the latter when he moved to wing forward . In the forwards G Cunningham tackled like a tiger with J Gilchrist , C Mitchell and K Mabon

Team G Thomson C Gracie C Russell S Renwick G Bouglas B Sutherland R Hamilton T Skeet S Harkness J Gilchrist S Fairbairn K Mabon G Cunningham C Mitchell B Willison N Murray R Stitt M Knight RBS Borders Regional Shield

 

24-11-12

 

Hawick Linden 38, Earlston 20

 

Having met only four weeks earlier on League duty, Saturday’s Borders Shield match followed a very similar pattern and ended with an almost identical scoreline. Once again the Linden managed to get ahead of the men from the Haugh but were continually pegged back and consequently were unable to stretch their lead on the scoreboard despite looking capable of doing so.

 

Following a line out in the 10th minute, Nathan Murray was brought down just short of the line but Graham Colville was in support to go plunge over with Barry Sutherland converting. Soon after, skipper Sutherland showed the ball and, with the visitors’ defence caught out by the dummy runners, slipped through and under the posts giving himself an easy conversion.

 

With the Royal Blues in command at this stage, they let Earlston back into the game. An intricate backs move following a line out looked like it was going well until a pass was intercepted by Sean Megahy on the Linden 10 metre line and he ran in for a try converted by Harry Eves. The Earlston stand-off then reduced the deficit to four with a penalty goal after the Linden were caught offside at a ruck.

 

The home team hit back when Ryan Hamilton took a quick tap penalty in the Earlston 22 and Stuart Renwick’s neat grubber kick was pounced on by Sutherland for his second try. Right on half-time, a tap penalty on half-way saw Sutherland, Renwick, Sean Fairbairn and Steven Bouglas all involved and, when quick ball was moved left, Murray raced in at the corner to put the Linden 24-10 ahead at the break.

 

Earlston were first to score in the second half when their blind side flanker came up with the ball after a line out catch and drive. The Volunteer men won a line out, Steven Bouglas hit up and the ball was released to Sutherland. With another lovely dummy, the stand-off sliced through to secure his hat-trick of tries and added the conversion for good measure. However, once more Earlston came back and after a tap penalty it was their No. 6 who again went over from short range.

 

The Linden had the final word though when Sutherland threw out a lovely pass to put Greg Thomson in space who showed his pace and drew the last man to give Sean Goodfellow an easy run in. Sutherland converted to complete a personal haul of 23 points. He was well supported in the backs by Ryan Hamilton’s slick service whilst Greg Thomson was full of running and Stuart Renwick slotted in well at centre. Props Chris Turnbull and Jamie Gilchrist put in a good shift against bigger opponents and the back row of Gary Wardle, Greg Cunningham and Graham Colville were always in the thick of things. An additional bonus was the return from injury of Blair Irving and Blaine Willison who both came off the bench.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, S Renwick, C Gracie, B Sutherland, R Hamilton; C Turnbull, S Harkness, J Gilchrist, S Fairbairn, K Mabon, G Wardle, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: B Irving, B Willison, S Goodfellow, G Bouglas

 

 

 


Tour Match

 

14-11-12

 

Hawick Linden     59,     Ottawa Indians     17

 

The Linden played hosts to Canadian tourists the Ottawa Indians at Mansfield Park on Wednesday night and an entertaining game was served up with the extra pace of the home side the big difference between the teams.

 

The Royal Blues were quickly on the scoreboard. From a tap penalty Steven Bouglas linked with Sean Fairbairn who in turn fed Greg Bouglas who went over for the first try. Soon after, Graham Colville drove on from a scrum and his excellent offload found Sean Goodfellow in support who had the pace to run in from half way. Stuart Renwick converted majestically from the touchline. From another srummage pick up, some good offloading led to Steven Bouglas bursting through the visitors defence on half way and rounded the full back to go under the posts and give Renwick an easy conversion to stretch the lead to 19-0 after only 12 minutes.

 

With Ottawa on the attack, Gary Wardle capitalised on spilled ball and Nathan Murray picked up from the resulting ruck and his pace saw him home from distance, Renwick converting. Barrie Keown then rekindled memories as he took to the field for his former club to bolster the Ottawa pack. There was no stopping the Linden though and Murray ran a lovely loop to create the space to go over for his second try. Renwick added the extras. The visitor’s effort never dropped and from a tap penalty they went over from short range and the conversion was slotted with a lovely drop kick to leave the Linden 33-7 ahead at the break.

 

The Canadians were now tiring as the Linden kept the pace of the game up. However a visit to a distillery earlier in the day may have been a contributing factor as well as their game on Monday night against Watsonians. From a Murray kick ahead, Graeme Anderson took the catch, Colville sneaked up the blind side to touch down and Renwick converted from out wide. Steven Bouglas then secured his hat-trick as he intercepted an Ottawa attack and ran in from 70 metres, Renwick converted. Wardle fielded the kick off and drove on well. The ball was quickly moved out wide and Murray once more showed his running ability to touch down and Renwick slotted his seventh kick of the night.

 

Even the introduction of former Linden player David Naylor to the Ottawa side could not stem the tide as the Linden were in full flow. A lovely weighted cross kick from Renwick was caught on the full by Liam Lawrence who strode over to take the score to 59-7. The Canadians resolve never wilted though and an interception took them to the home line and the forwards did the necessary to go over from short range for a converted try. Robert Stitt and Gary Wardle came on for the visitors to allow a breather for a couple of tired bodies. The loudest cheer of the night was reserved for the final try as Ottawa burst through from midfield to make the final score 59-17 as the referee blew up early.

 

Ottawa were a physical side who simply never stopped competing, especially at the breakdown, but had no answer to the pace of the Bouglas brothers and Nathan Murray in particular who was in his element and secured the visitors award of man of the match. Up front Gary Wardle had a storming game driving on relentlessly well supported by Colville and skipper Fairbairn. A lovely meal was enjoyed in the Mansfield clubrooms with various gifts being exchanged and new friendships created. The Linden wish to thank Hawick RFC for the use of their facilities and wish Ottawa well for the remainder of their tour when they play Murrayfield Wanderers on Friday night and take in the Scotland v South Africa match the following day.

 

Team:    N Murray, G Anderson, G Bouglas, S Bouglas, C Gracie, S Renwick, S Goodfellow; K Mabon, S Harkness, J Gilchrist, S Fairbairn, S Mabon, G Wardle, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: W Barker, M Knight, S Beattie, C Turnbull, L Lawrence, R Beattie, G Douglas

 

 

 

 


 

 

RBS Borders Regional Shield

 

10-11-12

 

Langholm     43,     Hawick Linden     17

 

It was a severely understrength Linden squad which traveled to Milntown for their first ever meeting with Langholm 1st XV in the RBS Borders Regional Shield. Stuart Williams, Ryan Beattie and Robert Stitt made their first starts of the season in a team where only two players played in the same position as last week’s win over Dalkeith. Prop Keith Mabon was in the middle row and hooker Bradley Mercer turned out at flanker.

 

The unfamiliar line up took time to settle and before they knew it were 14 points down after only seven minutes. Failure by the Linden to deal with a kick ahead by Langholm led to a very soft try for the home team which was quickly followed by a second after some close quarter drives. Both tries were converted.

 

It took ten minutes for the Royal Blues to wake up and, when they did, produced a superb length of the field try. Skipper for the day Sean Fairbairn covered excellently showing composure to work away from his own line and link with Stuart Renwick. Fairbairn carried on for a second time and from the ruck in the Linden half, scrum half Sean Goodfellow took off and had the pace to go the distance and Renwick converted.

 

Four minutes later the scores were level. Williams charged down a Langholm kick and the Linden recycled ruck ball. Renwick’s grubber kick ricocheted kindly for Greg Bouglas to kick on and dive over with Renwick converting. A dropped ball when Langholm were driving a line out was missed and the Linden were harshly penalised which allowed the home team to gain good field position which they turned into points as their wing forward went over in the corner.

 

The visitors responded when Renwick landed a sweetly struck penalty but then suffered a blow when Bradley Mercer was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury. This forced a re-shuffle, centre Greg Bouglas moving into the forwards. With no further scoring the Linden could be relatively happy at only being two points behind at the break, 19-17.

 

The second period was a tougher affair as Royal Blue possession dried up and the Langholm forwards played with control. Three tries were scored by the home team, two converted to stretch the lead to 38-17. The Linden tried manfully to score the final try without success. With the game deep into injury time, the ball popped out of a Linden scrum on half way and Langholm pounced to collect and run in for a try with the last play of the game.

 

This was a great effort, especially in the first half, by a Linden team pretty much thrown together. They were given a magnificent lead by captain Sean Fairbairn who showed maturity beyond his years. His work rate was matched by Greg Cunningham who was a terrier throughout. In the backs Sean Goodfellow’s powerful runs were a constant feature with great support given by Stuart Williams.

 

Team:    N Murray, G Thomson, S Williams, G Bouglas, C Gracie, S Renwick, S Goodfellow; C Turnbull, S Harkness, R Beattie, K Mabon, R Stitt, B Mercer, S Fairbairn, G Cunningham; Subs: S Beattie, G Stirling, M Knight, R Hamilton

 

 

 


RBS East League Division 2

03-11-12

Hawick Linden     38,        Dalkeith      25

The Linden stormed to the top of East League Division 2 by defeating long term leaders Dalkeith at the Volunteer Park. The Royal Blues simply stormed out of the blocks. They looked to have scored with an early chance but Greg Thomson’s pass to Graham Colville was called forward. Nathan Murray then made a great break but his pass to Thomson didn’t go to hand when a score looked likely.

Linden finally opened their account in the 13th minute when Gary Wardle fielded a kick and made ground and fed out to Steven Bouglas who cut in and ran in behind the posts for Barry Sutherland to convert. The Linden were caught offside in the backs and Dalkeith slotted the penalty goal. The Linden’s response was immediate as Murray took a catch on half way and his pace and balanced running scythed through the visitors to produce a wonderful solo touch down which Sutherland again converted.

The home team were really putting things together and played through some lovely phases which eventually sucked in the Dalkeith defence but Sean Goodfellow couldn’t hold on to what would have been a scoring pass. The visitors were penalised however and Sutherland took a quick tap to put Graham Colville over and Sutherland added the extras. They stretched their lead further as Sutherland made a dart, Goodfellow was involved and his pass found Thomson who had the pace to score. Sutherland converted majestically from out wide.

With the bonus point in the bag after only 26 minutes, and the Linden playing at a pace Dalkeith could not live with, it looked like a case of how many points could the home team rack up. However, the visitors had other ideas and were able to gain more possession, slow the game down and force the Royal Blues into giving away too many penalties. Just when the home team appeared to have soaked up a long period of pressure on their own line, Dalkeith eventually went over with the last play of the half and the conversion reduced the Linden lead to 28-10 at the break.

The second period started badly for the Linden dropping the kick off, then failing to hold on to kicks and passes. They continued to fall foul of the referee’s whistle and Greg Thomson was the unlucky man to be shown what was effectively a yellow card for the team infringements. The power of the visitors pack drove them over for a push over try. Linden finally showed their abilities again when, from a scrum, Sutherland put out a sweet pass which Murray burst onto at pace on half way and once more went the distance for another superb try. Sutherland added his fifth conversion.

With the Linden getting their hands on ball again and the pace of the game up, a turn over by Greg Cunningham led to some excellent running and interplay involving Sutherland and the Bouglas brothers but once more the scoring pass was dropped and a certain try went begging. Sutherland slotted a penalty soon after but the Linden were turned over at the kick off and the penalty was tapped and Dalkeith’s winger went over in the corner. With only four minutes remaining the visitors drove another scrum and their big No. 8 plunged over. The match ended on a sour note when, with virtually the last play of the game, prop Terry Skeet was sent off for punching.

In some ways the Linden were at their best and worst, looking world beaters in space when playing the game at pace but making mistakes and giving penalties away when the visitors were in possession. Skipper Sutherland, well served by scrum half Rory Hamilton, got his backs moving well. Murray, Thomson and Steven Bouglas showed their paces in the backs and Stuart Williams had some powerful runs after coming off the bench. Keith Mabon worked hard up front and was well supported by Mercer, Wardle and Cunningham.

 Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, S Goodfellow, G Bouglas, B Sutherland, R Hamilton; K Mabon, B Mercer, T Skeet, B Keown, S Fairbairn, G Wardle, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Renwick, C Gracie, S Williams, J Gilchrist, S Harkness, J Scott


R B S East League Div 2

27-10-12

Earlston 23 Hawick Linden 38

In a most unusual start to any match after awarding a penalty to Earlston in first couple of minutes, which the kicker managed to miss . The referree ,indicated that a shout from the touchline could have caused him to miss it, stating he wanted it taken again, this time he converted. This is a new one for the Law book, International ref`s,take note

While this incident could have had an effect , it certainly didn`t put off the Linden, great move from Barry Sutherland and Terry Skeet took play to Earston line. While this move came to nothing , Linden pilled forward T Skeet was once again in the move taken on Jamie Scott to Gary Wardle lovely inside pass to Nathan Murray who finished it off in style. From inside own half, once again T Skeet with hands on ball out to G Wardle who absolutly blasted his way through the Earlston defence from the half way line to score. With time almost up a strong run by Sean Goodfellow took play to Earlston line,when held he cleverly turned and fed the inside to the ever present N Murray,B Sutherland converted. Inside injury time some rank bad tackling by Linden let Earlston back into game with a converted try.

With barely minutes into second half some more bad tackling allowed Earston to score in right hand corner, from a comfortable position Linden now had to step up a gear and thats what they did. Pick up by No8 Graeme Colville from scrum, inside to G Wardle who was tackled in the midst of catching it close to line. From resultant pressure B Sutherland kicked penalty,Earlston replied with penalty. Back on the attack on Earlston line ,panic in the defence and G Colville pludered to score at posts,B Sutherland converted. A great run through the opposing defence by N Murray was foiled as G Thomson under pressure failed to take almost certain scoring pass. Mid way through half, break by S Goodfellow on to T Skeet ,J Scott out to Sean Fairbairn inside to B Sutherland who dived over . Earlston trailing but not down replied with a nice try. With time running down B Sutherland kicked two late penalty`s to put the result byond doubt.

This was a cracker of a game some excellent handling from both sides, some cracking try`s, especially from the Linden. Even the introduction of all seven subs during the game from Linden did not disrupt play, Linden coaches will be well pleased.

For Linden N Murray was in cracking form, his pace on the ball was allways a worry for Earlston. Captain B Sutherland controlled the game knowing when to pass and when to kick, with G Bouglas and R Hamilton in good form. In the forwards, a superb effort from all ,I suppose it would be unfair to pick out one forward , but if one did it had to be Greg Cunningham

Team N Murray C Gracie S Bouglas S Goodfellow G Thomson B Sutherland R Hamilton K Mabon S Harkness T Skeet S Fairbairn J Scott G Cunningham G Wardle G Colville S Renwick B Mercer G Stirling G Bouglas C Turnbull B Gilchrist J Gilchrist

 

Match Report Courtesy of Billy Russell

 


R B S East League Div 2

20-10-12

Hawick Linden 51 Forrester 31

In an entertaining game and also a try feast at the Volunteer park on Saturday,13 try`s in total, Linden eventually ran out easy winners. Though this was not the case at half time with visitors Forrester leading 12-10. Linden`s lighter pack struggled to gain meaningfull possesion against a much heavier pack , though looking at the Forrester pack there was allways the thought that they would tire as the game went on and so it turned out.

With play pretty even a strong run to the line by Blair Irving who slipped and had to retire injured, with play resuming on the Forrester line ,forwards and backs combined,Craig Mitchell drove forward for Rory Hamilton to feed Stuart Renwick who skipped over to score. Forrester replied with a converted try. Midway through half Stuart Harkness drove forward ,taken on by forwards with Graeme Colville making a decisive break complete with chip kick which Greg Thomson picked up to race in and score. With backs to the wall Linden forwards were shunted over the line for a push over try by Forrester. Just on half time a lovely move by Keith Mabon and G Colville half the lenght of the field was snufled out by an desperate Forrester defence.

After the turn around it was a different Linden, coach Lee Stewart rejigged the backs with Greg Bouglas and Sean Goodfellow coming on and they made some difference 5 try`s between them. But first Forrester scored a converted try after some poor tackling by Linden. Barry Sutherland reduced the difference with a penalty. Then a real suprise Linden`s light pack shunted Forrester back in a scrum on their own line for No8 G Colville to pick up and drive over,B Sutherland converted. Forrester replied another try

With Linden on the attack and awarded penalty ,instead of taking kick at goal, confidence in their scrum was growing, ball won, pace of Nathan Murray left opposition stranded and the power of Sean Goodfellow finished of move ,B Sutherland converted.From the kick off fielded ball was hoisted up and under by B Sutherland the Forrester defence failed to secure ball and Greg Bouglas was up to collect as easy a score as he will get all season, B Sutherland converted

It was all Linden now with the Forrester forwards down to a walking pace ,Linden forwards supplying plenty ball which was whipped along the line for G Bouglas to scorch in at corner.Quick pen by B Sutherland in own half out to S Goodfellow who blasted his way through several tackles from 60yards to score . With changes to Linden pack concentration slipped for Forrester to score . Linden had last score as Terry Skeet burst through several flaling tackles out ot S Goodfellow to score , B Sutherland converted . For Linden in the forwards G Cunningham was perpetual motion, K Mabon,T Skeet , S Harkness and J Scott put in the hard graft. In the backs R Hamilton was a good link at scrum half, N Murray and G Thomson put in a power of running with super subs S Goodfellow and G Bouglas coming on and serving up the try`s.

Team N Murray G Thomson S Bouglas B Sutherland C Gracie S Renwick R Hamilton J Gilchrist S Harkness T Skeet K Mabon G Colville G Cunningham C Mitchell B Irving S Goodfellow G Bouglas B Mercer J Scott C Turnbull RK Beattie

 

Match Report Courtesy of Billy Russell

 


 

RBS East League Division 2

 

13-10-12

 

Gala YM     31,     Hawick Linden     27

 

The Linden were unlucky not to pull off a hard fought victory at Netherdale as Gala YM scored a late try to snatch the points. With Gala 2nds match against Dunfermline cancelled, the visitors lined up against a much stronger side than would otherwise have been the case.

 

The Royal Blues struggled to get into the game with the home team playing well and the Linden constantly falling foul of the referees whistle. The YM took the lead with a penalty try from a scrum which was converted and stretched their lead with a touchdown in the corner following some good handling.

 

After half an hour some fantastic interplay took the Linden to the home line and thrice they nearly scored but ultimately had to settle for a Barry Sutherland penalty goal. Unfortunately Blaine Willison was injured in the lead up and had to leave the field. Not long after knocks to Nathan Murray and Stuart Renwick forced them to join Willison on the sidelines. Another Sutherland penalty brought the score back to 12-6 with the Linden much more in the game as the first half came to a close.

 

Linden managed to hold up a number of scrums near their line and when YM shipped the ball a dropped pass was hacked on by Sutherland and Murray, back on the field, with the latter winning the race to touch down. Sutherland’s conversion put the visitors in the lead for the first time. Failure to secure the kick off allowed Gala to gain field position which ultimately led to a try in the corner. The Linden hit back immediately, a turn over seeing Blair Irving burst through and Sutherland’s inside ball found Steven Bouglas on a great angle who sped over for Sutherland to convert.

 

Once more the Linden lost the kick off then their own scrum and YM took advantage to score a converted try to re-take the lead. The ding-dong affair continued as some excellent continuity from the Linden forwards set things up for Sutherland to make a half break and he managed to stretch for the line for an excellent try which he again converted. Further injuries for the Linden caused disruption with players out of position including flanker Cunningham on the wing. With the clock running down some missed tackles failed to deal with strong running from the YM who crossed for the clinching try which was converted from out wide.

 

It was a cruel end to a match the Linden had contributed so much to against a very good team the core of which came from a Gala 2nd XV who have been taking the National Reserve League Division Two by storm averaging 59 points per game. Skipper Sutherland gave an excellent lead and made some lovely breaks. All of the forwards were immense with Chris Turnbull coming on and making some bullocking runs.

 

Team:    N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, B Sutherland, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; T Skeet, B Mercer, K Mabon, S Fairbairn, B Willison, G Wardle, G Cunningham, B Irving; Subs: S Harkness, J Gilchrist, C Turnbull, C Mitchell, RK Beattie, W Barker, R Stitt

 


 

RBS East League Division 2

 

06-10-12

 

Hawick Linden     12,     Trinity Accies     12

 

There was much shaking of heads after the Linden’s draw with Trinity Accies at the Volunteer Park. Despite not playing particularly well in the first half, the Linden utterly dominated field position in the second but numerous scoring chances passed them by and ultimately they had to settle for a share of the points.

 

The Royal Blues started well. From inside their own half Barry Sutherland, Greg Thomson and Steven Bouglas were all involved in some lovely running into the visitors 22. When the play was spread wide Blair Irving was well tackled into touch. Shortly after Thomson went off on a great run and was also well tackled when, had he been able to offload, the supporting Sutherland would surely have scored.

 

Trinity started to take control of the game aided by some mistakes and poor options from the home side. The Edinburgh side took the lead with a penalty from their stand-off, who kicked well all day, and he soon followed up with a drop goal for what turned out to be the last points of a low scoring first half.

 

Having lost Lee Stewart to an ankle knock towards the end of the first half, replaced by Bradley Mercer, further changes were made at half-time as Stuart Williams and Jamie Gilchrist entered the fray. The second period didn’t start well for the Royal Blues. After winning a line out, albeit with what didn’t appear the straightest of throws, the Trinity stand-off showed his kicking class with a magnificent strike from around 40 metres to stretch his side’s lead to 9-0.

 

From this point the Linden were in charge, dominating field position and possession. Unwisely they took a quick tap with a certain three points on offer and skipper Sutherland pointing at the posts. They then should have scored in the corner but failed to take advantage of a three on one. However, they recycled and, with the visitors defence sucked in, spread the ball wide and Greg Cunningham’s pass put Irving over but to the disbelief of the Royal Blues a forward pass was called.

