Linden display not half bad against Dingers

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Hawick Linden 13

Duns 32

RBS BORDERS REGIONAL SHIELD

LINDEN returned to action after five weeks when welcoming East One outfit Duns.

The home side got off to a great start. Greg Thomson made a lovely break and chipped ahead, but was tackled late, and skipper Barry