 

Five minutes later and Linden again looked sure to open their account but once more failed to pass at the right time and Irving was held up. A minute later Sutherland made a great break into the 22 and yet again the Linden just could not finish off. Finally, with 67 minutes on the clock, good pressure from the Linden forced a turn over and a wide pass from Irving allowed Conor Gracie to step off his left foot and go over for a try which Sutherland converted.

 

Gary Wardle and Graham Colville, both returning from injury, came on to provide fresh legs up front. Sutherland made a another break and found Williams in support who was tackled just short of the line. From the resulting scrum Colville picked and although held by defenders kept pumping his legs to plunge over. Crucially the conversion was missed.

 

With the clock ticking down, the visitors missed a couple of penalty chances before leveling the scores with their third drop goal despite the protests of Mercer who was impeded as he attempted a charge down. With the game moving into injury time Trinity were penalised and with advantage being played the Linden went blind. At the breakdown the visitors were again penalised but Sutherland was forced to kick at goal from a worse position than the first offence and his kick went wide. Linden had one final throw of the dice as Thomson burst up the stand side but was tackled into touch at the corner flag with the last play of the game.

 

Quite how the Linden failed to win a game where they created countless scoring chances took a lot of digesting. They did extremely well to be on top of a very useful Trinity Accies team for so much of the game but failure to take so many scoring chances ultimately came back to haunt them.

 

Team:    G Thomson, N Murray, S Bouglas, B Sutherland, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; T Skeet, L Stewart, C Turnbull, S Fairbairn, K Mabon, W Barker, G Cunningham, B Irving; Subs: S Harkness, J Gilchrist, B Mercer, S Campbell, S Williams, G Wardle, G Colville

 


 

RBS East League Division 2

 

29-09-12

 

Edinburgh Northern     32,     Hawick Linden     48

 

With Edinburgh Northern’s Inverleith Park still unplayable as a result of summer flooding, the Linden’s match was moved over the road to a much tighter pitch at Broughton High School. This was not conducive to the visitor’s wide game style but both teams were able to provide a points feast for the sun-kissed crowd.

 

The Linden got off to a disastrous start, dropping the kick off and missing tackles to allow the home team in for a converted try with the first play of the game. Early signs were the match could be a repeat of the previous week with the Linden forwards up against a much more physical pack whilst their backs looked the more threatening.

 

The Royal Blues worked their way into the game and skipper Barry Sutherland stroked over a hat-trick of penalties to put his team into the lead. Following a number of breakdown offences the home No. 8 was sent to the sin bin but the Linden could not capitalise and indeed started to offend themselves and Northern put over a penalty of their own to again go ahead.

 

With the visitor’s scrum under huge pressure, Blair Irving did well to pick up and made a surging run from his own half into enemy territory but his offload couldn’t find a support runner. He was forced from the field with an ankle injury shortly after to add to Linden’s injury woes. His teammates overcame this set back with a great score just on half-time. Steven Bouglas broke up the short side, Sean Goodfellow made further inroads and then lovely hands across the width of the pitch put Conor Gracie over in the corner.

 

Linden’s front row received a welcome break as a fresh front three came on for the second half and it was the Linden’s turn to start with a bang. Sean Fairbairn seized the kick off, Lee Stewart hit up and Steven Bouglas burst through and rounded the full back for a great score, Sutherland converting. An excellent kick chase by Greg Thomson forced a penalty which Sutherland slotted over. Northern replied with a penalty before Gavin Stirling had to leave the field with a head cut having made a tremendous tackle.

 

A home 22 drop out was fielded by Sean Goodfellow who took off on a superb run, side-stepping and bursting and twisting out of tackles to go surge over for a magnificent individual try which Sutherland converted. Will Barker and Chris Turnbull took ball on to suck in defenders and when moved wide, Terry Skeet, Greg Cunningham and Craig Mitchell handled with the latter touching down. The Linden were now in full flow, Fairbairn secured the kick off and Bouglas took play to the Linden 10 metre line. Goodfellow picked at the base of the ruck and went off on another lovely run leaving the full back for dead and Sutherland with an easy conversion.

 

A howler of a mistake allowed Northern a try in the corner and they showed excellent spirit to add a converted score not long after. Stewart and Fairbairn combined to provide lovely line out ball and slick handling put Stuart Campbell in at the corner. The home side had the final say with their powerful scrumming laying the foundation for a converted try which gave Northern a deserved bonus point.

 

All the front row deserve credit for working hard against heavier opponents, Greg Cunningham tackled everything that moved and Will Barker had his best game of the season. All the backs ran well with Sean Goodfellow’s powerful charges causing all sorts of problems.

 

Team:    G Thomson, G Stirling, S Bouglas, B Sutherland, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; K Mabon, S Harkness, J Gilchrist, S Fairbairn, C Mitchell, W Barker, G Cunningham, B Irving; Subs; S Campbell, RK Beattie, C Turnbull, S Goodfellow, T Skeet, L Stewart

 


 

RBS East League Division 2

 

22-09-12

 

Hawick Linden     27,     Lismore     14

 

The Linden eventually came out on top in a hard fought encounter at the Volunteer Park on Saturday. The Royal Blues backs were threatening whenever they had the ball and they opened the scoring with a beauty. Lismore should have scored but knocked-on going over the line. Backchat to the referee saw the Linden tap and go from the resulting penalty. Steven Bouglas made ground and fed Connor Gracie who returned the favour with a lovely one-handed pass. As the cover closed in Bouglas kicked on and Greg Thomson picked up sweetly to secure a cracking length of the field try. Captain Barry Sutherland converted.

 

The visiting forwards were a big and well drilled unit and began to take control of the ball but despite a long period of pressure the home defence held out. Sean Fairbairn made a surging break and showed great awareness to put in a cross field kick which, with a luckier bounce, may well have led to a score. After 26 minutes Greg Cunningham cleaned up well at a line out and when the ball was released to the backs, full back Thomson made a lovely intrusion into the line to make another great try as Greg Bouglas went over.

 

Lismore were back on the attack when a surging run by their No. 6, who had been forced into the backs by an injury, created the field position for the visiting tight head to drive over for a converted try. Shortly before the break Greg Bouglas was stretchered off with a leg injury to add to the Linden’s lengthy injury list.

 

The second half saw the visiting pack take a stranglehold on the game nullifying the threat of the home backs who were denied any worthwhile possession. After defending for a long period the Linden unwisely took a quick drop out that went straight out. From the scrum, a good angle from the Lismore centre allowed his supporting open side to go over and the conversion put the Edinburgh side in the lead for the first time.

 

The Linden responded immediately when a fine run by Steven Bouglas led to Sutherland dropping a goal to retake the lead. Blair Irving then fielded a kick and some good hands opened up the space for Steven Bouglas to score. The conversion was missed leaving the Linden only six points ahead and the game still up for grabs.

 

However, the Royal Blues clinched the match and the bonus point with a spectacular try. With Lismore on the attack they prodded a kick behind the home defence which full-back Thomson picked up on his 22. Showing electrifying pace, he burst up the cricket field touchline, and outpaced all of the visiting cover for as fine an individual try as you are likely to see. Sutherland’s conversion was the final score of the game.

 

Behind the scrum Ryan Hamilton gave a slick service allowing Stuart Renwick to bring his backs into the game with Thomson, Steven Bouglas and Gracie running well. The forwards were up against it in all areas but great credit to the front row who gave their all. Sean Fairbairn was a constant workhorse and Blair Irving made some surging runs.

 

Team:    G Thomson, G Bouglas, S Bouglas, B Sutherland, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; K Mabon, B Mercer, C Turnbull, J Gilchrist, S Fairbairn, W Barker, G Cunningham, B Irving; Subs; B Willison, S Harkness, M Knight, S Campbell, RK Beattie, C Murray

 


 

 

RBS East League Division 2

 

14-09-12

 

Hawick Harlequins     6,     Hawick Linden     18

 

The Linden made the trip to Mansfield Park on Friday night where a healthy crowd of over 500 paid a minute’s silent tribute to Linden Life Member Viv Sharp who had been laid to rest the previous day. They witnessed the first League derby between the ‘Quins and Linden since 2009 and it was the ‘Quins who came out the blocks first keeping control of the ball eventually being rewarded with a Scott Peffers penalty. They twice threatened to score with kicks into the in-goal area but Gary Wardle and Blair Irving were each first to the ball to relieve the danger. However, Irving took a nasty knock as he crashed into an advertising board and was replaced by the returning Murray Butler forcing a reshuffle in the pack.

 

Once they got hands on ball the Linden looked dangerous especially their backs who were full of running. It took until 35 minutes before they managed to put points on the board but they were well worth waiting for. Connor Gracie covered back into his half to field a clearance kick and linked with Steven Bouglas who made yet another powerful run. His link with Greg Thomson took play deep into the ‘Quins 22. The forwards took over with Butler and Bradley Mercer taking the ball on and, with the home defence sucked in, Stuart Renwick fed a short ball to Greg Cunningham who dived over at the posts. Barry Sutherland added the conversion.

 

From a ‘Quins tap penalty, Linden intercepted and Bouglas looked likely to score until the Royal Blues were harshly called back for not being 10 metres. The visitors were back on the attack and forced the ‘Quins into conceding a penalty right on half-time which Sutherland slotted to increase the Linden lead to 10-3 at the break.

 

The Linden used their bench bringing on Craig Russell and Graeme Anderson in the backs. Having looked so threatening behind the scrum in the first half, the Royal Blues were perhaps guilty of trying to run too much from deep when kicks into the home half could have increased the pressure. The home side were still under pressure though as first Rory Smith was yellow carded for not being 10 and then ruck offences were penalised by Sutherland’s second penalty goal.

 

The ‘Quins responded and, when the Linden were caught offside, Peffers reduced the lead to just seven. The Linden had the final say when Craig Russell made a trademark powerful run into home territory and his one handed offload allowed Greg Thomson to dive over in the corner.

 

Given their horrendous injury list, this was a pleasing performance from the Linden. They looked the more dangerous side but just couldn’t quite exert themselves on the game in the way they would have wished but any win over the ‘Quins is hard earned and the required work rate was evident for the full 80 minutes. The youngsters in the team, Gracie, Hamilton, Mercer and Fairbairn once more showed up well especially given the last three were directly up against “auld heids” in the ‘Quins team. Steven Bouglas and Greg Thomson ran hard, the back row of Wardle, Cunningham and Irving combined well and Butler was superb in the tight exchanges.

 

Team:    G Thomson, G Bouglas, S Bouglas, B Sutherland, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; K Mabon, B Mercer, C Turnbull, S Fairbairn, B Willison, G Wardle, G Cunningham, B Irving; Subs; C Russell, M Butler, S Harkness, W Barker, S Williams, M Knight, G Anderson


R B S East League Div 2

8-9-12

Hawick Linden 58  Ross High 18

After observing a minutes silence for the passing away of former Captain ,President and Life member Viv Sharp ,Linden and Ross High went on a try scoring spree in an entertaining game at the Volunteer Park . With both teams running the ball on at will this proved a fitting testament to one of the most popular men who has graced the Linden colours.

Linden kicked off on the attack and were soon awarded a penalty which was converted by Barry Sutherland.From a poor clearance kick by Ross High ,Steven Bouglas picked up and made ground out to Stuart Renwick who found Keith Mabon steaming up on the wing to score. Linden now began to take control, good lineout ball from Blaine Willison ,quick ball ball from S Renwick to Steven Bouglas who out paced three defenders to touch down at posts,B Sutherland converted.With Linden camped on the Ross High line ,forward pressure proved to much and S Renwick picked up easy try as he side stepped in from two yards with B Sutherland converting. A period of pressure saw Ross High respond with first a penalty then a lovely try as their winger scorched in to score at corner. Back on the attack prop Terry Skeet caught the opposition napping when he took a quick penalty with S Bouglas inside pass to B Willison who was on hand to capitalise, touching down at posts,B Sutherland converted. Just on half time Ross High caught Linden napping with a try to make score 29-13 in Linden`s favour at the turn around. Almost from the kick off wing forward Greg Cunningham made a scintillating break through the middle of the Ross High defence to link up with S Bouglas who outpaced the flailing defence and touch down at posts ,B Sutherland converted. S Bouglas was having a field day,intercepting in his own half he outpaced the Ross High full back to just get the touch down in corner. Stuart Campbell who had just made entry from subs, bench, fielded poor clearance kick in the wing position beat his opposite number slipped and fell but managed to feed S Bouglas who ran in to score, B Sutherland converted. Ross High replied with a try. With the game well and truly won and time running down some glorious interpassing betwen forwards and backs and Blair Irving stormed in for a try. Just on time once again forwards and backs combined for Conor Gracie to score at corner. This a very good performance by Linden after last weeks defeat by Dalkeith, S Bouglas was full of running hence 4 try`s could have been more,Captain B Sutherland at the unacustemed position of scrum half showed a remarkable service , Greg Thomson was and ran with spirit.In the forwards K Mabon , T Skeet and Sean Fairbairn put in the hard graft and Greg Cunningham was outstanding in the loose.

Team

G Thomson G Bouglas S Bouglas W Barker C Gracie S Renwick B Sutherland K Mabon S Harkness T Skeet B Willison S Fairbairn G Cunnningham C Telfer B Irving L Stewart B Mercer R Hamilton N Murray S Campbell C Turnbull R Stitt

 

Match Report Courtesy of Billy Russell

 


 

RBS East League Div 2

1-9-12

Dalkeith 28 Hawick Linden 3

Linden went down to a more expierenced Dalkeith side on Saturday. Playing with an helping cross wind first half which they realy did not use to their advantage, Linden found themselves down 12 points in as many minutes. Two early scores, the second almost gift had Linden on the back foot. From which they never realy recovered. Through the second quarter of the first half,Linden had Dalkeith under severe pressure at times ,a resolute home defence held firm and all they had to show for it was a Stuart Renwick penalty. Linden never got into the second half as the lighter Linden forwards struggled for possession and continually found themselves on the wrong side of the referree ` decision`s. In fact the ref, played 9 minutes injury time ,he must have been enjoying himself ,certainly the Linden wern`t. Not the result Linden were looking for ,but this should be looked on as a learning curve for a young Linden side.

Team

G Thomson C Gracie S Bouglas G Anderson G Stirling S Renwick R Hamilton T Skeet B Mercer K Mabon B Willison S Fairbairn G Wardle G Cunningham G Colville W Barker C Turnbull S Harkness M Kali M Knight B Irving S Goodfellow

 

Match Report courtesy of Bill Russell


 

Friendly Match

 

25-08-12

 

Hawick Linden     19,     Annan     5

 

A thoroughly engrossing friendly at the Volunteer Park resulted in a 19-5 win for the home side. This was not a typical error-strewn pre-season affair with both sides playing some entertaining rugby. It was the visitors who dominated field position and territory for the first 15 minutes until a strike against the head allowed Graham Colville to surge on and link with Steven Bouglas and Keith Mabon to take the Linden into the Annan half.

 

The visitors soon worked their way back up the field and were simply unable to unlock the home defence and resorted to a penalty kick at goal which was missed and run back with purpose by Steven Bouglas. The Royal Blues then hit Annan with a sucker punch to take the lead. Ryan Hamilton fielded a clearing kick and fed Craig Russell who made an excellent break, linked with Stuart Renwick who sold a lovely dummy before sending Graham Colville over. After another period of pressure, Annan finally managed to suck in the Linden defence and went over in the corner just before half time for the equalising try.

 

Linden started the second half much better and looked dangerous when they had ball and upped the pace of the game. They almost took the lead when great interplay from their own half, Steven Bouglas fed Connor Grace whose over the top pass put Greg Thomson into space and the supporting Ryan Hamilton wash hauled down just short of the line for what would have been a cracking try. They almost scored another beauty when once more they ran from their own half and Steven Bouglas almost went in at the corner and the ball was cynically killed to deny the Linden. Not for long though, the tap penalty saw some surges at the line before the impressive Sean Fairbairn went over, Russell converting.

 

Neat work at the front of the lineout between Fairbairn and Bradley Mercer led to Blair Irving taking a short ball and bursting through tackles and staying on his feet to score. Russell converted from wide out. Annan almost had the final word but the referee couldn’t see what looked like a try.

 

An excellent performance from the Linden with all the youngsters fitting in well. Hamilton performed well at both scrum-half and stand-off, Gracie ran well and Mercer and Fairbairn put in big shifts up front. Chris Telfer and Gary Wardle were everywhere in the back row.

 

Team:    G Thomson, G Bouglas, S Bouglas, W Barker, C Gracie, S Renwick, R Hamilton; T Skeet, B Mercer, K Mabon, S Fairbairn, B Willison, G Wardle, C Telfer, G Colville; Subs; C Russell, S Harkness, R Stitt, G Cunningham, C Turnbull, S Williams, B Irving


Kelso 2nds 12 Hawick Linden 38

18-8-12

Linden started their season with well earned and comprehensive victory over their junior counterparts at Kelso on Saturday. With most of last seasons regulars back and a good sprinkling of young newcomers, Sean Fairbairn ,Rory Hamilton ,Will Barker, Bradley Mercer and Connor Gracie things look not to bad for the forthcoming season.

With play pretty evenly spread in opening exchanges ,a cracker of a try for Linden`s first of the season fowards winning ball in own half it sped quickly along the line ,Steven Bouglas made ground and released Nathan Murray witha superbly timed pass who sped 70yds to line.Stuart Renwick converted.A chip kick from S Renwick saw Steven Bouglas pounce to score. With it all Linden, good ball from Gary Wardle,who with Terry Skeet had been knocking holes in the Kelso defence ,S Bouglas fed N Murray for an easy try.Kelso replied with a try. Loose play on the Kelso line saw G Wardle rob the opposition set up Gavin Stirling for Graeme Colville to charge over line to score ,S Renwick converted. LInden on the charge a chip kick once again from S Renwick saw N Murray win the race to touch down.Then S Bouglas stole ball from opposition to round the defence and race in to touch down.G Stirling converted. Kelso had final word with a converted try. A great result for Linden S Bouglas ,N Murray and G Wardle in cracking from good solid perfomaces from the rest of the team especially the new young lads .

Team N Murray G Thomson S Bouglas S Williams C Gracie S Renwick G Stirling

T Skeet B Mercer K Mabon S Fairbairn B Willison G Wardle C Telfer G Colville G Bouglas G Cunningham R Hamilton M Knight C Mitchell W Barker

Season 2011/2012 - scroll down for previous match reports

 

North Berwick Sevens

 

21-4-12

 

The previous evening’s successful Annual Dinner had an adverse effect on the Linden squad who took part in the North Berwick Sevens on Saturday. The Royal Blues were a little unfortunate to be in a strong pool with the home team and Premier 3 side Haddington.

 

In their first tie the Linden scored tries by Terry Skeet, Barry Sutherland and Gavin Stirling but it wasn’t enough against a North Berwick side who ran out 35-15 winners. The Royal Blues failed to score in their second game against Haddington and the Linden contingent departed for an early trip to the bar to top up on the previous night.

 

Squad: T Skeet, B Irving, B Willison, G Stirling, B Sutherland, G Cunningham, S Goodfellow, S Renwick, N Murray.

 


 

 

John Laing Sevens

 

24-4-12

 

The Linden made their first ever appearance at the John Laing Sevens at Kelso on Tuesday evening.

 

They looked to be in control of their first round tie against Selkirk racing into a 12-0 lead. However, the Souters hit back and a harsh yellow card for Blaine Willison contributed to Selkirk drawing level and it took a late try from Steven Bouglas to see the Royal Blues through.

 

In the semi-final the Linden met a Jed VII who were vastly improved from their first round showing against Earlston. Another yellow card did not help the Linden ’s cause and they slumped to a 36-5 defeat. Jed were subsequently beaten by Kelso in the final which saw the home side triumph for the first time since 1990.

 

Youngsters Sean Fairbairn and Conor Gracie showed up well with Steven Bouglas running hard and Chris Telfer tackling like a demon.

 


 

 

Hawick Linden Sevens

14-4-12

 

Berwick won Hawick Linden Inagural Sevens for The Life Members Cup on Saturday defeating the home side Hawick Linden 36-- 24 in the final. Berwick scored first after breaking out from own half to go 7points up .Linden replied with a fine run by Craig Russell on to Nathan Murray who sent Greg Thomson in at posts,Barry Sutherland converted. Berwick replied with an unconverted try. Pressure on Berwick line saw N Murray dance over to score.With Linden looking like going ahead and camped on Berwick line possesion was lost and the Berwick scrum half ran the lenght of the field to score which was converted,this had a big bearing on the game as Linden looked a bit down after looking like taking the lead ,Berwick who had looked rather rattled ,this did wonders for their confidence. Halftime score 19-12 to Berwick. After the turn around Berwick gained the upper hand and some slack tackling allowed Berwick to score two more try`s ,one converted. A solo effort from own half by C Russell and galloping run by Graeme Colville brought Linden back into the game ,but not enough as time run out.

 

Presidents wife Moira Black presented the cup to Berwick captain also the Player of the Tournament award which she had donated herself to Linden`s Craig Russell for an outstanding display.

 

Previous resuts were in Round Robin format with winners of pools meeting runners up for final

Pool A

Hawick Quins 22 Selkirk 32

Annan 5 Berwick 33

Hawick Quins 36 Annan 26

Selkirk 7 Berwick 17

Hawick Quins 7 Berwick 40

Selkirk 28 Annan 5

 

Pool B

 Hawick Linden 17 Kelso 14

Penicuik 7 North Berwick 26

Hawick Linden 40 Penicuik 5

Kelso 10 North Berwick 36

Hawick Linden 26 North Berwick 19

Kelso 28 Penicuik 5

 

Semi Finals Pool A Berwick 27 Pool B North Berwick 0

 

Pool B Hawick Linden 21 Pool A Selkirk 15

 

Final Berwick 36 Hawick Linden 24

 


 

R B S East League Div 1

3-3-12

Lismore RFC 8 Hawick Linden 26

Linden finished of their League campaign witha bonus point victory over bottom team Lismore, away in Edinburgh on Saturday. Playing against a blustery wind first half ,Linden conceeded a free kick immediatly after not retiring 10yds ,refferee awarded Lismore a penalty which was converted. This did not deter Linden who quickly took play to Lismore`s line . Good work by forwards ,Lismore conceeded penalty,quickly taken by flanker Craig Smith ,Stuart Renwick to Graeme Anderson who side stepped opponent to shoot in at posts for try,converted by Gavin Stirling. From kick off second row forward Scott Hinton was injured and had to leave field,this proved not to serious as he appeared later on the wing when S Renwick had to leave field . From resultant play big boot up field from stand off S Renwick took play to Lismore`s line .Eventually after some desperate defending by the home team and several scrums no8 Graeme Colville picked up and drove over at posts to score, G Stirling converted. Some slack play by Linden allowed Lismore to pick up an oppertunist try, half time 14-8 to Linden.

The second half was allmost all Linden but poor finishing let the visitors down repeatedly, midway through second half fullback Nathan Murray who`s speed had been causing Lismore a lot of problems,a lovely move by backs saw N Murray with ball, changing pace and angle of attack he left the home team defenders all at sea,to touch down in corner. After this Linden seemed to go to sleep and allowed Lismore more into game. With time running out and Linden on the attack, ball was lost, Lismore secured ball, but in attempting to run from own line pressure was to much for them and a droped pass allowed Steven Bouglas to pick up and race in at posts.

This victory allowed Linden to finish mid table . With the second part of regional reconstruction coming in next season. North Berwick`s game with Lismore next week will decide which League Linden play in next year.

For Linden N Murray was in top form,G Anderson and S Renwick also showed up well. In the forwards, S Harkness,T Skeet,G Cunningham and C Telfer were the pick.

Team N Murray S Campbell G Anderson S Bouglas G Stirling S Renwick L Robson S Harkness C Telfer T Skeet S Hinton C Mitchell G Cunningham C Smith G Colville C Turnbull J Scott M Knight

 

Match Report Courtesy of Bill Russell

 


 

Friendly

 

Hawick Linden      39,     Jed-Forest 2nds     11

 

25-2-12

 

A superb second half performance by the Linden put Jed 2nds to the sword on Saturday. The home side couldn’t have asked for a better start scoring in the first minute. Colville and Mitchell took ball on, Telfer hit a great line off a short ball from Little which set up Anderson to sprint clear and round behind the posts for Renwick to convert. Jed hit back with a penalty goal but the Linden stretched their lead when Colville picked from a scrum and had the strength to force his way over.

 

Jed suffered a setback when their open side was stretchered off and, as the first half moved into injury time, Sean Fairbairn won a line out for the Royal Blues to go through several phases before Mitchell gave the scoring pass to Bouglas. There was still time for Jed to kick a penalty to reduce the Linden lead to 17-6 at the break.

 

The home side started the second half just as they did the first. Bouglas made the break with Murray winning the race to Renwick’s chip. Two minutes later and a surging run by Skeet set up Mitchell to burst over for try number five. Another Skeet charge and great hands looked to have given Conor Gracie a debut try but he was unlucky to lose the ball in the act of scoring. Skeet was even more unlucky as he looked to have touched down for a deserved try but was penalised for a double movement.

 

The Linden finally turned possession into points. Murray fielded a high kick, broke some tackles and some excellent interplay ended with Fairbairn being up in support to take the scoring pass. Linden were now in total control and threatening to score at will. Winning a ruck in their own half, Mitchell fed Murray who rounded his man and had the pace to cruise in from half way, Stirling converting.

 

Jed finally exerted some pressure and their blind touched down from short range. Linden responded straight away. Tait made an amazing break and looked like scoring from over 30 metres out but was hauled down just short of the line. To compound his misfortune he suffered a serious ankle injury as he was tackled which resulted in surgery the following day. The game was ended at this point with 12 minutes to go by referee Craig Hunter who, undertaking his first senior game, gave an excellent performance.

 

Up front there was some outstanding runs from Terry Skeet, Chris Telfer was a real buzz bomb before retiring injured and Sean Fairbairn had a great game. All the backs ran hard, continually looking dangerous, with Conor Gracie giving a sound performance.

 


 

RBS East League Div 1

 

Hawick Linden      10,     Duns     20

 

18-2-12

 

It was a cruel end for the Linden on Saturday as Duns scored with the last play of the game to leave the home side without even a bonus point in a match Linden had contributed so much to. Their second half performance might even have sneaked a shock win over second placed Duns who themselves were pipped by run away League winners Preston Lodge only three weeks previously.

 

Linden started well as skipper Graham Colville burst on from a free kick and fed Sean Goodfellow who made good ground into the visitors half but a knock-on saw the threat come to nothing. After quarter of an hour Duns went ahead with a penalty kick before Chris Turnbull retired with a calf injury. The Dingers were a tight cohesive unit up front and after some surges by their forwards at the home line, the pressure paid off. Despite a big hit by Linden in the tackle, the Duns player was able to spin round and touchdown.

 

Towards the end of the first half, Steven Harkness took a loud hit when being cleared out at a ruck. Play was allowed to continue even when the next ruck fell on the prostrate Harkness and another injured Linden player. With medic Brian Nichol running through play and pointing out the injured player, the game still went on until a penalty was awarded to Duns. From this position the visitors stormed the home line and eventually sucked in the defence to score out wide, the conversion stretching the lead to 15-0 at the break.

 

The Linden started to gain more possession and after securing field position for a spell, Gavin Stirling kicked a penalty goal. The Royal Blues were straight back on the attack and from more sustained pressure, Sean Goodfellow took a quick tap penalty to sprint over at the posts and Stirling converted. It was now game on and with both sides going hammer and tongs, a flare up resulted in Steven Bouglas and a Duns replacement cooling off for 10 minutes.

 

There was then an amusing incident when, at a ruck near the Linden line, a loose boot went flying through the air towards the banking at the river end. The game had to be held up as players searched for the missing boot! Down by five points, the home side did their best to gain at least a draw but little mistakes meant they couldn’t exert the level of pressure they would have wished. With the match into injury time, some nice handling and running by the Duns backs took them deep into Linden territory and, from recycled ball, they went over in the corner to deny the home team a deserved losing bonus point.

 

There were no stand-outs for the Linden, from one to 15 as well as the bench all contributing to a great effort. The front row deserve mention though for having the squeeze on in the early scrums but the injuries sustained resulted in uncontested scrums which took away the advantage Linden were beginning to gain. The Linden are grateful to match sponsors the Carnarvon Street Gang.

 

Team: L Robson, G Thomson, N Murray, S Bouglas, S Renwick, G Stirling, S Goodfellow; C Turnbull, S Harkness, T Skeet, C Mitchell, B Willison, C Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Campbell, J Tait, C Russell

 


 

RBS East League Div 1

 

Forrester      31,     Hawick Linden     6

 

11-2-12

 

After an excellent start at Forrester, playing through phases and hard running from forwards and backs, the Linden fell away and the home side secured a bonus point win. The Royal Blues were quickly on the scoreboard with a second minute Barry Sutherland penalty goal. They continued to play some great rugby and should have made more of two try scoring chances. However it was the home side who were next to score with an equalising penalty for offside.

 

The Linden response was immediate as they won the kick off and Terry Skeet’s surge set up Sutherland for a lovely drop goal. Forrester then lost a player to the sin bin but the Linden could not capitalise. With the first half well into injury time, Chris Telfer took a loud knock which caused great concern. However, as play continued, the by now back to full strength home side turned the extra man to their advantage to go over for a converted try with the last play of the half. The interval deficit of 6-10 was rather harsh on the Linden.

 

The second half started badly for the visitors as a missed tackle following a line out allowed the home centre to go over at the posts for another converted try. A harsh call for an early scrum engagement saw Forrester take advantage and their No.8 went over for converted try number three. The Linden continued to try hard but they could not turn their efforts into points. Just before the end they ran from deep and just as the move was looking threatening, an interception saw the delighted home side go over for the bonus point try and the conversion put a cruel salnt on the final scoreline.

 

Skeet and Craig Mitchell were prominent with their hard running up front, Telfer was putting in a great shift before his injury and his replacement Chris Turnbull showed up well. Greg Cunningham was a constant menace to the home side as was the hard running of centres Steven Bouglas and Craig Smith.

 

Team: L Robson, S Renwick, C Smith, S Bouglas, G Thomson, B Sutherland, S Campbell; T Skeet, C Telfer, S Harkness, B Willison, J Tait, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: C Turnbull, M Knight


 

R B S East League Div 1

 

Hawick Linden      17,     North Berwick     14

 

21-1-12

 

In a tense finish at the Volunteer Park, the Linden came from behind to defeat old rivals North Berwick. It was the visitors who got off to a flyer, dominating possession and any Linden clearance kicks simply returning the ball to their opponents. North Berwick’s reward came from a tap penalty as they plunged over at the posts to allow an easy conversion.

 

Linden hit back but couldn’t get on the scoreboard. A penalty was missed and then Craig Smith ran a lovely angle on a short ball to slice through and looked likely to score as his arcing run took him to the corner but a great cover tackle put him into touch just short of the line. From the resultant lineout a scuffle saw Terry Skeet yellow carded and the visitors quickly made the extra man count as they worked their way upfield. North Berwick attacked in the 22 but dropped the ball allowing Greg Cunningham to hack on. His kick was knocked on but not seen by the referee and the visitors took advantage as they worked their way into position to score their second converted try.

 

A poor clearance kick from the Linden was run back and a loop of the full-back created the space for a run to the corner but somehow the Royal Blues were able to hold up the ball to save what had looked a certain score. The Linden upped their game as the match neared half-time. First Barry Sutherland kicked a penalty goal then Smith, Nathan Murray and Stuart Renwick were all involved in a handling move that took their side within metres. Chris Telfer hit up and an offload found Craig Mitchell who lost the ball over the line in the act of scoring. The pressure was incessant and from the scrum Graham Colville and Skeet were both held up. Recycled ball was worked left and Sutherland darted for the line for what looked another certain score. However, as he stretched to place the ball, he just failed to reach as he was held back by a head-high tackle. No try and no penalty left the home side trailing 3-14 at the break and the feeling that this just wasn’t going to be their day.

 

The second half was a great contest with each team having periods on top. What was perhaps the turning point of the game came when the Linden scored a beauty of a try which instilled the belief they could go on to win the game. A penalty right on their own try line was tapped and quickly worked wide to Greg Thomson. He showed his pace to make great ground and timed his inside pass to the supporting Murray to perfection and the full-back scorched home from inside his own half. Sutherland’s conversion topped off a really wonderful try.

 

The home side continued to work hard for the score that would take them into the lead and it finally came with eight minutes remaining. Linden squeezed forward a scrum near the visitor’s line, Colville picked and drove, and Sutherland’s pass found Steven Bouglas on a nice line and the centre crashed over near the posts for Sutherland to convert.

 

Although not as switched on as they might have been in the early part of the game, this was a display of real character from the Linden as they came back from 14 points down to a very well drilled and organised side. All fifteen Linden players played their part in a supreme effort with the introduction of replacements Sean Goodfellow and Kevin Brown adding impetus to the cause at just the right time.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, C Smith, S Renwick, B Sutherland, G Stirling; T Skeet, C Telfer, S Harkness, B Willison, J Tait, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: S Goodfellow, K Brown, M Knight

 

 

 


 
 
R B S East League Div 1
 
Berwick 17 Hawick Linden 0
 
14-1-12
 
Linden travelled to Berwick on Saturday and after last weeks struggle ,this was a fighting dislplay more like the Linden of old up, against a very big pack and a slick back line , possesion was allways going to be a problem. This was to be a throughly entertaining game with both sides commited to entertaining rugby. Both sets of backs in exellent form and tackling from both sides of the tallest order.
 
The score of 10-0 in favour of Berwick at half time slightly flattered the home side. A couple of missed kickable penaltys for Linden were to prove costly as was the Berwick knock on ,missed by the referree as their pack powered over the line just before half time . Though there was no doubt about their superbly worked try in the second half. For Linden center`s Steven Bouglas and Craig Smith ran hard and tackled with gusto,Nathan Murray was sound at fullback and allways possed a threat in attack ,Barry Sutherland linked well at stand off. In the forwards, that old war horse John Tait pounds on Blaine Willison ,Greg Cunningham Terry Skeet were to the fore.
 
Team N Murray G Anderson C Smith S Bouglas S Renwick B Sutherland G Stirling M Kali C Telfer T Skeet B Willison J Tait G Cunningham G Wardle G Colville S Harkness M Knight

 


 

Friendly

 

07-01-12

 

Hawick Harlequins     40,     Hawick Linden     3

 

It was a dismal start to the New Year for the Linden when their trip to Wilton Lodge Park ended in defeat to a much more streetwise home side. The visitors had the opportunity to open the scoring in the first minute but Gavin Stirling’s penalty kick slipped wide. The Quins’ Scott Peffers had more success with his first kick and then Barry Sutherland equalized for the Linden with an impressively struck penalty. Peffers added his second penalty before Steven Harkness was harshly sin-binned for coming in at the side in the middle of the pitch.

 

The home side took advantage when the ball popped out at a ruck in the Linden 22 and Fred Stevenson hacked on to touch down with Peffers converting. Two Peffers penalties stretched the Quins lead to 19-3 at the break.

 

The Royal Blues started the second half well playing most of the game in the Quins half but perhaps unwisely ran a couple of kickable penalties as the home side escaped any additional punishment for four penalties in the red zone. When the Linden did not remove hands at a ruck on half way, a yellow card was shown to John Tait. Stevenson sportingly advised the referee it was the wrong man and Tait was reprieved but only momentarily as he was binned at the next tackle and furiously left the field.

 

From this point the wheels came off the Linden wagon and Ross Nichol, Scott Peffers and Greg McLeod scored tries for the Quins, all converted by Peffers to secure a convincing 40-3 win. The final scoreline may have been harsh on the Linden but it could not hide a rusty performance where more team work is required, particularly up front. A bright spot was the running of Barry Sutherland who showed some lovely touches in his first full game for the Linden since April 2010 with Steven Bouglas and Craig Smith running hard at centre. Harkness, Blaine Willison and Greg Cunningham worked hard in the pack.

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, C Smith, G Stirling, B Sutherland, L Robson; K Mabon, S Harkness, T Skeet, J Tait, B Willison, C Telfer, G Cunningham, G Wardle; Subs: M Knight, S Renwick, S Beattie, S Campbell, C Mitchell

 


 

RBS Border Shield Semi-Final

 

10-12-11

 

Hawick YM     58,     Hawick Linden     0

 

The gap in Leagues between the YM and Linden showed with the Redskins running out comfortable winners. The Royal Blues were not helped by pre-match injuries weakening their side and then further injury losses during the game, particularly the early departure of captain Graham Colville followed later by Craig Mitchell.

 

Gregor Welsh opened the YM account with a penalty and then converted a Bruce Campbell try. Wullie Blacklock came up with the ball after a line out catch and drive before Colville departed. Linden couldn’t get their hands on the ball as they suffered on the penalty count resulting in Gary Wardle taking a ten minute rest. Garry Douglas touched down followed by a push over try from a scrum with Welsh converting one to stretch the lead to 27-0 at the break as Mitchell was stretchered off.

 

A missed tackle allowed Ali Weir to slip through for a try which he converted and he also added the extras to Blacklock’s second score courtesy of an inside pass from Campbell. The Linden were more in the game in the second half with some reasonable possession but fierce YM defence kept them at bay and the home side added tries from Dean McCracken and a Glyn Desport brace to complete the scoring. Linden prop Keith Mabon spent the last few minues in the sin-bin, obviously not wishing to be outdone by brother Stuart who had received an earlier yellow card.

 

A tough day for the Linden who were thankful for the efforts of half-backs Craig Russell and Gavin Stirling, the latter never shirking a tackle. Gary Wardle and Greg Cunningham never gave up in the forward exchanges. One bright spot for the visitors was the return of Barry Sutherland who appeared from the bench for his first game of the season and made one searing break that almost led to a try.

 

Team: N Murray, C Graham, S Bouglas, B Irving, M Megahy, G Stirling, C Russell; K Mabon, S Harkness, T Skeet, C Mitchell, J Scott, G Wardle, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: B Law, L Robson, B Sutherland, J Tait

 


 

 

RBS East Region Division One

 

03-12-11

 

Hawick Linden     13,     Portobello     10

 

The Linden came out narrow winners of a hard fought encounter in testing conditions against Portobello on Saturday. The visitors stamped their authority on the game dominating field position for the first quarter of an hour but excellent Linden defence kept their line intact. Already without the unavailable Craig Smith and injured skipper Graham Colville, the home side suffered the early loss of Blaine Willison with a hand injury leaving them without a recognised line out jumper.

 

With 15 minutes on the clock the Royal Blues got out of their own half for the first time in clinical fashion. Terry Skeet and Craig Mitchell made good ground to release Nathan Murray. The full-back managed to step out of a tackle and his pace allowed him to race in from half-way for his 11th try of the season. Gavin Stirling slotted the conversion. The lead didn’t last long as a further period of Portobello pressure forced a missed tackle and a converted try brought the scores level. Just before the break the visitors kicked a penalty to put them three ahead at half-time.

 

With the cold wind and rain causing conditions to deteriorate the game became a war of attrition with both sides tackling doggedly making headway difficult. A Gavin Stirling penalty brought the scores level and four minutes later he had the chance to put the Linden ahead. Nathan Murray was held back when chasing his own kick ahead and, looking like he would win the race, there was a case for a penalty try. However this wasn’t forthcoming and Stirling’s kick secured three points and the lead for the Linden with 24 minutes remaining.

 

As the pitch became softer and muddier the likelihood of scoring became more difficult. The Linden tried to keep play in the visitors half but Portobello looked threatening whenever they tried to work their way out. Despite the best efforts of both sides there was no further scoring and the Linden were delighted to secure the win against a team who had more territory and possession but failed to capitalise on the scoreboard.

 

Craig Russell once again stood out putting his forwards on the front foot and Greg Thomson and Steven Bouglas showed great commitment in their running and tackling. The whole Linden pack put in a superb shift with the middle row of Bruce Law and Michael Davidson grafting hard. Prop Keith Mabon was a revelation in the loose with some charging runs and showing up well as an emergency line out jumper. Veteran, John Tait, who replaced the injured Baline Willison, played his part with his usual "never say die" attitude, despite being the wrong side of 40 !!

 

Team: N Murray, G Thomson, S Bouglas, G Stirling, M Megahy, S Renwick, C Russell; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, B Law, M Davidson, C Mitchell, G Wardle, B Willison; Subs: C Graham, J Tait, B Irving

 

 

 


 

 

RBS East Region Division One

 

26-11-11

 

Ross High     24,     Hawick Linden     33

 

The Linden secured their first away win of the season at Tranent playing some great rugby in testing conditions. The strong blustery wind favoured the visitors in the first half as they played downhill for what seemed certain to be a game of two halves. Craig Russell took a quick penalty and when tackled the ball was moved to Gavin Stirling whose short pass allowed Craig Smith to slice through to score at the posts. Stirling converted. Disaster then struck for the Linden as a pass went to ground in the windy conditions and from half way Ross High hacked on for their winger to score a converted try.

 

A clearing kick from the home side was fielded by Nathan Murray who ran back strongly and set up a ruck. Russell darted straight through the middle and outran the cover to score at the corner. From turnover ball Craig Smith bumped off a would-be tackler and fed Steven Bouglas who powered through to score for Stirling to convert. Four minutes later Bouglas added his second. From a scrum just inside the Ross High half he ran a great line to take a short ball off Stirling and surge over with Stirling adding the extras.

 

The Linden failed to close out the half and two consecutive penalties gave Ross High the field position to exert pressure that resulted in their second try. Would a 26-12 half-time lead be enough for the Linden in what appeared a 20 point wind was the question being pondered by many on the touchline?

 

The second period saw the Royal Blues working hard into the wind but silly mistakes allowed the home side to continually send them right back to where they started. With five minutes of normal time remaining Ross High picked from a scrum and their centre scored a converted try to reduce the lead to seven and increase the Linden nerves. From this point the visitors played some great rugby. Russell broke blind from a scrum fed inside to Graham Colville and the skipper’s pass to Morgan Megahy went to ground with the line at his mercy for what would have been a lovely try. Nathan Murray then looked like scoring until tackled but finally the clinching score came as Colville again linked with Russell for the latter to score and Stirling slotted the conversion.

 

Deep into injury time the Linden produced another surging move but a harsh call for accidental offside gave a scrum to Ross High from which their No. 8 made a thundering charge from half way for the final score of the game. In such difficult conditions the performance of the pack was key to Linden’s victory. All eight were immense with the front row of Keown, Telfer and Skeet dominating the scrums, Greg Cunningham first to everything on the ground and Colville giving a captain’s lead. Half-backs Russell and Stirling ensured their side were always on the front foot and centres Bouglas and Smith ran strongly. The Linden are extremely grateful to the Mansfield House Hotel for providing a lovely buffet on their return to Hawick.

 

Team: N Murray, C Graham, C Smith, S Bouglas, M Megahy, G Stirling, C Russell; B Keown, C Telfer, T Skeet, J Scott, B Willison, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs: M Davidson, S Hinton, G Thomson

 


 

R B S East League Div 1
 
22-11-11
 
Trinity Acads 43 Hawick Linden 19
 
Linden`s bad away record continued on Saturday ,weakened from the previous weeks injuries, it was always going to be an uphill task, conceding 3 penalty`s very early on, had Linden on the back foot.A yellow card reduced Linden to 14 men and uncontested scrums,Trinity took advantage to score a try. Linden bounced back good pressure from forwards Blaine Willison, G Colville and Gary Wardle took play forward,ball out to backs and a lovely weighted chip kick from stand off Stuart Renwick saw Graeme Anderson pounce on it to score at posts, with Gavin Stirling converting. Two further penalties from Trinity saw their half time lead increase to 22-7.
A quick score after the turn around saw Trinity go further ahead. Linden captain G Colville had to leave field with a head knock. Linden responded with a belligerent run from Craig Smith,ball was driven on by Craig Mitchell to posts with the ever present Gary Wardle up to score, G Stirling converted. Linden`s injury problems continued as first Colin Telfer then G Anderson had to leave the field ,the latter with a very serious hand injury, leaving Linden down to 14 men ,Trinity plundered a couple of quick scores . With time all most up C Mitchell picked up powered forward ball released back to backs and S Renwick sent fullback Nathan Murray racing in to score.
Linden,s injury problems are getting quite serious as every week they are losing players this is not an excuse for Saturday the better team on the day won. For Linden Blaine Willison ,Gary Wardle and C Mitchell grafted in the forwards, N Murray,C Smith and M Megahy the pick of the backs
 
 
Team N Murray M Megahy C Smith G Anderson T Anderson S Renwick G Stirling K Mabon C Telfer G Wardle J Scott M Davidson C Mitchell B Willison G Colville J Tait L Stewart

Match Report by Billy Russell


 

RBS East Region Division One

 

12-11-11

 

Hawick Linden     0,     Preston Lodge     50

 

Preston Lodge continued their domination of East League Division 1 with their ninth consecutive bonus point win as they convincingly defeated the Linden at the Volunteer. The match was abandoned in the second half following an injury to Linden prop Terry Skeet at a scrum when an ambulance had to be called. With the visitors holding an unassailable lead, and the try bonus already secured, the referee and captains agreed the result would stand at the point of abandonment.

 

The home side made a good start winning back their own kick off and the backs making a positive handling thrust. However a chip kick was marked by Preston Lodge and from a quick tap and some excellent handling they went almost the length of the field to touch down with only a minute played. The Royal Blues responded with a Gavin Stirling penalty kick which agonisingly fell just under the cross bar.

 

From this point the visitors started to dominate the game three quick tries were scored, two of which were converted, before the Linden lost influential scrum-half Lyon Farmer with a leg injury. Preston Lodge touched down twice more before the break, one converted, to stretch their lead to 36-0.

 

The Linden suffered a further blow early in the second period as Craig Mitchell retired with an ankle injury. Preston Lodge took advantage with two converted tries to hit the 50-mark. The home side enjoyed their best spell of the game and a tap penalty from Graham Colville saw the skipper make a tremendous surge and his pass to Morgan Megahy saw the winger held up.

 

The home side did well to work the ball away from a disrupted scrum on their own 22 and made good ground until the move broke down.  When the referee stopped for the subsequent scrum, Skeet still lay motionless back in his own half. With professional medical attention required, common sense prevailed and proceedings were brought to a premature end with the full agreement of all involved.

 

Team: N Murray, M Megahy, G Stirling, C Smith, C Graham, S Renwick, L Farmer; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, C Mitchell, B Law, B Irving, G Cunningham, G Colville; Sub; S Harkness

 

 


 

RBS East Region Division One

 

05-11-11

 

Hawick Linden     46,     Lismore     17

 

The Linden got back to winning ways with a convincing eight tries to two victory over Lismore at the Volunteer in a match sponsored by the Tower Inn. The home side spurned a gilt edged early chance through a bad pass with potential scorers queuing up. It was Lismore however who took the lead with a penalty but Linden hit straight back as Stuart Renwick took a quick penalty and Kevin Brown’s pass put Nathan Murray over. A great try followed soon after as Graham Colville broke blind from a scrum and linked with Lyon Farmer. When the latter was tackled, the ball was recycled and Gavin Stirling put a neat kick in behind the Lismore defence for Murray to score again, Stirling converting.

 

From turnover ball on the Linden 22, Farmer chased his own box-kick, twice managed to hack on as defenders tried to fall on the ball and finally picked up and went over for a superb individual try. Stirling converted. As Lismore went on the offensive, an inside pass on their 10 metre line was intercepted by Ben Gilchrist who charged on to touch down the bonus point try and put his side 24-3 ahead at the break.

 

Lismore responded with an excellent converted try by their dangerous full-back. A loose clearance kick by the visitors landed towards the touchline and Steven Beattie showed deft footwork as he kicked on wide but was stopped short. Lismore turned over the ball but as they worked it back, Colville pounced for an opportunist try. Soon after the Linden pressurized a Lismore line out near their line and Chris Telfer was credited with the touch down. Brown caught the kick off and surged on, Farmer’s box kick found space and Beattie hacked on to score and convert his own try.

 

A Linden dropped pass allowed the visitors in for a converted try but the Royal Blues had the final word when lovely hands along the line saw Lee Robson give the scoring pass to Beattie. This was a vastly improved performance by the Linden. Kevin Brown and Ben Gilchrist in their first appearances of the season looked like they’d never been away. Graham Colville gave a captains lead, Greg Cunningham did the unseen chores and Blaine Willison secured good line out ball. Once again Lyon Farmer was everywhere and putting his team on the front foot.

 

Team: L Robson, C Graham, N Murray, G Stirling, M Megahy, S Renwick, L Farmer; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, B Willison, B Law, K Brown, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs; G Thomson, S Beattie, B Gilchrist

 

 


 
 
 
R B S East League Div 1
22-10-11
Duns 52 Hawick Linden 10
After a promising start from Linden, playing into a brisk breeze,things gradually started to fall apart against a very slick and speedy Duns side.Linden controlled the opening exchanges and after 10 minutes a good drive by centre Blair Irving set up the forwards who drove forward and No8 Graeme Colville went in at posts,Steven Beattie converted. As Duns forwards began to control the ball the speed of their backs proved to much for Linden,also some sloopy tackling from Linden and they rattled in two quick try`s . S Beattie kick a penalty but this was the end of scoring for Linden with Duns ratling in another couple of try`s to make half time score 26-10 to the home side. After the turn around Linden got off to the worst possible start conseeding a try from the kick off. Lindens problem`s continued with several players picking up injuries and they had to continually shufle the team around. Allied to this some terrible tatical kicking with the ball allways going into touch on the full with the result Linden were allways on the back foot.For Linden the loss of scrum half Lyon Farmer in first half was a big blow ,Nathan Murray at full back was solid,Terry Skeet and Blaine Willison stuck in with a whole hearted
display from Scott Hinton in his first game of the season
 
Team N Murray M Megahy G Richardson B Irving S Beattie |G Stirling L Farmer K Mabon C Telfer T Skeet J Scott B Willison G Cunningham S Hinton G Colville C Mitchell M Davidson B Law
 

Match Report Courtesy of Bill Russell

 


 

 

RBS East Region Division One

 

15-10-11

 

Hawick Linden     37,     Forrester     34

 

The Volunteer Park was the place to be on Saturday for excitement, tries and drama culminating in the most incredible end to a game that one could ever witness. The Linden were first to score when Chris Telfer pounced on a Forrester attempt to steal a home line out to go over in the corner. Forrester responded with a period of pressure which eventually sucked in the Linden deference allowing the visitors tight head to stroll over for the equalising try.

 

A short ball from a ruck on the Forrester 10 metre line was spilled and Gavin Stirling picked up the loose ball to gratefully sprint in at the posts for Steven Beattie to convert. Only three minutes later Forrester were on the attack but once more they dropped ball and Nathan Murray hacked on from his own 22 all the way to the visiting line to put Linden further ahead.

 

Forrester kicked a penalty before the Royal Blues scored a beauty to secure the try bonus point. From a strong Linden scrum, Josh Farmer gave a double dummy, a wide ball to Steven Beattie and the winger scorched over and added the extras to put the home side in command at 24-8. However, in first half injury time, Forrester’s blind side flanker took a short ball and went through a gap to score at the posts. The conversion reduced the Linden’s lead to nine points at the break.

 

Soon after the turn around, the Edinburgh side scored from a line out catch and drive. Although Gavin Stirling kicked a penalty, Forrester had taken a grip of the game and from a scrum they went blind for their winger to score and the conversion brought the scores level at 27-all. Then, just when it looked liked the match was heading for a draw, with only a minute of normal time left, Forrester went over for a converted try at the posts for what appeared to be the winning score.

 

Unbelievably the game was far from over. The Linden showed great composure to apply a long series of pressure, running a number of penalties and finally Nathan Murray crossed in the corner. Steven Beattie had a kick from the touchline to tie the game but it agonisingly fell short. However, at least one Forrester player had shouted out during Beattie’s run up to put him off and the referee ordered a re-take. Dissent from the visitor’s saw a penalty awarded. Once more the Linden went through phases and when another penalty was awarded near the line, Stirling took a quick tap and sneaked over for the match winning score as the clock showed 13 minutes of extra time played. This was remarkable given that the Linden were looking for an equalising try at the 80 minute mark but they went through two very long periods of possession where the only stoppages were penalties and of course a match cannot end on a penalty.

 

The Linden would have been frustrated to lose after building a commanding lead but equally so Forrester who seemed to have won it at the death. A draw would probably have been a fair result but the Linden deserve credit for showing composure at the end and somehow pulling out a win from the jaws of defeat. Josh Farmer made an encouraging debut at stand-off, Craig Mitchell had some thundering runs in his last game before heading off to the army and Blaine Willison showed up well until retiring with a back injury.

 

Team: N Murray, S Beattie, G Stirling, G Richardson, M Megahy, J Farmer, L Farmer; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, B Willison, J Scott, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs; J Tait, S Renwick, T Anderson

 
 

 
 

RBS East Region Division One

 

08-10-11

 

North Berwick     31,     Hawick Linden     14

 

Despite a couple of late call offs the Linden made a great start against North Berwick. Following a line out, Steven Bouglas made the initial thrust before Graham Colville charged on and fed back inside to the supporting Craig Mitchell for a lovely try. Gavin Stirling added the conversion. North Berwick hit back quickly, a neat chip kick in behind the defence bounced kindly for their winger who raced over.

 

A penalty for the home side put them ahead and soon after added their second try. Another kick opened up the Linden. The covering Colville held back a home player who would probably have scored but the next supporting North Berwick player touched down anyway. However, Colville didn’t escape punishment and spent 10 minutes in the bin. Whilst he was off, North Berwick pressurised a Linden scrum and their number 8 went over.

 

Lee Robson replaced the injured Stuart Campbell just before North Berwick kicked a penalty to complete the first half scoring and stretch the lead to 21-7.

 

After a series of penalties against the Linden the home side crossed for a try from a line out catch and drive. Soon after, a kick proved fruitful for North Berwick who scored their third try from such tactics. With over 20 minutes remaining the Linden could have crumbled but they showed great character as they were the better side for the rest of the match. They went through some good phases and an inside ball found Bouglas running a great line to score at the posts for Stirling to knock over the conversion. The visitors efforts probably deserved another score but they couldn’t add to their tally.

 

Gavin Stirling slotted in well at stand-off and was well served by Lyon Farmer. Greig Richardson tackled well as did the whole back row with Greg Cunningham doing the unseen chores at the breakdown.

 

Team: N Murray, M Megahy, S Bouglas, G Richardson, S Campbell, G Stirling, L Farmer; K Mabon, J Tait, T Skeet, J Scott, M Davidson, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs; M Knight, L Robson

 

 

Match Report courtesy of Gary Alexander

 

 


 

 

RBS East Region Division One

 

01-10-11

 

Hawick Linden     13,     Berwick     25

 

After the pain of Scotland’s defeat to England, it was déjà vu for Linden supporters on Saturday afternoon as Berwick came over the Border and once again the Scots side was in control, looked to be creating the foundations for victory but contrived to fall to defeat.

 

It all started so well. In the third minute Linden disrupted a Berwick scrum, Graham Colville fed Chris Graham and, when the ball was recycled, Nathan Murray made the break. When tackled, play went left and Stuart Renwick’s quick hands put Blair Irving over in the corner. Soon after Craig Russell had a nice run but when a pass didn’t go to hand Berwick hacked clear, Irving went down on the ball allowing Linden to regroup and from the ruck Craig Smith made a great break and strode half the length of the field for a lovely score.

 

Berwick hit back with a penalty when Linden were caught offside. The home side continued to be more threatening often managing to get in behind the Berwick defence but the final pass didn’t go to hand or they were turned over at the breakdown. Well into injury time the game turned when a huge knock on by Berwick on the home line was not seen and when the Linden tidied up the visitor’s mistake they were penalised. Berwick took a couple of quick penalties, Colin Young crashed over for a converted try and Graham Colville was yellow carded for expressing his feelings of injustice.

 

Linden would have been disappointed to go in 10-3 ahead at the break but they now had to start the second half at 10-all with a man in the bin. Berwick struck early with a surging move and, although a forward pass was missed in the build up, the visitors’ hooker went over in the corner for a cracking score. Gavin Stirling responded with a penalty for the Royal Blues to reduce the gap to two points.

 

However, the Linden were now making too many mistakes and taking wrong options as Berwick played with much cooler heads. Some nice handling allowed their stand-off to cross for a converted try which was followed by a penalty goal. Linden desperately tried to rescue a losing bonus point but despite running a number of penalties in the opposition 22 they failed to capitalise.

 

A frustrating outcome for the Linden after their early efforts but credit to Berwick who were the better side in the second half. The Linden front row of Mabon, Telfer and Skeet had the squeeze on at scrum time, Craig Smith was everywhere, especially in the first half, and Michael Davidson put in a grafting shift. Lyon Farmer was a terrier at scrum-half and Craig Russell constantly asked questions of the visitors’ defence.

 

Team: N Murray, C Graham, C Russell, B Irving, G Stirling, S Renwick, L Farmer; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, J Scott, M Davidson, C Smith, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs; S Beattie, M Megahy, G Richardson
 
 
 

 
 
RBS East League Div 1
24-9-11
Portobello 31 v Hawick Linden 19
 
A cotroversial decision by the referr ee was to be the deciding factor in this game with Linden coming back into game playing with strong wind at backs , just after half time Portobello withdrew a prop for an injury. The referee decided to allow an a sub who was not a prop to pack down with uncontested scrums, this was a blow to Linden as they had been completly on top in the scrums pushing the Portobello forwards round at will. More galling was the fact for the last 2 years in Div 3, a light weight Linden pack had been humped all over the park from Orkney to Ayr. Come this year Linden had a scrumming pack and it was rendered useless by this controversial decision. Back to the game though Portobello dominated the first 30 minutes, with a very strong wind at back and the ref,dishing out penalty`s at will Portobello run up a 24 points lead. Linden had hardly been in game but a breakout to Half way line with Matt Landels ,Terry Skeet and Craig Smith to the fore . Saw quick ball from Stuart Campbell feed No8 Graeme Colville who speed through several tackles to score at posts,Steven Beattie converted. This got Linden`s tails up and a period of pressure on Portobello`s touch line saw good ball recycled along line for fullback Nathan Murray to dive in at corner.
Almost from the kick of uncontested scrums began,after 10 minutes M Landels with forwards and G Colville drove on to send T Skeet in at posts,Gavin Stirling converted. The lack of contested scrums was proving a blessing for Portobello assured of their own ball . Midway through the second half a lovely kick down the wing by Cris Graham was rescued just short of line, with 3 Linden players all over the retrieving Portobello back ,he held on to ball when a score was on the cards. To add injury to injustice the ref refrained from issuing a yellow card , which was hard to believe cause he had all ready issued one to a Linden player for a lesser offence. With Linden`s minds straying Portobello broke out to score under posts and put the game beyond doubt . For Linden a great effort in the forwards,especially the scrums , the loose very good, though the lineouts will have to improve . The backs stuttered at times N Murray was save at fullback , also to the fore G Stirling and S Campbell.
 
Team N Murray S Beattie C Russell B Irving G Stirling S Renwick S Campbell K Mabon M Landels T Skeet M Davidson J Tait C Mitchell C Smith G Colville C Graham D Megahy

 

Match Report Courtesy of Bill Russell

 

 


 

RBS East Region Division One

 

17-09-11

 

Hawick Linden     19,     Ross High     16

 

After the beauty of last week’s victory it was a case of winning ugly for the Linden against Ross High in a match sponsored by Hume & Tait. The visitors took the lead with an early penalty and then injuries disrupted the Linden as hooker Chris Telfer and stand-off Stuart Renwick both left the field with shoulder injuries in the first 10 minutes.

 

Without a recognised hooker the Royal Blues lost their own line out and Ross High capitalised as their winger went over in the corner. Following some excellent driving from the home forwards, Craig Smith went blind and Terry Skeet’s well-timed pass put Graham Colville over, Gavin Stirling converting. Straight from the kick off Jamie Scott made a fantastic break which almost led to a score however with the last kick of the first half Ross High put over a penalty to stretch their lead to 11-7.

 

The second half started as badly as the first for the Linden as their defence was all at sea following a Ross High line out and the visitors capitalised to go over for their second try. The Linden took a couple of tap penalties with Smith and Skeet making surges before play was spread wide and Blair Irving went over in the corner. Irving was unlucky to see his touchline conversion come back off the post.

 

Captain Graham Colville became the third Linden player to leave the field injured which tested their organisation but showing great character the home side took the lead with ten minutes to go. From a scrum play was spread wide with Nathan Murray involved, Craig Mitchell charged on and play was swung back the other way. Craig Russell and Skeet were stopped short but Keith Mabon picked and plunged over from short range for the winning try, Stirling converting.

 

With their shape adversely affected by injuries the Linden struggled to get enough ball away from the strong Ross High forwards. Terry Skeet was a willing ball carrier, Greg Cunningham did well at hooker and Keith Mabon’s try capped a fine display. Stuart Campbell gave a good service to assist Gavin Stirling who coped very well after moving in to stand-off.

 

Team: N Murray, C Graham, C Russell, G Richardson, G Stirling, S Renwick, S Campbell; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, J Scott, C Smith, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs; B Irving, M Davidson, S Robson
 
Match Report courtesy of Gary Alexander
 


 

RBS East Region Division One

 

10-09-11

 

Hawick Linden     46,     Trinity Accies     8

 

Linden bounced back from the previous week’s heavy defeat to put in a tremendous display of running rugby scoring some thrilling tries. Despite being well on top it took the Linden 20 minutes to get on the scoreboard. Craig Russell was ruled to have been held up over the line but from the resulting scrum Graham Colville picked and drove over under the posts and Steven Beattie added the conversion.

 

Nathan Murray’s pace and elusive running was becoming an increasingly regular threat before he fielded a clearance kick in his own half, danced away from a couple of tackles and raced up the touchline for a fantastic score. Trinity hit back with a penalty goal but it was Murray’s running that led to another try, his break up the middle was taken on by Craig Mitchell, Stuart Renwick’s grubber kick was messed up by the visitor’s winger and Craig Russell pounced to increase the Linden’s lead to 17-3 at the break.

 

The second half started perfectly for the Royal Blues as Murray once more ran back a Trinity kick and his superb break and long pass put Russell over in the corner. A quickly taken tap penalty in their own half was taken on by Jamie Scott, Russell went through a gap, on to Murray whose inside pass to Russell completed a tremendous score. Renwick converted. The Linden were now in full flow and straight from the kick off it was Murray again who broke from his own half, beat the full-back and went the distance.

 

The Linden made a mess of a line out and loose ball was kicked on by the visitors to secure a try. Linden’s response was immediate, Scott stole a line out and some forward surges ended with Greg Cunningham going over, Beattie converting. Fittingly the final score was from that man Murray as he followed Russell in completing a hat-trick.

 

The whole Linden side can be proud of their performance. Terry Skeet, Barrie Keown, Craig Mitchell and Graham Colville made the hard yards up front, Craig Russell improves with every game at centre and some of the running of Nathan Murray was simply a joy to watch.

 

Team: N Murray, C Graham, C Russell, G Richardson, S Beattie, S Renwick, S Campbell; K Mabon, C Telfer, T Skeet, R Beattie, B Keown, C Mitchell, G Cunningham, G Colville; Subs; J Scott, M Davidson, L Farmer

 

Saturday 17th September, Hawick Linden v Ross High, Match Sponsor: Hume & Tait
 
Match Report courtesy of Gary Alexander
 
 
 

 
 
RBS East Region Div 1
 
Preston Lodge 79 Hawick Linden 0
 
3-9-11
 
When a semi-professional side meet a truly amateur side this is the kind of result you get. Up against a side who were by far bigger physically, slicker and faster than Linden. There was only going to be one result, far to often Linden were left chasing shadows as the big Preston Lodge pack steam roller-ed their way over Linden`s young and light weight pack giving choice ball to their backs.To Linden`s credit the did not lie down , having their moments.Craig Smith proved a thorn in their side with some rollicking runs .Like wise Craig Russell and Nathan Murray posed danger with dancing runs but when they broke down and the Preston Lodge juggernaut took over. Greg Cunningham,Graeme Colville and Terry Skeet worked hard in the forwards, with Blair Irving in the backs having some belligerent runs.
 
Team N Murray T Anderson C Smith C Russell C Graham S Renwick G Stirling T Skeet C Telfer K Mabon M Davidson J Scott C Mitchell G Cunningham G Colville B Irving G Richardson D Finnigan
 
Match report courtesy of Billy Russell

Friendly Match

 

27-08-11

 

Hawick Harlequins     10,     Hawick Linden     37

 

Linden ran out convincing winners in a pre-season friendly at Wilton Lodge Park although the ‘Quins took the lead with an early penalty. A good break by Blair Irving led to Stuart Renwick putting in a chip kick for Steven Bouglas to pounce for the visitor’s first try. Graham Colville then stole a ‘Quins line out and a drive by the forwards saw Renwick find Bouglas who burst through for his second try with Renwick converting.

 

Following a clearance kick by the home side, the Linden counter attacked but a pass was intercepted near half way and the converted try reduced the Royal Blues lead to 12-10, a scoreline which remained unchanged to the break.

 

Steven Beattie kicked a penalty to stretch the Linden’s lead and another score was stopped when Nathan Murray was tackled just short following a great break by Bouglas. From a scrum Colville picked and fed Renwick whose deft grubber kick behind the advancing defence allowed Craig Russell to score with Beattie converting.

 

Beattie added a penalty before the Linden rounded the game off in style. When the ‘Quins were shunted off their own scrum ball, Craig Mitchell broke, linked with Stuart Campbell and Steven Bouglas ran a great line to complete his hat-trick, Beattie converting. A brilliant break from the kick off by Renwick ended with Gary Wardle tackled just short for what would have been a fantastic score. However, Wardle scored the final try soon after, thanks to great offloads from Thomas Anderson and Russell.

 

Linden were well served by Steven Bouglas’ hard running with Nathan Murray always looking dangerous with ball in hand.Terry Skeet, Blain Willison and Gary Wardle put in a hard shift up front.

 

Team:    N Murray, S Bouglas, C Russell, B Irbing. C Graham, S Renwick, S Campbell; T Skeet, C Telfer, K Mabon, J Scott, , B Willison, G Wardle, L Mitchell, G Colville; Subs; R Norman, R Stitt, C Mitchell, T Anderson, S Tennent, S Beattie, R Knight

 
 

 
Hawick Harlequins 10 a Sides
13-8-11
 
Round Robin
 
Hawick Linden 12 Gala YM 12
 
Blair Irvine scored first after picking up a chip ahead rebound,Scott Renwick converted. Gala then went 5points ahead with two try`s, one converted. Second half a 50metre run down touch line from S Renwick to score in corner unfortunate to hit post with conversion.
 
Hawick Linden 22 Selkirk 2nds 7
 
Nathan Murray ran from half way line to score,Garry Johnstone converted. Craig Mitchell scored in opposite corner,a rampaging run from Blaine Willison saw Barrie Keown up to take pass and score,G Johnstone ran 50metres for C Mitchell to take pass and score.
 
Hawick Linden 0 Hawick YM 38
 
Badly hit by injuries and work commitments Linden put out a shadow side for final game ,as score suggests it was a bit one sided.
 
Match report courtesy of Billy Russell

Season 2010/2011 - scroll down for previous match reports

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
30-4-11
 
GHK 107 Hawick Linden 12
 
Well Linden managed to scrape together a team to complete their League campaign.What looked a reasonable team on paper, soon changed as call off`s due to injury and not available`s left the team decimated. The team that started could not be faulted as they turned up, maybe tactics could have been better. Off to bad start 7points down inside a minute things got worse 62 points down at half time. A good rally in the second half, Terry Skeet twice broke the opposition `s defence taken on by Wattie Davies ,good smuggling work from forwards saw Keith Mabon dive over to score. Almost from kick off W Davies drove forward but ball was won by GHK from their backs move, Greg Bouglas intercepted on the half way line to run in unaposed, Robert Stitt scored his first points ever with a sweetly struck conversion .
 

 
 
The Hundredth S R U Sevens
24-4-11
Jed Forest RFC
Hawick Linden 10 Jed-Forest 2nds 12
 
Linden their lost first tie ,12 -0 down at half time, Steven Bouglas and Gavin Stirling scored second half try`s, Linden never in it first half ,should have secured victory, in last move of game Nathan Murray was unable to hold onto a pass with the line at his mercy. The tie would probably be remembered for the eccentric refereeing rather than the tie.
 
Plate Semi-final
 
Hawick Linden 33 Kelso 2nds 10
 
Linden ran away with this tie strong running from S Bouglas who notched up a hat trick of try`s,G Stirling 1try and 3 conversions ,Craig Mitchell 1try and Stuart Renwick added a conversion.
 
Plate Final
 
Hawick Linden 39 Peebles 2nds 0
 
Linden completely dominated the final Linden`s forwards of C Mitchell ,Greg Cunningham and Wattie Davies snuffed out their opposite numbers, giving the backs good ball and did they have a ball S Bouglas once again had a hat trick of try`s,with once again some hard and direct running which the opposition had no answer to, G Stirling ,Stuart Campbell and N Murray picked up one each.Highlight being Stuart Renwick`s burst from own half only to run out of steam near line and give C Mitchell the easiest of try`s. G Stirling kicked 2 conversions. Once again the eccentric refereeing came into play, as Linden`s first tie referee, played 10 minutes first half and 4 minutes second half.
 
Team John Coutts S Bouglas G Stirling S Campbell S Renwick N Murray G Cunningham W Davies C Mitchell Gary Wardle
 
 

 
 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
16-4-11
 
Hawick Linden 24 Cambuslang 22
 
In a thrilling hard fought, exciting encounter in almost perfect conditions at the Volunteer park ,Linden defeated Cambuslang to stave off relegation. From the kick off Linden made their intentions known flinging everything into attack, this paid off as first Nathan Murray ,then Michael Graham had a pop at the line, good backing up from Gary Wardle saw the hard working prop dive in to score . Linden`s problem this year goal kicking resurfaced as first the easy conversion and then a penalty in front of posts was squandered.Not to be outdone Cambuslang then missed a similar kick in front of posts. From an Linden attack , which was turned over after a poor chip kick from a certain player not to be named, saw Cambuslang plundering a try after loose defending by Linden. Good pressure from Linden forwards on their opponents line saw Craig Mitchell send Steven Bouglas thundering in at posts , Gavin Stirling this time did the needful to collect full points. Cambuslang tightened the game up with a try . With forwards and backs combining and a great thundering run by captain Wattie Davies, pressure began to mount on Cambuslang and it was only time before they gave , A backs move instigated by Stand off Michael Graham along the line for S Bouglas to power over with Steven Renwick providing the conversion . Not to be outdone back came Cambuslang with a try to close score to 19-15 in Linden`s favour. All out attack on Cambuslang line with time running out saw Linden refuse a kick able penalty as they went for the bonus point , with forwards pounding the opposition line substitute prop Keith Mabon found a gap to squeeze through and score to great elation from team mates. Well into almost 5minutes of injury time Cambuslang scored a converted try to put pressure back on Linden . With the Ref obliviously enjoying himself with extra time and to Linden`s discomfort he eventually blew for full time. A good victory for Linden especially the bonus point ,bouncing back from last weeks disaster. For Linden in the backs S Bouglas ,M Graham and G Stirling were the pick ,in the forwards G Wardle, C Mitchell and K Brown worked hard.
 
Team S Renwick G Stirling N Murray S Bouglas M McCall M Graham S Campbell G Wardle S Harkness J Tait W Davies B Keown C Mitchell G Cunnningham K Brown G Thomson K Mabon R Stitt

 

 


 

Scottish National League 3

 

02-04-11

 

Hawick Linden     27      Orkney     10

 

The Linden ran out comfortable winners against Orkney at the Volunteer to continue their 100% home record in 2011. The visitors had traveled by ferry to the mainland on Saturday morning before making the long bus trip down to the Borders. The journey did not seem to adversely affect them as their forwards controlled a lot of play in the early stages through their big forwards picking and driving. The Linden were keen to play a faster offloading game and they were rewarded when this secured field position and Orkney were penalised for being offside and Gavin Stirling stroked over the penalty kick.

 

Mid-way through the half, the islanders equalised when Michael Graham was harshly deemed to have deliberately knocked on. The Linden looked to have scored the opening try when Kevin Brown picked from a scrum and broke blind to send Gavin Stirling in at the corner but unfortunately he had put a foot in touch. The score was only momentarily delayed as Craig Smith stole the resulting Orkney line-out throw, and Steven Boulgas’ inside pass put Stuart Renwick over at the posts, Stirling converting. Right on half time, after a period of Linden pressure, Michael Graham took a quick tap penalty and darted over to make the lead 15-3 at the interval.

 

The third quarter saw the Royal Blues on top as the visiting forwards tired but somehow the home side failed to score from a number of excellent scoring chances, poor passing letting them down. A try eventually came from a scrum 10 metres inside the Linden half and it was a beauty. Kevin Brown again went blind, a quick recycle and Michael Graham popped a short ball to Craig Smith who burst through the visiting defence opened his legs sprinted over giving Stirling an easy conversion. Shortly after, an Orkney clearance kick was charged down and Graham and Smith linked up again for Smith to go over in the corner. The Linden were penalised at the subsequent kick off and following further penalties Orkney were able to go over for a converted try to make the final score Linden 27, Orkney 10.

 

Stuart Campbell gave out a good service, Nathan Murray and Scott Peffers ran well and Stuart Renwick was sound at full-back apart from his attempted drop-goal which disturbed a few moles. The adaptable Greg Cunningham stuck in well at hooker, Barrie Keown, Craig Mitchell and Kevin Brown carried ball well, Craig Smith dominated the line-out and Ryan K. Beattie, making his debut from the bench, was solid in the scrum. The Volunteer clubrooms then reverberated to a good old sing-song with singers from both sides and when the visitors reluctantly left they were piped on their way by David Millar. 

 

Team    S Renwick, G Stirling, N Murray, S Bouglas, S Peffers, M Graham, S Campbell; K Mabon, G Cunningham, S Harkness, J Tait, B Keown, C Mitchell, C Smith, K Brown; Subs: R Stitt, R Scott, R K Beattie

 

Match Report Courtesy of Gary Alexander

 
 

 
 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
26-3-11
 
North Berwick     60      Hawick Linden     3
 
Once again Linden`s inability to take a full or near full strength team away was to cost them dear , North Berwick as the score sugests were just to good . North Berwick scored 5try`s and were up 31-3 at half time ,Gavin Stitrling kicking a long range penalty for Linden. Matter`s got even worse Robert Scott had to leave field after turn around ,leaving Linden with 14men and uncontested scrums ,North Berwick scored another 5try`s. A potentially bad injury to Terry Skeet saw the ref, blow early for full time.Terry was transferred to hospital but was released latter all right but but badly bruised. For Linden, Captain Steven Bouglas led from the front S Hinton and G Stirling tackled like tigers. In the forwards C Smith ,S Harkness and JTait battled hard to stem the flow.
 
 
Team    G Stirling     S Tennant    S Bouglas     D Gray    S Hinton     S Renwick    S Campbell     S Harkness     J Tait     T Skeet    R Scott     R Stitt    S Duncan    C Smith    B Keown
 

Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell
 
 

 
 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
19-3-11
 
Hawick Linden      36        Ross High       17
 
Linden in the end came out easy winners but for the first 30 minutes it was a case of had they turned up for the game as they went through an catalogue of schoolboy errors. This allowed Ross High to take an early lead as their No 14  waltzed through a defence that was rooted to the spot to score at posts, fortunately they did not have a goal kicker of any quality which was proved as they also missed two easy penalty opportunities.Full back Adam Hall fielded a loose kick joined up with Greg Wylie who sent Stuart Renwick trundling up the touchline for 40 metres handing off several vain tackle attempts in the process to score . Almost from the kick off Linden managed to knock on, Ross High stand off picked up inside own 22 and galloped unopposed to score at posts and convert. Right on half time G Wylie picked up loose ball and sent Steven Bouglas on a solo run from the half way line to score unfortunately for Linden their goal kicking was as bad as Ross High`s,half time score 12-10 to Ross High. After the turn around it was a different story a good talking to by coach Lee Stewart changed the players frame of mind. Pressure on Ross High line with Graeme Colville,Steven Harkness and Barrie Keown to the fore ,quick taken penalty along line and after two attempts at catching ball S Bouglas strolled in at posts,an easy John Tait conversion.A break out from own line with winger Greg Cunningham putting in a raker of a clearance kick, took play deep into Ross High territory,ball won by forwards along line foe S Renwick to stroll in at posts for bonus point and convert.With Linden now completely on top forwards and backs combined to send in G Wylie unopposed . Ross High replied with a try in corner. Then in the dying minutes and with Linden down to 14 men Craig Smith appeared out of nowhere to jink through a bemused defence to score at posts with Captain Wattie Davies converting . A poor start to game from Linden maybe it was the 12noon  kick off,it certainly took them 3o minutes to wake up . Tremendous running once again from S Bouglas at centre, every time he got ball panic stations from opposition, S Renwick and G Cunningham were also to the fore in backs. In forwards C Smith took good ball at line out B Keown was a power in the tight ,not the best of touch line kickers though,after a poor start Craig Mitchell came on to a game.
 
Team   A Hall     G Cunningham     S Bouglas     G Wylie      S Anderson      S Renwick      S Campbell     T Skeet      Steven Harkness      K Mabon      W Davies     B Keown     C Mitchell     C Smith     G Colville     R Scott    J Tait    S Duncan
 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
5-3-11
 
Helensburgh     53     Hawick Linden    3
 
Once again Linden on the road again with a weakened team only 15 players available.  Helensburgh though not big turned out to have a lively back line .Kicking off, Linden soon took the the lead with a Gavin Stirling penalty after the home side were caught off side.  Helensburgh rattled in two try`s in quick succesion, Though Helensburgh were dominating play , Linden put up stout defence. Michael Graham who was once again having a fine game at stand off intercepted in own half and was only pulled just short of the try line , Terry Skeet and Steven Harkness had a couple of darts at line but were repulsed in fine spell of Linden pressure only for Helenburgh to break out and score. With half time approaching fast, Michael Graham sustained, what at the first was thought to be a serious injury,as play was halted for approx half an hour for an ambulance to be called. Thankfully though Michael was taken to hospital it was not as serious as first thought,though he was detained over night.With Linden down to 14men second half it was backs to the wall and try and keep score down.
 
Team   S Renwick     K Murray     C Mitchell      G Stirling      G Cunningham    M Graham     S Campbell      T Skeet     S Harkness     J Tait     R Scott    R Stitt    K Mabon     S Duncan     W Davies
 
Moira Black will be holding an Ladies Day at the Volunteer Park on 2nd of April ,the day Linden play Orkney .All Lady members ,wife`s ,girlfriends, in fact all Lady`s will be made welcome .For further details please see Moira Black     
 

 
 
Scottish Hydro National 3
 
19-2-11
 
Hawick Linden       34        Gordonians       10
 
Linden maintained their recent good form with a comprehensive victory over their visitors from Aberdeen, played on a very soft pitch, in the conditions a creditable 6 try`s were scored, though this could have been more with sharper delivery from ruck and maul. Linden controlled play early on,a couple of difficult penalty`s were missed by Gavin Stirling. With almost 30 minutes gone and Linden all over Gordonians 22 ,a powerfull drive by prop Gary Warlde on to Keith Mabon with centre Steven Bouglas finishing off in style as he jinked through a bemused defence to score,G Stirling converted from far out.Gordonians replied with a penalty. With Craig Smith to the fore, Linden were back on the attack, ball was run along line after forward drive to Ben Gilchrist on wing, back inside to Craig Mitchell,G Wardle out to Michael Graham on to Adam Hall,making his debut for Linden at full back, raced in for a debut try. After the turn around it was all Linden, almost constant pressure, good running by M Graham and S Bouglas took play to Gordonians line,ball driven over line by forwards with Kevin Brown emerging with ball in hand to score.Camped on the opposition line, break from line out by Barrie Keown ,pulled down short but G Wardle was up to pick up and dive over line. From the kick off, S Bouglas caught ball, deep in own half ,raced through an ragged attempt at defence ,up touch line ,handed off the covering fullback and raced in at posts for a super try, G Stirling converted.  Kick through from M Graham saw Scott Hinton and S Bouglas racing through on covering defence who made a complete mess of clearing ball , with S Hinton just winning the race to pick up and dive over in corner. Some sloppy defending allowed Gordonians to pick up consolation try in dying minutes of game. Good solid victory for Linden with S Bouglas outstanding ,the move from wing to centre has certainly worked in his case, new boy A Hall very secure at fullback ,with G Stirling and M Graham putting in solid performances. In a hard working pack B Keown ,C Smith and K Brown were the pick with K Mabon along with C Smith taking some choice ball at lineout.
 
 
Team     A Hall    B Gilchrist    S Bouglas    G Stirling    S Hinton    M Graham     S Campbell    G Wardle    S Harkness    K Mabon     B Keown    W Davies     C Smith     C Mitchell     K Brown  
 
Match Report courtesy of Andy Thomson (10mins!!) and Billy Russell (70 mins)        


 
Scottish Hydro National 3
 
12-2-11
 
Hawick Linden     24       Forrester      10
 
Linden resumed league business at the Volunteer Park with their first home game for over 3months, in an fixture arranged at the last minute ,they defeated Forrester scoring 4 try`s thereby picking up a valuable bonus point .Played on a soft pitch which held up remarkable well ,Forester started the better and kept Linden pegged back in own half though never looking like taking the lead. Linden gradually came more into game and pressurised their opponents line. Good work by forwards with Graeme Colville to the fore saw a drive towards line,Steven Harkness took over and in a breenge for the line touched down for his first ever try for Linden in 8years. Linden then got on top of their opponents good forward driving by Wattie Davies ,Barrie Keown and Craig Smith kept the pressure up. With the pressure Linden were asserting it was only time before another score came. Steven Bouglas playing at centre picked loose ball and shoot through a stricken Forrester defence wrong footing several defenders on the way, Gavin Stirling converted . Turning round 12 points up Linden  were rather lackadaisical in defence shuffling the ball back to one another in panic when a good hoof to touch was all that was required ,this allowed Forrester to plunder a try out of nothing. A powerful run by Wattie Davies backed up by the forwards saw G Colville surge over the line to score, G Stirling converted. Back on the attack Linden camped themselves in the oppositions right hand corner a number of surges were repelled .From short penalty G Colville had a go ,followed by Craig Smith then John Tait ,ball moved to backs, Graeme Anderson had a burst finally out to winger Greg Cunningham who cut back inside to deceive  the defence and score. With play deep into injury time Forrester broke out to score in corner.   A welcome victory for Linden plus a bonus point ,in the backs, Michael Graham had a fine game at the unaccustomed position of stand off ,S Bouglas and Ben Gilchrist put in some strong running. In a hard working pack , captain W Davies led by example with some stirring forays, G Colville put in  a power of work from No8 ,with C Smith,B Keown and Keith Mabon to the fore .
 
Team     G Stirling     B Gilchrist     G Anderson      S Bouglas     G Cunningham     M Graham     S Campbell      G Wardle     Steven Harkness     K Mabon      J Tait      B Keown      C Smith      W Davies      G Colville      R Scott      S Beattie     R Stitt 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
 
Scottish National Shiel 1st Round
 
5-2-11
 
Helensburgh    35     Hawick Linden      9
 
Once again a Linden squad  badly affected  by call offs took to the road this time the long haul to Helensburgh. Though this looks a bit of a hiding ,the score line fails to tell the real story. As usual with Linden they got of to a bad start ,a charge down try when there never looked any danger of Helensburgh scoring. Linden responded with a fine run by fullback Michael Graham from own half, up touchline to be pulled down short of line .Linden who had earlier through Gavin Stirling missed a long range penalty,changed tactics and ran the next two as Linden pressured the Helensburgh line. Failing to breach the home teams line led to a breakout from  Helensburgh and they punished Linden with an converted try and penalty. Linden took play to Helensburgh and G Stirling kicked a long range penalty.Helensburgh replied with a penalty deep into injury time . Turning round 20-3 down, second half Linden forwards put in a power of work as Wattie Davies, Barrie Keown and Craig Smith(who was actually at centre but helped out in line-out)were to the fore. Linden clawed back with two G Stirling penalties as they kept Helensburgh pegged back in their own half for the first 20minutes.Gradually Helensburgh began to creep back into game as Linden tired. With Linden running the ball at all opportunity's ,mistakes creep in and Helensburgh made them pay. For Linden  bit of a makeshift team but no lack of effort or commitment, M Graham had an excellent game especially coming into line,C Smith put in a power of effort in midfield with G Stirling. In the forwards good commitment from all eight.
 
Team     M Graham     L Robson     C Smith     G Stirling     G Cunningham     S Renwick    S Campbell     K Mabon    J Tait     Steven Harkness    R Scott     R Stitt     L Stewart     B Keown     W Davies

Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
15-1-11
 
Preston Lodge     37       Hawick Linden     6
 
Linden travelled to Preston Lodge for their first game this year,in fact their first game for allmost 8weeks. Facing a stiff wind on a very soft pitch,up against a very big pack this was allways going to be a hard task. So it turned out, Preston Lodge`s forward`s favourite trick, tucking the ball under jersey and rumbling forward , with Linden`s lighter pack having no answer.Preston Lodge first try came from such a move , a harsh penalty decision at rear of scrum, on scrum half Stuart Campbell, the ball being clearly out of scrum ,allowed Preston Lodge to set up line out on Linden line, the home side rumbling over for 7points.A good period of pressure saw Linden reply with a Liam Lawrence penalty . Two penalty`s awarded by the referree to  the home side, both very dubious, but such is Linden`s luck at the moment ,when your down nothing goes your way, saw Preston Lodge stretch their lead, which became more with a well worked try just on the break. Though 18-3 down at break Linden had put up a spirited first half display and suffered with some poor referreing decisions. Second half they certainly had no cause to complain after a brief flurry on the home side line . High light being both Ref and touch judges missing L Lawrences penalty which just scrapped over bar. Preston Lodge`s forwards took over and that was the end of the game for Linden as it became at times a case of "backs against the wall".The ball up the jumper and roll on a most effective way of controlling game when you have big heavy forwards but most depressing if you want to watch entertaining rugby. Highlight later in game for Linden, was Michael Graham`s drop goal from all of 40metres which to everybody`s astonishment other than Michael, the Ref indicated that it had went over the bar. For Linden Colin Murray ,L Lawrence and S Bouglas best of backs .In the forwards the old heads John Tait ,Wattie Davies and Barrie Keown stood out.
 
Team    M Graham     S Bouglas     L Lawrence     C Murray      L Robson     S Renwick     S Campbell      G Wardle     J Tait       K Mabon     B Keown     R Beattie     G Cunningham     C Smith     W Davies     Steven Harkness    R Stitt    B Wear 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
20-11-10
 
Cumbernauld     20       Hawick Linden    12
 
Linden travel ed on Saturday for an 12 noon kick off with hosts Cumbernauld. Once again Linden`s struggles to raise an away team are now becoming legendary. Up against a very heavy pack,Linden`s lightweight`s were always going to find it hard going.  Early on, so it turned out going behind to 2 try`s. Linden gradually worked their way into game KieronWillison and Michael Graham combined for a fine run to the Cumbernauld line. With Keith Mabon going over to score only for the Ref,to adjudge a forward pass. Nathan Murray had a nice run and good forward pressure saw John Tait to pick up and dive over, Gavin Stirling converted.  Turning round 10-7 down Linden showed they were not going to lie down and a super passing move saw Stuart Renwick ,Gary Wardle,M Graham send Graeme Anderson racing in at corner.Linden now began to play with more assurance and should have been awarded an try after Steven Bouglas and M Graham combined to send in G Anderson at posts only to the consternation of Linden support the Ref deemed it a forward pass. With time running down , Cumbernauld launched an attack, a suspect forward pass was allowed by the Ref as the Cumbernauld No12 swept through a flatfooted Linden defence to score at posts which was converted.With time almost up an desperate Linden tried attacking from own line only to concede a penalty which denied the Linden even a bonus point. For Linden K Willison ,Terry Skeet and K Mabon were pick of the forwards. In the backs M Graham ,G Anderson and  G Stirling had good games.  Linden are finding it hard going at moment, injuries ,players unavailable. all going against them also getting no breaks on the field .
 
Team     M Graham      S Bouglas      N Murray     G Wardle     G Anderson      S Renwick      G Stirling     T Skeet      Steven Harkness    J Tait      R Scott      K Murray      G Cunningham      K Mabon      K Willison     R Stitt 
 

Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
6-11-10
   
Orkney      50        Hawick Linden      10
 
Linden`s long haul started at 5.45am on Saturday morning, flying from Edinburgh to Kirkwall for a 12.30pm kick off. Playing with the wind first half Linden were soon in trouble as with most of Linden`s away games this season, they conceded a converted try with in two minutes. Not outdone some good pressure from forwards and chip kick from scrum half Stuart Campbell saw Steven Bouglas pounce on the ball and dive in at corner. With play flowing back and forth and half time approaching, disaster for Linden a poor clearance kick failed to find touch, winger S Bouglas, who could have been blinded by bright sun failed to make safe, allowing opposition winger to run in unopposed. Worst was to follow almost from the kick off a succession of missed tackles allowed Orkney to score under posts. This was the pattern for second half as Linden gifted Orkney several try`s through rank bad tackling and poor tactical kicking rather than making them work for them.  A consolation score for Linden, after a succession of quickly taken penalty`s on the Orkney line, Barrie Keown made ground for S Bouglas to take on and score.  For Linden Captain S Bouglas gave a fine lead and was rewarded with a brace or try`s, B Keown put in a power of work and Kevin Brown, his first competitive game for 2years were the pick. 
 
Team: 
M Graham  G Stirling  G Anderson   N Murray  S Bouglas  M McCall   S Campbell  K Mabon C Telfer  Steven Harkness B Keown C Smith G Cunningham C Mitchell K  Brown R Stitt  S Tennant                                                                                                            
 
 
A couple of hours sampling very good Orkney hospitality, President Gary Alexander presented Orkney with a very large jar of Hawick Balls which will keep them sucking for a while.
                                                                                                                                                                ;                          
 
Linden would like to thank, main sponsors Accoya,  Steven Murray  (Tower Inn), Barrie Russell (Floor Finisher),  Brian Nichol for financial assistance to the trip, Mansfield House Hotel and David Gray for refreshements after the long haul, to bus driver George Wilson who gave his time free to driving to and from Edinburgh and not forgetting George Strorey who donated the Hawick Balls
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
30-10-10
 
Hawick Linden      15       Helensburgh        10
 
A welcome victory for Linden on Saturday against a visiting team, who for once which is very unusual had a heavier pack than the opposition. Helensburgh turned out to have a  very lively back line with plenty of pace,which at times posed plenty of problems for Linden. From the kick off Linden looked to impose themselves on the visitors with a good solid scrum and line out . With forwards providing some choice ball, pressure was gradually exerted on the Helensburgh defence. Winning a penalty in what looked a kickable position on the right, Linden decided to run ball along back line, this was quickly run to opposite side, good ball retention by forwards saw stand off Mark McCall go right,  pop the ball to left winger Greg Bouglas who shot through gap a in Helensburgh defence to score. With Gavin Stirling adding the conversion. A solid run from Steven Bouglas through the Helensburgh defence looked very promising especially after he had been felled with what looked like an illegal tackle only to get up and carry on, ball taken on by the forwards, unfortunatly for Linden  an interception saw the Helensburgh winger run in from own half to score,a real set back from what looked a promising popsition.. A succesion of niggling injuries from this point on seemed to upset Linden`s rythem, as their were endless changes in the forwards,though  happy enough to turn round 7-5 up. A period of pressure took Linden to the visitors line ,once again a penalty kick at goal was refused as it was kicked to touch ,from resultant line out a lovely take saw Kieron Willison  driven over line by heavy weights Barrie Keown, Ryan Beattie with the rest of forwars pilling in. With Linden now a score in front ,but the livly Helensburgh backs proving difficult to control, The last thing Linden could afford to do was gift them a score but what did they do a long speculative upfield had full back Michael Graham in all sorts of bother on his own line ,unable to cover ball up popped the Helensburgh winger with the simplest of chances to touch down. Helensburgh seemed to have Linden`s problem no reliable goal kicker which left them   with a 2point deficit .With game evenly poised and time running down ,  a penalty awarded to Linden for an Helensburgh offside took a lot of thought but up stepped G Stirling to calmly stroke it over giving Linden a bit of breathing space for the final few minutes. Linden have played a lot better this year in several games and lost ,so the 4points came as a welcome releif.For Linden M Graham had a very solid game at full back even taking in his mistake.It wasgood to see Nathan Murray back he always adds  pace to events.S Bouglas was once again full of running. In the forwards Gary Lowrie,Gary Wardle and Kieron Willison were to the fore.
 
Team      M Graham      S Bouglas      N Murray     G Stirling     G Bouglas     M McCall     S Campbell     G Wardle     C Telfer     K Mabon     R Beattie     K Willison     C Smith      G Lowrie     C Mitchell     B Keown     G Cunningham     Steven Harkness
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
23-10-10
 
Gordonians     43       Hawick Linden      7
 
Linden travelled to Aberdeen severely depleted due to injuries and players unavailable,so much so that vice-president Rob Black, a veteran a good few years back pulled on the Linden jersey when hooker Chris Telfer had to leave field injured, towards end of first half. Rob did a fine job only to be let down by naturally by his lack of speed. Playing with wind first half, a poor kick off allowed Gordonians the initiative which they took resulting in a try in corner ,following up shortly after with another try. With Linden on the back foot relief came as Craig Smith latched on to an interception to run 80 metres and score with Gavin Stirling converting from in front of posts. This seemed to energise Linden as they came more into game resulting in good runs from wingers Steven Bouglas and Sean Tennant. Just before half time Gordonians went further ahead with a converted try ,with Linden missing an easy penalty just on half time. A bad spell for Linden after the turn around saw them concede 3 trys as the game slipped away ,but it should be noted that had the Gordonians player who was running the touch kept his flag up when the Gordonians winger was clearly in touch ,one would have been chalked off. After Gordonians had been yellow carded for continually infringing they somehow hit back with another try.Though the game was lost a good period of play from Linden saw C Smith intercept again taken on by S Bouglas and G Stirling,then  recycled along back line by Craig Mitchell for R Black to be pulled down short of line. S Bouglas who was having a fine game was then pulled down short after a mazy run. Though well beaten , Linden to their credit kept going to the end.  Terry Skeet playing first game for Linden at prop put in an impressive work rate. C Mitchell and Greg Cunningham were to the fore. In the backs captain S Bouglas ,C Smith and G Lowrie were to the fore. Its nice to see that S Tennant is finally getting to grips with what he has to do when playing on the wing.
 
Team      G Bouglas     S Bouglas      C Smith      G Lowrie      S Tennant     G Stirling     S Campbell       T Skeet      C Telfer     S Harkness      R Beattie      R Stitt     G Cunningham      K Mabon      C Mitchell      R Black    
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
16-10-10
 
Hawick Linden     16      GHK       20
 
They say lightning only strikes once, for Linden it seems to strike every week, oh for a reliable goal kicker,once again a game slipped away due to the old problem.
 
Linden started brightly enough with new goal kicker Gavin Stirling stroking over a penalty kick. GHK who turned out to be not particularly big in forwards but very slick in the backs and it was not long before the had ran up a 12point lead with some excellent handling in the backs.Just before half time a nice handling movement saw winger Michael Graham go over in corner for what looked like a try but unfortunately for Linden, the ref was unsighted and no try awarded. Turning round and into the wind a penalty missed in front of posts which led on to another penalty after GHK forward was yellow carded for infringing in Linden attack on GHK line,change of kicker and John Tait stroked over penalty from in front of posts. Even down to 14 men GHK produced a lovely try out wide to take score to 20-16. With Linden coming more into game than first half, pressure was building on GHK line. A strong run by Steven Bouglas led to scrum. Pick up by No8 Graeme Colville breange for line out to stand off Mark McCall who slipped ball to M Graham who cut back inside to score ,need we say anymore easy kick missed .Another pick up from scrum by G Colville,blind side break out to Stuart Campbell with S Bouglas hitting ball at pace and running nearer posts for  to score.Unfortunately the same old story with conversion. With Linden now in with a sniff of victory and going all out, constant pressure on GHK line was rewarded with several penalties but with a kick no good all were run ,a well organised but sometimes desperate defence held them at bay. One does not want to go on for ever but please could Linden get a early Xmas present in the shape of a reliable goal kicker. For Linden M Graham and S Bouglas were an ever present danger on the wings. M McCall had a good game at stand off but tends to cut back inside to often. In the forwards after a rather lethargic first half display all came on in second half with the back row of Greg Cunningham ,Craig Mitchell and G Colville to the fore.
 
Team      G Stirling     S Bouglas    C Smith     S Renwick     M Graham     M McCall     S Campbell     K Mabon     C Telfer     Steven Harkness     R Beattie     W Davies     G Cunningham     C Mitchell    G Colville     J Tait     G Wardle     B Keown
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
9-10-10
 
Forrester     36       Hawick Linden       34
 
Once again Linden`s goal kicking woes continue, though outscoring their opponents in try`s, six to five, Linden could only manage to convert two, irronically after last week, both were in front of posts. Goal kicking is is becoming a real concern. For all that, this was a very entertaining game with both teams running the ball at will. Linden certainly did not deserve to lose and at the worst a draw would certainly been a fair result. Forrester took an early lead after some rather aimless defensive kicking from Linden left them under pressure, result a penalty to Forrester in front of posts. Good forward driving from Linden with Barrie Keown, Chris Telfer to the fore, saw Craig Mitchell dive over under posts, Stuart Renwick converted. With Linden`s forwards in total control at this point, a scrum on Forrester line, quick ball to stand off S Renwick inside pass to winger Craig Robertson, who absolutly shot in at posts to touch, with S Renwick converting.  A long clearance kick up the touch line from fullback Gavin Stirling saw winger Steven Bouglas collar the opposing full back, who was then penalised for not releasing, a quickly taken penalty by C Robertson who then dived in at corner to touch down. An opportunist attack by Forrester who hadn`t really been in the game, coupled with some slack tackling, allowed Forrester to peg back seven points to make half time score in 19-10 in Linden`s favour.
 
From the kick off Linden applied pressure on the Forrester line, C Robertson took the ball forward and was carried on by B Keown to Greg Cunningham for G Stirling to scamper over to score. With Linden at this point on top, a really very poor decision by the refferee adjudging C Mitchell had not released the ball in the tackle when tackler was no where near him on the ground. This seemed to affect Linden, as Forrester scored try from resultant penalty. In fact from this point on every decision seemed to go against Linden as Forester ran in another converted try to give Linden a narrow 2 point lead. Linden then extented their lead after good work by the forwards, with ball worked along back line for S Bouglas to run and score - no conversion though. After C Robertson received a yellow card and Linden were on the defensive and under pressure with Forrester receiving the benefit of every disputed decision, they applied pressure and ran in two converted try`s to take a 7 point lead. With time running out and back to full strength the Linden forwards took control; showing tenacity they clawed their way back into game with a try from a quickly taken penalty by C Telfer, unfortunatly John Tait could not convert the resultant kick. A very good display from the Linden forwards, with B Keown,C Mitchell, R Beattie and R Sutherland to the fore . In the backs good hard running from wingers C Robertson and S Bouglas paid dividends, with full back G Stirling once again in top form.
 
Team:  G Stirling,  S Bouglas,  N Murray,  M McCall,  C Robertson,   S Renwick,  S Campbell,  K Mabon,  C Telfer,  R Sutherland,    W Davies,  B Keown,   R Beattie,  G Cunningham,  C Mitchell,  G Colville,  J Tait,  S Harkness. 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
2-10-10
 
Hawick Linden    18       Preston Lodge      20
 
In a game which Linden should have won ,disbeleave is the only word to discribe how this game ended ,awarded 2 penaltys on the 22metre line in front of the posts in the last 5 minutes. Linden kickers managed to miss both. Goal kicking is becoming a real problem for Linden, costing them points and games,out of 8 kicks at goal only one was converted,a realy miserable return.   Playing into wind first half Linden had to soak up 20minutes of almost constant pressure,conceeding only a penalty goal in this time .After this Linden came on with a bang ,an up and under from Stuart Renwick had the visitors defence in a panic,ball was hacked on for Greg Bouglas who was clear unfotunatly knocking with the line  wide open. Keeping up the pressure,lovely break by Blair Irving who was injured in the process,quickly taken penalty by Gary Lowrie ended up with another penalty this time Colin Murray having a shot goal which he duly stroked over. From a long clearance kick by the Preston Lodge fullback, Lee Robson who had replaced B Irving took of on mazy run to Nathan Murray who jinked his way up the touchline then chip kick for Graeme Anderson to scoop up and dive over in corner. From the kick off JohnTait gathered and released who Rory Sutherland blasted his way through the Visitors defence with a 50 metre run ,out to N Murray who had made good ground then inside to Craig Mitchell who strolled over line to score. Preston Lodge kicked a penalty to make half time score 13-6 in Linden`s favour.  Preston Lodge came out of the traps second half all guns blazing, picking up 2 converted tries  ,the second after Linden hooker,delibratly knocking on in the ref`s mind, had receved a yellow card, a very harsh decision by the referree who failed to apply his rule later in game when Preston Lodge player delibratly knocked on. No problems with their goal kicker though both from the touch line .Then they settled back to defend their lead as Graeme Colville stormed down wing to score try in corner after lovely break by Nathan Murray through center of field. Linden were now on the hunt for victory but as reported earlier a goal kicker is a problem. This game was settled in the end by goal kicking Preston Lodge a try less but the goal kicker only missed one as Linden on the other hand only converted one . For Linden in the bac ks,N Murray was in outstanding form had the Preston Lodge defence in a tizzy every time he took them on,G Stirling was sound at scrum half and G Anderson looked like he had never been away on the wing. In the forwards R Sutherland had a very solid game also putting in some rollicking runs with W Davies ,R Beattie and G Lowrie to the fore.
 
Team:      C Murray     G Anderson      N Murray      B Irving       G Bouglas      S Renwick      G Stirling     R Sutherland     J Tait      S Harkness    R Beattie    W Davies   G Lowrie     C Mitchell      G Colville     G Cunningham     L Robson    B McDonnell  
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell
 
 


 

Scottish Rugby National League 3

 

25-9-10

 

Ross High       18       Hawick Linden      23

 

For the second season in succession, a late try secured victory for the Linden at Tranent. On Saturday they left it extremely late as Colin Murray crossed on the last play of the game for the winning score. With a number of forwards unavailable the Royal Blues knew they would be up against it with Ross High always strong up front. The home side was quickly in front from a penalty after the Linden were caught on the wrong side at a ruck. The visitors responded well and the forwards took ball on following a scrum and when the ball was released to stand-off Mark McCall, he went on a lovely dancing run and his quick feet somehow created a gap to cross for a try. Soon after, the backs showed their skills from a scrum, with some lovely hands in a top class move just failing to create another score.

 

Back came the home side and they scored from a short range scrum that looked to have wheeled round. The Ross High backs were caught offside and Colin Murray’s penalty brought the game level at 8-all. A second penalty from Murray on the stroke of half-time put the Linden 11-8 ahead at the break.

 

Playing down the slope Ross High started to dominate possession and a number of penalties meant the Linden were playing without the ball. Mid-way through the half the game flared up. Following a tackle, a home lock forward needlessly punched Darrell Gray in the face and a straight red was the referee’s only option. Despite being the original victim, retaliation from Gray also resulted in an early bath. This sparked the Linden into life and Mark McCall made another cracking break, found Keith Mabon on his shoulder and the prop romped over. Colin Murray’s conversion put the Linden 18-8 ahead.

 

Line out ball from Ross High was moved along the backs and their winger crossed in the corner. With time running out the home loose head became the third player sent-off as he was caught stamping on Mabon. Despite their man advantage, the Linden couldn’t get the ball from the bulky home forwards who eventually went over from short range for the equalizing score with only two minutes remaining. However, whenever the Linden got ball their backs looked dangerous and from deep in their own half Greg Bouglas was put into space and kicked ahead. Nathan Murray won the ball back and some brilliant inter-passing took the Linden to the try line. The ball was recycled and, with the home defence sucked in, slick passing along the line allowed Colin Murray to stroll over for the match winning score.

 

This was a Linden performance of real character from 1 to 15. Although the Linden struggled to obtain possession from their much heavier opponents, their backs looked threatening whenever they had ball in hand. Mark McCall had a fine game at 10, as did the Murray’s at centre. The scrum stood up well and the whole front row deserve praise. Driving line outs and pick and drives were defended aggressively with John Tait always in the thick of things and Ryan Beattie used his huge frame to great effect in the tight defensive chores.

 

Team      G Stirling, D Gray, N Murray, C Murray, G Bouglas, M McCall, S Campbell; K Mabon, C Telfer, S Harkness, J Tait, R Beattie, S Bouglas, G Cunningham, C Mitchell; Subs: S Renwick, R Stitt 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
18-9-10
 
Marr       78       Hawick Linden      7
 
Linden hit with injuries and call offs sent a weakened team to League leaders Marr at Troon on Saturday,15 players only available, Marr top of the table showed no mercy, with the result never in doubt. Apart from the first ten minutes and a short period in second half Marr were in total command. Marr kicked off into what wind there was , striking fast to take an early 7 point lead.  From the  kick off Nathan Murray charged down the resultant clearance kick by Marr and with thier defence in complete disaray Kieron Willison just pipped Darrel Gray to touch down,with D Gray adding the 2 points.  Marr who were a slick outfit pilled on the points to take 38 point half time lead. Things got worse for Linden as prop Rory Sutherland had to leave field ,shortly after half time with a leg injury resulting in uncontested scrums,which maybe helped Linden but still left them a man down. For Linden Gavin Stirling was a pillar in defence at full back while captain Steven Bouglas led by example,while forward Craig Mitchell  stuck in playing out of position at center. .In the forwards Barrie Keown playing first game of season,Keith Mabon and Keith Murray battled hard against the odds.
 
Team      G Stirling     S Bouglas      C Mitchell       D Gray      S Tennant      N Murray      S Campbell      K Mabon      C Telfer     R Sutherland     R Stitt      K Willison     G Cunningham     K Murray      B Keown 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
11-9-10
 
Hawick Linden      19       North Berwick      21
 
Linden must have left the field at full time and wondered how on earth they managed to lose this game,North Berwick`s 5 visits to to Linden`s 22 proved fruitful as they picked up 2try`s ,conversion and 3 penalty`s, in between Linden hammered away at North Berwicks defences for the same result less the conversion which had hit the upright.  Linden started with a bang Nathan Murray showing his intent with a couple sf scintilating breaks. However North Berwick took the lead with a penalty. Back on the attack Colin Murray lost the ball going over the line to score.Pressure on North Berwick line,quick penalty by Stuart Campbell to N Murray out to C Murray inside to John Coutts to score at posts ,2 points missed which were to prove a disaster a end of game ,as conversion hit posts.Poor defending allowed North Berwick winger to run in at corner. C Murray picked up a penalty for Linden . Then disaster, a penalty kick by North Berwick to touch, from line out the visitors rumbled over the line for converted try, Linden supporters could not believe it Linden had majority of play but were 15-8 down at half time. From the kick off Linden on the attack paid off as C Murray pulled back 3points with penalty. Almost constant pressure paid off J Coutts broke through defence to link up with C Murray replied to  J Coutts who sailed in at corner.Back in the lead ,but Linden could not hold on to it conceeding a penalty to North Berwick. Back on the attack and a penalty to Linden which C Murray kicked. Surely Linden could hold out,but unbelievably , North Berwicks in only their  second visit to Linden 22 secured a penalty which was to prove the winning points. This was a game that should have been won by Linden, how they managed to lose it is a mystery.After a stuttering start in the scrums Linden forwards settled down and provided suffient ball for the backs who sometimes overdid the fancy stuff ,when moving it along the line would maybe have proved more productive. For Linden in the backs
N Murray ,J Coutts,M Graham and C Murray were in good form. In the forwards K Mabon, C Smith W Davies were to the fore.
 
Team      J Coutts     M Graham     C Murray      D Gray      G Stirling      N Murray     S Campbell      K Mabon      C Telfer     Steven Harkness   W Davies    K Willison     G Cunningham      C Smith      G Colville      J Tait      C Mitchell      S Beattie 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hlydro National League 3
 
 4-9-10
 
Cambuslang       23         Hawick Linden        17
 
Linden went down in a closed fought encounter with Cambuslang o n Saturday.  Kicking off with what wind advantage their was ,they started brightly, taking an early lead with a John Tait penalty. If anything Linden had the best with early play,but once again lack of place kicker was to prove costly as a couple of kickable Darrell Gray penalties went wide. Linden`s scrum  being put under pressure by the  Cambuslang big forwards with  their rolling maul also proving a potent force, Cambuslang coming more into game and a penalty evened up game. With time running out  first half disaster for Linden, scrum under own posts which was won, suddenly appeared on Cambuslang side quick as a flash their stand off, who was proving to be quite a handfull shot through between posts to give them a 7point lead. Soon after turn around Linden could have picked up an easy 3points with a penalty in front of posts but chose to run it instead. Linden then got back into game with a great run by Darrell Gray oppening up the Cambuslang defence taken on by Colin Murray jinking inside to Gary Lowrie who powered in at posts to score, J Tait adding 2points. A super period of play started by C Murray with Nathan Murray gliding through the Cambuslang defence carried on by Craig Robertson and Michael Graham almost paved way for a try. This was to be Lindens last foray for a while as Cambuslang`s big forwards got a grip of the game,a penalty took them 3points clear,followed on by forward pressure that eventually saw the Linden forwards pushed back as Cambuslang forwards rolled over the line to score and convert. Another penalty and Linden were further adrift ,with time rapidly running out a bonus point seemed a long way away,but Linden pulled themselves together with a final effort ,showing character, a quickly taken penalty , had Cambuslang at sixes and sevens ,Cambuslang infringed again and  C Robertson jinked his way through a defence in disaray to send C Murray strolling in at posts ,a calm John Tait slotted the conversion . Linden forwards up  against it height and weight wise ,fought manfully ,struggledin lineouts and scrum,J Tait ,Keith Mabon and Greg Cunninham were to the fore. In the backs Craig Robertson ran with speed ,possibly a winger rather than a center,C Muuray was a pillar in the backs with Stuart Cambell and Gavin Stirling solid in their respective poisitions. J Tait was solid with short range penalty`s but a longer range penalty taker is a must,this is a game that could have been won with one such kicker.
 
Team      G Stirling      M Graham      C Murray      C Robertson      D Gray      N Murray      S Campbell      K Mabon      C Telfer      J Tait      C Smith     W Davies      G Cunninham     C Mitchell      G Lowrie      S Renwick      R Stitt 
 
 

Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
28-8-10
 
Hawick Linden    20     v     Cumbernauld    
 
Linden started their League season with a solid if not spectacular win, in a game which never got going, puntuated at regular intervals by penalty`s mainly against Linden.  From the kick off Cumbernauld who played with a very strong wind whipping round the end of stand took the iniative and were soon 3 points up with a penalty. This spurred Linden on and from a scrum on the half way line No8 Graeme Coloville picked up made  good ground, ofloaded to stand off Nathan Murray,driven on by forwards, ball won and whipped along the back line for full back John Coutts to intrude into line and stroll in at corner, super try. Linden attacks where being thawrted by giving away a succesion of penaltys as they tried to extend lead.Also a couple of dropped passes wih the line at their  mercy did not help. With time running out first half Cumbernauld took the lead with a penalty kick.  With Linden still  struggling with penalty count against them ,mid way  through second half  full back J Coutts fielded speculative clearance kick ,change of direction caught the visitors  flat footed, on to centers  Colin Murray and Mark McCall, with J Coutts looping round them down wing, lovely weighted pass inside  to hooker Chris Telfer, in at posts to touch down with Steven Beattie converting. Linden looked more settled now with the penalty count now going in their favour, S Beattie extended lead with a penalty. Good line out ball by Craig Smith , slick passing along back line for winger  Greg Bouglas to sprint outside his opposite number and score at corner. Linden back on the attack trying for bonus point but some desperate defending by the visitors kept their nline intact.  A good victory for Linden getting their campaign of to a solid start unlike last year, though the forwards were up against a heavy pack and struggled at times for good ball in the loose. C Smith and G Colville supplied some choice ball from line out,Hugh Scammell provided some rollicking runs with C Telfer and wily old timer John Tait to the fore. In the backs the class of J Coutts showed in everything he did, N Murray had a very good game at stand off, with C Murray and G Stirling very good in everything they did.
 
Team       J Coutts      G Stirling      C Murray     M McCall     S Beattie      N Murray     S Campbell      K Mabon      C Telfer     H Scammell     C Smith     J Tait     G Cunningham     C Mitchell     G Colville     Steven Harkness      K Willison     G Bouglas
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell


 

Portobello 12, Hawick Linden 0

 Musselburgh 2nds 12, Hawick Linden 21

21/08/10

 

Linden traveled to Portobello on Saturday with a side ravaged by injuries from the week before. With Portobello “double-booking” a three-way mini tournament was run with games played 20 minutes each way. Portobello and Musselburgh drew 5-all before the Linden took the field against the home side. The Royal Blues injury woes struck almost immediately as stand-off Nathan Murray who had been looking dangerous with ball in hand was forced to leave the field with a leg injury. Portobello scored two second half tries, one converted to secure the win. Linden’s best chance fell after a great catch and run straight from the kick off by Craig Smith but the supporting Keith Mabon just failed to go over.

 

Another leg injury meant Robert Stitt couldn’t start the Musselburgh game. Against a very big pack the Linden looked threatening whenever they could get the ball wide and it was the pace of skipper Steven Bouglas that saw him cross for two lovely tries from distance both converted by John Tait. Some nice work by the backs allowed Colin Murray to go over in the corner and Tait stroked over the touchline conversion. With Craig Smith going off injured and two games on the bounce beginning to take their toll, Musselburgh came more into the game and scored two second half tries.

 

The Linden were well served in the backs by Mark McCall who slotted in at stand-off following Murray’s injury, the hard running of Steven Bouglas and the crunching tackling of Colin Murray. Mention must also be made of Shaun Tennant’s try saving tackle at the end of the Musselburgh game. In the forwards, the front row of Ross Norman, Steven Harkness and Keith Mabon worked hard against much bigger packs, John Tait was solid as ever and Craig Mitchell was strong with ball in hand.

 

Team  R Lydon, S Bouglas, C Murray, M McCall, S Tennant, N Murray, G Stirling; R Norman, S Harkness, K Mabon, J Tait, R Stitt, G Cunningham, C Smith, C Mitchell

 


 

Hawick Harlequins 10 a side Competion

 

14/08/10

 
In the 10 a side competion which was run on a round robin basis,Linden defeated Peebles 5-0 in their first outing,Graeme Colville scoring from a Darrel Gray pass in the corner late on in the second half.  Next up they defeated Broughton 7-0 ,in which they were hardly out of the Broughton half in the first half.  Eventually scoring a nice try after G Colville and Wattie Davies had put pressure on the Broughton line ,scrum on their opponents line ,long pass from stand off Nathan Murray ,making his debut for Linden ,sent D Gray in at corner to touch down and convert. In the third tie an hard fought encounter with the Quins saw Linden come out on top, one try was the difference,scrum ball against the head,pick up by W Davies out to Gavin Stirling who sent Stephen Bouglas racing in at corner to score. Victory came at a price with several Linden players picking up injuries which curtailed theit tournament. Winning their round robin league saw them take on Hawick YM, YM went in front with a converted try,  a chip kick by G Colville, hacked on by Greg Cunningham for the folling up G Colville to score ,but was unfortunatly injured in thr process and had to leave ,big blow to Linden.  After the turn around a lovely break by N Murray saw him finish it off by touching down at posts,Stuart Cambell converted. with time running our some slack defending saw YM forward pick up and score from scrum,which was converted to give YM victory.  A good work out for Linden with new boys N Murray and Chris Telfer showing up well especially stand off Murray who showed some excellent touches,also S Campbell,G Stirling and D Gray in the backs. In the forwards hard graft by Captain W Davies, Hugh Scammell ,Keith Mabon ,Barrie Keown, with G Colville showing some silky touches.
 
Team  D Gray  G Stirling  S Bouglas  S Campbell   N Murray  B Gilchrist  C Telfer   G Colville   K Mabon  W Davies   G Cunningham   Steven Harkness  H Scammell   B Keown    R Armstrong     G Dalgleish (GalaYM)    R Ormiston (GalaYM)

Season 2009 / 2010 - scroll down for previous reports

Penicuik Sevens
 
24-4-10
 
Linden went down 42points to 38 to a very strong Watsonians seven on Saturday in an exciting final, being at one point 35 to 14 behind. Watsonians struck first to go seven points up,a jinking run by Greg Cottrell pulled five points back, then Graeme Anderson pounced on a B Sutherland chip kick for second try, B Sutherland converted both. Watsonians then pulled away with four converted try`s through their speedy backs.G Andersion scored after B Sutherland break,Watsonians got another converted try, an unfortunate bounce for Linden bounced into a Watsonian hand after there looked no danger. A great fight back from Linden began, Steven Bouglas latched onto a G Cottrell break to score at posts ,B Sutherland converting. G Anderson raced in then B Sutherland scored equaling Wasonians try count, but for Linden time ran out as Watsonians desperatly held out for victory. Earlier Linden defeated Inverleith 47-5, try`s from S Bouglas(2), G Cottrell(2), Stuart Campbell, B Sutherland (1) and 5 conversions, G Anderson (1) and 1conversion in first round. In second round Linden defeated Trinity Accies 19-7 try`s by G Cottrell, G Anderson and B Sutherland who also had 2 conversions.In a thrilling semi-final Boroughmuir took an 10point lead ,Blair Irving ran 80 metres to score, G Anderson then ran in a couple of try`s with B Sutherland converting two, to take an 19-10, Boroughmuir ran in two try`s and a conversion to take lead. With time almost up G Cottrell intercepted an clearance kick from a Boroughmuir defender who was under pressure to score at posts,with B Sutherland converting. 
 
Team G Anderson    G. Cottrell    B Sutherland    Gavin Stirling    S Campbell     B Irving     Greg Cunningham     S Bouglas    Ben Gilchrist     Wattie Davies    Jamie Miller of Trinity Accies replaced an injured S Campbell after second round.


 

7's Report courtesy of Billy Russell

 

 


 

North Berwick Sevens

 

17-4-10

 

Linden came away from North Berwick Sevens as deserving winners of the consolation Plate. The after effects of the previous night’s annual dinner clearly showed in their first round tie as they went down 19-14 to Dalkeith. Try scorers were Barry Sutherland and Gary Wardle with a conversion each from Sutherland and Stuart Campbell. In the Plate quarter final, tries from Sutherland, Irving 2 and Gavin Stirling (his first of the season) plus two Sutherland conversions saw a comfortable 24-7 win over Dunbar. In the semi final the Linden romped to a 36-0 win over Penicuik thanks to tries from Irving 2, Wardle, Sutherland, Darrell Gray and Lee Robson with Sutherland 2 and Gray adding the conversions. The Linden were in control from the start of the final against Watsonians racing to a 17-0 lead, Wardle and Irving with a brace going over for tries and Sutherland adding a conversion. The Edinburgh side replied with an unconverted try before tries from Campbell and Stirling and a Sutherland conversion completed a 29-5 victory. The Linden played some lovely rugby after they had run the dinner out of their system with Blair Irving and Gary Wardle running hard in the forwards, captain Barry Sutherland controlling the backs and Gavin Stirling, Darrell Gray and Stuart Campbell all looking lively.

 

Squad: Darrel Gray, Gavin Stirling, Barry Sutherland, Stuart Campbell, Blair Irving, Greg Cunningham, Gary Wardle, Lee Robson, Scott Hinton
 
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
10-4-10
 
Forresters    39     Hawick Linden       9
 
Linden`s last game of the season saw them travel to Forresters in Edinburgh,unfortunatly things didn`t get of to the best of starts as the bus broke down on Middleton Moor. George the bus driver,managed to coax some life into it, struggling into Edinburgh. Then the ref,decided, as he had a bus to catch, to kick off before Linden had a proper warm up.On a beutiful day for rugby hot sun ,no wind to speak of, Linden then had their usual problem this season giving away early scores,two try`s in first few minutes .Barry Sutherland pulled back the difference with two well taken penalties. Forresters then stretched away again with further scores. B Sutherland kicking his third penalty just before half time resulted in the score at half time 32-9 in Forresters favour. The second half was a closer affair as Forresters only managed a converted try late on into game.I think both teams were glad the final whistle came early as it was hard going in the heat, also the ref ,was probably worrying about being late for his bus. For Linden, Darrel Gray was sound at fullback ,Gavin Stirling and Craig Smith both playing in the anacustemed positions at centre worked hard. Graeme Colville was a rock at No8 with old timer s John Tait and Keith Murray putting in a power of work. Plus a good word for Sean Tennant and Robert Stitt who though not featuring in any games since early November, were available for the final match of season.
 
Team     Darrel Gray     S Bouglas     G Stirling     C Smith     S Tennent     B Sutherland      S Campbell       R Norman       J Tait      Steven Harkness      R Stitt      J Scott     G Cunningham     K Mabon     G Colville     K Murray     Gavin Watson
 
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell
 

 
 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
3-4-10
 
Hawick Linden     37       GHK       0
 
Linden cemented their position in National League 3 next season with a demolition job on GHK on Saturday at the Volunteer Park. In a game that Linden had to win, there were no slip ups, taking lead the early on and never like losing it.Two minutes into game good work by Mike Howe winning ball, set the backs on run to line, Barry Sutherland breaking the through and a finishing dummy had the GHK defence all at sea. Almost from kick off, up and under from B Sutherland saw Graeme Colville nab the GHK full back ,penalty to Linden not releasing,B Sutherland converted.With Linden in total control the next score was not long in coming,strong run by Steven Bouglas out to John Tait long raking kick ,the unpridictable bounce foxed the defence with both  G Colville and J Tait going for the touchdown ,a burst of pace from John saw him their first,B Sutherland converting. After the initial burst Linden seemed to take a breather letting GHK back into game. With time almost up first half B Sutherland kicked penalty to give Linden 18 point first half lead. After the turn around, it was mainly Linden but scoring hard to come by almost half way through half. Pressure on GHK line eventually wore the defence down ,big scrum from Linden Heaved the bigger GHK forwards back from resultant play Jamie Scott burst over line to touch down. With GHK looking like their heads were down, a great move from the backs saw Ben Gilchrist deneid a try when the ref, ruled a forward pass.By now Linden were hot on a bonus point cousins B Sutherland conjured up move to allow G Colville to burst over and score,with B Sutherland converting.From scrum midfield , chip kick  by stand off B Sutherland over opposite number, pick up and scorch in at corner,then converting himself. A good day for Barry 22points and at times had total control game. In the backs Lee Robson and Gavin Stirling very solid ,S Bouglas ran well on wing.In forwards Craig Smith took some choice ball in line outs with an overall good display in the loose,Wattie Davies as usual worked hard,a strong display from front row of G Wardle,John Tait and Steven Harkness .A special word for Brian Wear who probably played his last game for Linden,quite by his standards ,but what an player, since coming back to play for Linden,he has raised standards at Linden and been a great influence in changing a struggling team in a very poor Border Junior league to National League Div 3 status.
 
Team    L Robson      S Bouglas     G Stirling      B Wear      B Gilchrist     B Sutherland      S Campbell     G Wardle     J Tait     Steven Harkness     J Scott      M Howe    C Smith     W Davies     G Colville     K Cunningham     R Norman     S Beattie
 
Match Report courtesy of Billy Russell
 

 
 
Scottish National League 3
 
27-3-10
 
Marr       19        Hawick Linden       24
 
For the second week running Linden found themselves trailing 13- 3 at half time. Another great effort second half saw them come away with a well earned victory.
This was a great advert for rugby with both teams running the ball at every opertunity,especially Marr who were not frighted to open up from own line with there speedy backs.  Linden kicked off up slope into a rather stiff wind and as so often this season soon found themselves 7 points down,as the Marr attack sweep through a rather disorganised defence, recycling ball as the Marr backs lined up to score . Strong running by Craig Smith and Ben Gilchrist took play to Marr line,then good work on the ground saw John Tait win a penalty for Linden, with Bary Sutherland converting. After pulling three points back, Linden immediatly let Marr back into game with an easy penalty,then conceeded another penalty to give advantage to Marr. A good effort from Linden first half as the general oppinion was that Marr had not put enough points on with the advantage of wind. B Sutherland with his kicking boots on this week soon pulled back three points with penalty kick ,followed shortly after with another when Marr were penalised for holding on,the ref, was especially hard on any misdemeanor in this department.Marr pulled three points back for same offence by Linden. Try of the game ,B Suthertland out to centre Brian Wear who organised a great hole in Marr`s midfield defence  which Wattie Davies absolutly powered through from the half way line to link up with the ever present Gary Wardle,B Sutherland converted to tie game. It was noticable that Marr were weakenen.An up and under by B Wear with Graeme Anderson up to win penalty after Marr full back failed to release ,which saw B Sutherland kick easy penalty from in front of posts. It was all Linden now, forwards well on top,from scrum pick up by no8 W Davies ball out to scrum half Stuart Campbell who chipped through for Steven Bouglas to out pace defence andf touch down to the delight of team mates. Marr were not finished though in an raid up field won a penalty which was converted. Linden with time running out managed to hold Marr on own line but with time running a desperate last attack from own line saw Marr winger spill the ball for ref to blow full time. A great result for Linden against a very good side,full marks to all the team who stuck in and delivered a winning result which keeps them just above the relagation zone, remember this was a side that took 62points from Linden at the Volunteer Park so to go to he west coast and come away with a victory,shows Linden are going in right direction.
 
Team     G Anderson      S Bouglas     D Gray       B Wear      G Stirling     B Sutherland     S Campbell     G Wardle     J Tait     Steven Harkness      J Scott     W Davies      K Cunningham      B Gilchrist     C Smith     K Mabon      S Duncan     R Norman    
 
 
Match report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
20-3-10
 
Lenzie      13        Hawick Linden       14
 
It could not have been closer,a cracking game of rugby, not for the faint hearted, both teams striving to win, tension, excitement, a penalty kick for each team deep into extra time ,what more could you want for a Saturday afternoon. Linden kicked off on a lovely afternoon up a slight slope,but were soon in trouble giving away a penalty which was converted by the Lenzie stand off. Barry Sutherland pulled back 3points after Lenzie were penalised for being offside,Barry passed up a chance to go further ahead pulling his penalty attempt.Linden nearly went ahead as Keith Mabon was pulled down a yard short of the line after a good run set up by Jamie Scott.With the Lenzie stand off firing in some long kicks, Linden were pegged back on their own line, scrum, and a big heave from the heavier home side and Linden conceded a penalty try. With play see sawing back and forth Lenzie added a further penalty to take a 13-3 lead into half time. It must have been a good team talk by coach Lee Stewart at half time,because though they had not played badly first half ,they upped their play second half. A couple of of poor penalty attempts by B Sutherland went amiss ,confidence at a low,come the third and the ball was thrown to John Tait who stroked it over confidently. Lenzie who had been playing with confidence first half,suddenly looked rattled. Good period of pressure by Linden forwards on Lenzie line and a strike against the head from hooker J Tait ,solid pick up from No8 Graeme Colville drive over to score ,Linden right back in game. But alas, Linden after winning penalty had player red carded. Down to 14 men, a bigger effort was called for, Darrel Gray just shaved the posts with a long range attempt. Deep into injury time 5minutes to be exact ,Linden awarded penalty, right side of field,not the easiest,up stepped Linden`s "Golden Oldie "John Tait who with nonchalant ease blasted it between the posts,to the delight of his team mates and travelling support. The referee enjoying the game obliviously,played on this allowed Lenzie by this time desperate, a game they thought they had won, slipping away .With one last twist after 8minutes of injury time Lenzie stand off who had looked sure all afternoon,missed with a penalty attempt,Linden held out for ref,to blow for full time. This was a very good result for Linden ,Lenzie though bottom had been showing good form lately.Linden introduced 3 semi juniors a big step up for 2 of them,     Robbie Scott and Stewart Duncan playing their first game at this level,also Stuart Mabon who has had previous expierence,all played their part in a remarkable victory.A big plus was J Tait`s calmness when taking two vital penalty`s also the tenacity of the team for coming from behind to win. 
 
Team      G Anderson     S Bouglas     D Gray     B Wear      G Stirling     B Sutherland    S Campbell     K Mabon     J Tait     Steven Harkness     J Scott     S Mabon      B Irving     C Smith      G Colville     G Cunningham     R Scott      S Duncan  
 
Match report courtesy of Billy Russell

 
 

 
 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
6-3-10
 
Helensburgh      28      Hawick Linden     21
 
Linden left Helensburgh feeling rather short changed in a rousing second half display ,which saw them clearly the better side.
 
Fate lent a hand with some strange decisions by the ref. Late on in game a penalty try was denied by the ref, which left Barry Sutherland shaking his head in disbeleif, as he was clearly late tackled as he went to pick up ball a yard from line with no opponent in sight and with time running out Graeme Anderson was clearly impeded as he went in to the tackle, which saw Helensburgh score in the corner.
 
After the long haul to Helensburgh, Linden got off to a bright start in 2minutes as B Sutherland intercepted to score at posts after the Helensburgh defence had been put under pressure, with B Sutherland converting. All was undone as a high kick by Helensburgh was spilled by the Linden defence with the home side sweeping through to score an unconverted try.Helensburgh then went into lead with a penalty. Then in a poor spell for Linden, even though Helensburgh were down to 14 men through a blatent late shoulder tackle on Gavin Stirling they could not make inroads into the home sides defence with Helensburgh going further ahead with a converted try. Some good grafting by Scott Hinton and Greg Cunningham saw the ball out to B Sutherland with Craig Russell up the wing inside to G Anderson who chipped on and win the race to touch down. With time running our first half some shoddy tackling allowed Helensburgh to score and make half time score 20-12 in their favour . A rousing talk by coach Lee Stewart got the Linden in the right frame of mind for second half. As Linden forwards got tore into the opposition, B Sutherland soon shortened the difference with 2 long range penaltys. With both sides going at it hammer and tongs and no quarter giving it got quite pyhisical. Further penalty chanses fell to Linden to no avail. Scott Hinton was yellow carded for having a chat with the ref which he did not appreciate, Helensburgh kicked the penalty. Then Linden were awarded a penalty instead of penalty try which was missed. Helensburgh had a very fortunate try awarded. B Sutherland dropped a snap drop goal, Linden then went all out in final minutes but some tenatious defence by Helensburgh saw them hold on. 
 
Team    G Anderson    S Bouglas    D Gray     M McCall    C Russell    B Sutherland    G Stirling     K Mabon     J Tait     Steven Harkness    J Scott    W Davies     S Hinton     B Gilchrist    G Colville    G Cunningham
 
Match Report courtesy of B. Russell

 


 

Scottish Hydro National 3

 

20-02-10

 

Hawick Linden    22       Trinity Accies      11

 

It was do or die for the Linden at the Volunteer Park, a defeat to visitors Trinity Accies would have pulled the Royal Blues right down into a relegation dogfight. However, they put on a great display scoring four tries and creating a number of other cracking opportunities with some enterprising play.

 

It was Accies who took control initially, dominating possession but excellent Linden defence ensured their only reward was a drop goal although, it has to be said, all but the referee saw that the ball fell well under the crossbar. Once the Linden started to get ball in hand they looked dangerous. A free kick at a scrum saw Graham Colville hit up and, when recycled, Brian Wear broke blind and made a great run to the corner to score.

 

From further pressure Craig Smith was bundled into touch at the corner but the resulting penalty kick was missed. On the half hour mark, Colville picked from a scrum and Stuart Campbell put a lovely grubber kick into the 22. Steven Bouglas did well to collect the low bounce but was tackled just short of the line. Trinity were penalised at the ruck and, with the Linden scrum putting the visitors under a lot of pressure, the home side opted for a scrum. With the squeeze on, and Accies going backwards, Colville picked up and drove over and Barry Sutherland converted.

 

Trinity then went on the offensive and when the Linden were penalised at a ruck on their own line, the kick was goaled. Sutherland just failed with a penalty right on half time to leave his side 12-6 ahead at the break.

 

The Royal Blues were starting to play some lovely rugby highlighted by a break from their own 22 led by Gavin Stirling who fed on to Blair Irving who was eventually tackled into touch deep in the Accies half. Irving was again prominent making a break and offloading to Brian Wear who was tackled short of the line as was Jamie Scott before Steven Bouglas almost scored but was held up. Trinity were penalised at the ruck resulting in a yellow card and once again the Linden went for the scrum. Colville was held up but eventually the pressure paid off with the Linden forwards pushing the Trinity scrum back for Colville to plunge over for his second try.

 

Mid-way through the second half a classical side step from John Tait led to good field position and Brian Wear burst though and when a score looked certain the final pass went to ground. The resultant Trinity scrum was turned to win the home side the put in. A good move from the scrum went right and Steven Bouglas shot over for the bonus point try.

 

Thereafter the Linden appeared to take their foot off the pedal and Trinity started to dominate possession and field position. A brilliant smother tackle from Graeme Anderson somehow avoided what looked a certain try but Accies eventually got their reward as they scored from a line out catch and drive. The visitors went all out for another score to secure a losing bonus point but the Linden defence held firm.

 

It was great to see the Linden scoring some tries again. Stuart Campbell was back to his best and Steven Bouglas looked dangerous whenever he had ball in hand. The front row put in another great shift, Mike Howe had a couple of rampaging runs before making way for Jamie Scott and Graham Colville was the pick of a hard working back row.

 

Team: G Anderson, S Bouglas, D Gray, B Wear, G Stirling, B Sutherland, S Campbell; G Wardle, J Tait, Steven Harkness, W Davies, M Howe, B Irving, C Smith, G Colville; Replacements: J Scott, S Hinton, B McDonnell

 


 

Friendly

 

13-02-10

 

Selkirk 2nds    34       Hawick Linden    0

 

Although having a number of players unavailable, the Linden arranged a friendly against Selkirk 2nds at Philiphaugh to give much needed game time to the remainder of the squad. Some guests helped boost the Linden line up who faced a very strong Selkirk side containing what appeared quite a few of their 1st team squad.

 

The Royal Blues put in a great effort which wasn’t rewarded on the score board. The home side opened the scoring in the eleventh minute following a line out when the ball was hit up and then moved wide for full back David Cassidy to go over in the corner. The conversion turned out to be the only other score in the first half where the Linden’s best move came from a Graham Colville break from a scrum taken on by Craig Robson, who had replaced the injured Craig Smith, and then Jamie Scott before the move broke down.

 

Selkirk went over for an early converted try in the second half off a line out drive and another followed shortly after to stretch the lead to 19-0. Sean Goodfellow, who had moved to scrum half from centre, made a superb break and a lovely reverse pass sent Steven Bouglas racing into space and what looked a certain try came to nothing following a loose pass. The Linden continued to run ball but couldn’t find a way through the Souters defence whilst the home side were clinical in their finishing adding a further three tries to make the final score Selkirk 2nds 34, Hawick Linden 0.

 

The scoreline was a little unkind on the Linden for whom Sean Goodfellow and Chris Ritson were impressive in the backs and Graeme Anderson appeared to enjoy the greater space he had at full back. In the forwards the front row of Gary Wardle, John Tait and Steven Harkness had the heavier Selkirk scrum at times under pressure and Jamie Scott was outstanding in the loose, continually popping up in open play.

 

Team: G Anderson, S Bouglas, S Goodfellow, C Ritson, S Desport, S Renwick, S Campbell; G Wardle (captain), J Tait, Steven Harkness, J Scott, K Mabon, B Irving, C Smith, G Colville; Replacements: C Robson, R Halliday, J Tinlin, B Wear, R Norman, S Tennant

 


 

Scottish Hydro Shield Round 1

 

06-02-10

 

Hawick Linden    0       Linlithgow      8

 

The Linden faced a daunting task in Saturday’s Scottish Hydro Shield match against Linlithgow, a side currently in fourth place in National League One, two divisions above the Royal Blues with the home side minus the experienced Brian Wear, Barrie Keown and Mike Howe.

 

But those who pulled on the royal blue jerseys did their club proud putting in a tremendous effort against bigger and heavier opponents. Linden’s prospects looked bleak as Linlithgow went over for a try in only the second minute, breaking from their own half and some lovely handling seeing space opened up for full back Matthew Dixon to race over in the corner. The home side didn’t allow the early setback to unsettle them and started to give as good as they got up front even although under pressure in the scrums and struggling to secure clean line out ball as the visitors big men competed well on the home throw. Barry Sutherland had one penalty attempt at goal which fell short and despite a lot of effort from both sides there was no further scoring in the first half.

 

The Linden started the second half well and a line out in the Linlithgow 22 gave the home side a foothold. Craig Smith’s take led to pressure on the visitors line, Wattie Davies hitting up but when the ball was moved along the line, a dropped pass was hacked on by Linlithgow to the other end of the field and it took a brave fall on the ball by Darrell Gray to save the day. Linlithgow started to take a grip of the game with a long sustained period in the Linden 22 but a number of line out catch and drives were bravely defended and came to nothing. It took until the 64th minute before another score when the Linden were penalised at a ruck and Dixon kicked the penalty.

 

Although the heavy pitch was sapping the energy levels the Royal Blues battled right to the end and attempted to run the ball whenever they could, Steven Bouglas having one cracking run beating his man on the outside and his inside pass just failing to go to hand when a score looked possible. Despite their best efforts there was no way for the Linden through the organised Linlithgow defence. All of the home eight deserve huge credit for fronting up to a physical battle up front, the back row of Irving, Smith and Colville putting in some big hits. The backs tackled like demons and made the best of their limited rations. More performances like this should see the Linden remove the threat of relegation sooner rather than later.

 

Teas were sponsored by Bruce Motors Ltd and match ball by the “Five Old Gentlemen” namely, Ronnie Tait, Viv Sharp, Bill Young, Davie Wear and Ian Logan.

 

Team: G Stirling, S Bouglas, G Anderson, D Gray, B Gilchrist, B Sutherland, S Campbell; G Wardle, J Tait, Steven Harkness, J Scott, W Davies, B Irving, C Smith, G Colville; Replacements: K Mabon, K Murray, R Stitt, S Tennant

 


 

Scottish Hydro National 3

 

23-01-10

 

Hawick Linden    18       Hillfoots      10

 

The Linden secured a vital win as they defeated Hillfoots 18-10 to jump above their visitors into eighth place in the table. Other results were kind to the Linden as the three teams below them before Saturday’s game all lost. It wasn’t the prettiest of games to watch on a soft pitch but captain Barry Sutherland had his kicking boots on to land six penalties from seven. His first came after only five minutes when Hillfoots were caught offside at a line-out. The visitors struck back soon after with a penalty of their own to level the scores. With the Linden having the better of the field position they were able to win a further three penalties which Sutherland handsomely stroked over. With half-time approaching, the men from Tillicoultry gained a foothold in the home 22 and two successive offside penalties on the line saw Linden’s Steven Harkness yellow carded. Hillfoots opted for a scrum and the home side were penalised again with the referee immediately running under the posts to award a penalty try. The conversion brought the score back to 12-10 at the break, a frustrating scoreline for the Royal Blues who had been building a healthy lead.

 

The Linden tried to up the tempo at the beginning of the second half but it was not long before the game became bogged down again with little flow and neither side able to work through the phases. The introduction of John Tait and Mike Howe strengthened the Linden scrum which was able to put real pressure on Hillfoots. Sutherland added two more penalties to stretch the lead to 18-10 midway through the second half. Despite some great catching and driving at the lineout and a lot of pressure in the Hillfoots 22, the home side just couldn’t add to their total. Graham Colville did go over following one great drive but play was brought back for a penalty to Hillfoots.

 

The forwards dug in well in the soft conditions with Barrie Keown, Blair Irving and Graham Colville making the hard yards and Craig Smith soaring high at the lineout. Greg Bouglas showed up well in his first game of the season and Brian Wear made a welcome return from injury. A very satisfying win for the home side who travel to bottom side Lenzie next Saturday in another crucial game where a win would go a long way to safeguarding Linden’s place in National Three.

 

Team: G Stirling, S Bouglas, G Anderson, B Wear, G Bouglas, B Sutherland, S Campbell; G Wardle, Steven Harkness, R Norman, J Scott, B Keown, B Irving, C Smith, G Colville; Replacements: J Tait, M Howe, G Cunningham
 

 
Scottish Hydro National 3
 
12-12-09
 
Hawick Linden    12       Aberdeenshire      19
 
With Linden match being moved to Burnfoot to allow Wands and PSA to play at the Volunteer,things did not look great as a heavy mist fell over the pitch just before kick off time.Play started with everyone peering through the gloom, Linden on took play to Aberdeenshires line and were soon rewarded with a penalty which Barry Sutherland duly kicked.Some good driving by Linden forwards forced Aberdeenshire back and they conceeded a penalty by going over the top,B Sutherland converted .From the kick off Linden were forced on the back foot, conceeding a penalty,this was quickly taken by Aberdeenshire player,tackled within 10metres a harsh decision from the ref saw a yellow card appear Linden down to14men.This was to prove decisive in the end ,as they were 6points ahead before the sending off but were 3points down when reinstated to 15men through 3penalty kicks.With Linden forwards going well with Wattie Davies ,Barrie Keown and Blair Irvine to the fore it was not long before B Sutherland kicked his third penalty to level score at half time.Though the gloom did lift marginally, Linden forwards set about the task with a relish but were caught napping when a Aberdeenshire back was needlessly late tackled as he hoisted the ball upfield ,an easy penalty chance in front of posts saw Linden fell 3points behind.Worst was to follow as Aberdeenshire who are league leaders and were having to work hard to keep Linden at bay broke the strangle hold. What has to said was a good move taking the ball left then switching right scored at posts with a conversion.This spured on Linden but they could not break down Aberdeenshire defence a couple of kickable penalty`s went amiss.With Aberdeenshire defending desperatly B Sutherland kicked his fourth penalty to get within touching distance.In a frantic finish as Linden pillied on the pressure to try and get a score, Steven Bouglas was tackled with out the ball,close to the line as he tried to pick up an cross kick from B Sutherland.A penalty but no yellow card which should have been issued as it was a clear scoring chance.With time running out Linden ran  the ball at Aberdeenshire but were deneid by a stout defence. In an entertaining game (what could be seen by the spectators) made at times difficult with conditions a lot of high kicks coming out of the gloom. Both teams tried to run ball whenever possible .For Linden G Stirling was very sound at fullback,S bouglas was ever ready to runat oposition .In the forwards it was good combined effort.
Team G Stirling    S Bouglas    G Anderson     D Gray     S Beattie     B Sutherland     S Campbell    G Wardle    Steven Harkness     R Norman    J Scott      B Keown     C Smith     B Irvine     W Davies    B McDonnell     B Gilchrist    J Tait  
 
 
Match Report courtesy of B. Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
5-12-09
 
Gordonians     24       Hawick Linden       14
 
A depleted Linden side made the long journey to Aberdeen on Saturday to take on Gordonians.On a wet and windy day,soft pitch not ideal conditions for running rugby, it turned out an entertaining game. Playing with a stiff wind first half Gordonians may have thought they were on to a good thing,especially as the referee saw all Lindens errors and some that were not,continually punishing them with a series of penalty`s.Keeping Linden penned back in own half, their favourite ploy being line out, throw and rumble with ball tucked up jersey this never paid off for them as Linden`s continually repulsed them with the back row of Steven Bouglas,Graeme Colville and Blair Irvine to the fore.   Despite this Linden put up a spirited defence for 20minutes only to go behind when they were reduced to 14 men after Daniel Finnegan had to go off for running repairs.Saying this it was a well worked try through the their backs. Then disaster same as last week Ref, failed to spot Gordonians knock on, on Linden line, seven easy points to Gordonians. Another well worked move by Gordonians backs caught  the Linden defence out as they moved 19points clear.With Linden gradually coming into game Darrel Gray and  Graeme Anderson in centre of field were posing problems, the latter especially having a couple of strong runs into the Gordonians defence ably abeted in the second run by Barry Sutherland. After the turn around forwards began to win ball ,stand off Barry Sutherland keeping Gordonians penned back it was only time before Linden scored. A nicely weighted grubber kick through defence saw G Anderson hack on to pick up and score at posts,B Sutherland converted. Linden looked on for another score but final pass went amiss and Gordonians hacked upfield to relieve pressure. Back on the attack and a poorly taken drop out by Gordonians fell to G Anderson who shot though a gap in the defence to touch down ,B Sutherland converted.With Gordonians now on the rack it was a different story as they defended desperatly,as Linden went for the winning score they were caught out Gordonians stormed down field ,desperate defending by Linden saw their clearance kick charged down ,for ball to fall at feet of Gordonians player, an easy try. Not the result Linden wanted but a very brave try, all 15 players are to be commended  by their attitude and commitment. The back row as previosley mentioned were immense especially No8 G Colville ,R Stitt and J Trimby grafted hard. In the backs G Anderson ,D Gray stood out with G Stirling solid at full back.
 
Team    G Stirling    S Tennant     G Anderson     D Gray     L Robson     B Sutherland     Craig Russell    D Finnigan    Steven Harkness    R Norman    J Trimby    R Stitt     S Bouglas     Blair Irvine    G Colville 
 
Match Report courtesy of B. Russell

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
28-11-09
 
Ross High     15       Hawick Linden      16
 
Linden travelled to Tranent on Saturday for a 12 noon kick off, due to the Scottish international match at Murrayfield not the best time of day to play. Winning the toss,Linden elected to play uphill and at Ross High it is quite an uphill slope,never the less on a windless day and pitch in good shape. Linden forwards started quite lively and gained a penalty on the half way line after Ross High were adjudged off side, Darrel Gray stepped up and giving it a mighty boot cleared the cross bar easily.With the Linden forwards handling their bigger opponents, another much easier penalty chance was missed. After an another kickable penalty was awarded D Gray had to leave field to receive treatment ,Barry Sutherland coming back after a long injury lay off came on to kick penalty. A change of tatics for the hosts paid off big kick down hill and a rumble up the touch line by their much heavier forwards paid off with an unconverted try. This was tatics for rest of half,with Linden defending desperatly,then disaster for Linden a blatant knock on by Ross High went unpunished on Linden`s try line with the Ross High forwards  rumbling over for another try,this time converted. From resultant kick off with time running out rapidly,Linden forced way up to opposition`s line ,quick ball was won with B Sutherland converting a snap drop goal,for the half time whistle to go immediatly.After the turn around Ross High concentrated their attacks through the forwards and Linden struggling to get ball ,with every penalty decision going against them,one wondered was the ref watching only Linden. Only some great defending kept them at bay though Ross High did get plenty of chances due to the number of penalty`s being awarded to them. Eventually kicking  penalty to extend their lead .After approx, half an hour maybe the Ross High forwards were tiring but Linden coming into game and showing a determination to get a result.  Forwards began winning ball with Scott Hinton still ruuning at the opposition tirelesly. A good solid scrum,strike against the head by evergreen John Tait,quick ball from scrum half Stuart Cambell to Barry Sutherland a shuffle, change of pace left opposite number standing, slip pass to Darrel Gray who burst through rest of defence to send fellow centre Graeme Anderson racing in to touch down at posts and an easy conversion for B Sutherland. A superb bit rugby,lovely try one of the best you will see all season which left the noisy home support speechless. Linden`s first away win this season well deserved as they never gave up the will to win which was shown in their delight at final whistle .For Linden Mark McCall ,D Gray and G Anderson tackled like deverishes,B Wear looked good till he had to retire with dodgy hamstring.In the forwards S Hinton ,Stuart Harkness and Ben Gilchrist worked tirelessly,with "Golden Oldie" Keith Murray soldiering on tirelessly.
Team     M McCall      S Bouglas     G Anderson     D Gray     G Stirling     B Wear    S Campbell     Stuart Harkness    J Tait    R Norman     J Scott     K Murray    S Hinton     B Gilchrist     G Colville    B Sutherland     L Robson     S Levell     
 
Match Report courtesy of B. Russell
 
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
14-11-09
 
Hawick Linden      10       Allan Glens       12
 
In an entertaining game played on a soft pitch with both teams playing an open game of  rugby it was ironic that lack of goal kicker was to be Linden`s undoing. From the kick off Allan Glens made it obvious that they were there to run the ball, as like the game at Glasgow they went for an early score . Good defending by Linden keep them at bay,denting their hopes of taking the  lead.  Linden gradually came into game, pressure being exerted on the oppositions forwards, a quickly taken penalty by No8 Graeme Colville took play to Allan Glens line ,though the ball was lost from the resultant scrum, Stuart Campbell charged down his opposite numbers clearance kick for flanker Craig Smith to pick up and charge over, Graeme Andersons conversion just scraped over the bar. After Allan Glens had drifted offside G Anderson kicked a penalty to give inden 10point lead. A poor clearance kick by Linden was pounced on by Allan Glens and only a great scamper back by John Tait saved the day .From the line out that followed Allan Glens forwards barged over to score,with the conversion following. Then disaster for Linden two easy penalties were missed the second from in front of posts,these if converted would have given Linden breathing space. On turning around a very poor kick off allowed Allan Glens to take play to Linden`s line from the scrum that followed Linden`n defence disapeared as a big forward strode through to score.Another not very difficult penalty kick went a begging with a change of goal kicker,as Linden went for the winning score . A interception from S Campbell saw him on great run to Allan Glens line passing along the ground to Lee Robson who hacked on only to be knocked down by an opposition player with line at his mercy, accidental or not it was a blow to Linden. With time running out saw a change of goal kicker again saw Steven Beattie shave the post with his penalty attempt. For Linden this was a good display albeit an unlucky defeat against a very good side. In the backs scrum half  S Cambell mixed his game well, G Anderson and  Darrel Gray were solid in the center of field ,with winger L Robson full of running . In the forwards D Finnigan, R Norman and Ben Gilchrist to the fore with G Colville very solid at No8. With Linden`s injury problem gradually getting better and no game on saturday,hopefully everyone will be fit for the Ross High game in a fortnight`s time.
 
Team    G Stirling    S Bouglas     G Anderson    D Gray    L Robson     M McCall     S Campbell     D Finnigan    J Tait     R Norman    B Keown    J Trimby    B Gilchrist     C Smith     G Colville     J Scott   S Beattie    K Mabon
 
Match Report courtesey of B. Russell 
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
 7-11-09
 
Hawick Linden     22      Helensburgh      8
 
A good result for Linden, more like the form they showed last year,with the team more or less up to full strenght plus a couple of additions.With both teams sparing for the opening score it fell to Helensburgh after Linden were penalised for being off side. A good response from Linden .a scything run by Graeme Anderson after the ball had been worked across field from Darrel Gray and Mark McCall took play up to Helenburgh line before losing possesion. From resultant scrum ,scrum half Gavin Stirling harried his opposite number for winger Steven Bouglas to pick up and dart over in corner.With Linden now having there tails up more try`s should have followed ,from a quickly taken penalty Graeme Colville linked with forwards then stand off Brian Wear carried on for flanker Gary Wardle to be pulled down just short. S Bouglas had two chances to score the first ,a poor pass went his way with the line open wide, then with the line at his mercy a cruel bounce of ball from a high kick went astray. A strong run by Barrie Keown taken on by G Anderson caught the Helensbugrh defence off side ,up stepped D Gray to kick penalty from all of 40metres. With time running out on the clock, but not for the referee,  who some how found 7minutes extra time when their had only been a short injury time stoppage. This was disasterous for Linden not only did they make a muck up of tiding up hat looked a harmless hack on but they let Helensbugrh in for a unconverted try. Half time 8 all. With play finely balanced mid way through second half ,a line break at pace from half way line by B Wear saw him not only out pace the defence down the touch line to score, but saw him  pull up with a torn hamstring ,the second time it has happened to a Linden player this season in the act of scoring. D Gray converted with a lovely kick from close to touch.With M McCall moving to stand off, he made a lovely breack when it looked as if the unmarked Ben Gilchrist would get a scoring pass, G Anderson was cught in possesion .The same player made up for it minutes later as he side stepped through a mesmerised defence to touch down at posts and convert. With Linden on the rampage for a bonus point try it looked as if they had got it through Keith Mabon in the las t seconds but he was deneid by referee. A moral boosting victory for Linden, the half back partnership of B Wear and G Stirling was solid ,wingers S Bouglas and B Gilchrist showed up well,with fullback M McCall in good form.In the forwards which were well led by captain G Wardle ,brothers Steven and Stuart Harkness ,G Colville were to the fore.
 
Team     M McCall     S Bouglas     G Anderson      D Gray     B Gilchrist     B Wear     G Stirling     D Finnigan     Steven Harkness    R Norman    B Keown     M Howe     G Wardle    Stuart Harkness   G Colville    K Mabon     S Beattie     S Tennant
 
Match Report courtesey of B. Russell 
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
31-10-09
 
Trinity Accies    55     Hawick Linden     3
 
Once again Linden were on the road again with a weakened side,though the score suggest`s a drubbing for Linden ,which it probable was ,Linden did get stuck in .Up against a bigger heavier pack , Linden`s eight struggled for possesion which meant the backs were more often than not on the back foot.  An wildly inconsistent referee did not help as every decision seemed to go against Linden,as the saying goes "when you are down nothing goes for you". As so often with Linden this season they let the opposition score an early soft try. Fighting back, Linden`s  Darrel Gray kicked a penalty but unfortunatly missed two other long range efforts.Trinity gradually eased away to make the half time score 29-3 in their favour,though it should be added that the last two were from blatantly forward passes.Second half ,playing into wind it was backs against the wall but Trinty kept up the pressure to run out easy winners. 
 
Team   L Robson     S Bouglas     G Anderson    D Gray      S Tennant     G Stirling     S Campbell     D Finnigan    J Tait    R Norman    R Stitt     J Trimby    G Wardle    K Mabon    J Scott 

Match Report courtesey of B. Russell
 

 
Scottish Hydro National League 3
 
24-10-09
 
Hawick Linden     24     Lenzie     0
 
This was a better performance from Linden this week, a stronger squad, also the forwards delived good ball to the backs, a solid pack had the Lenzie eight, in all sorts of trouble at time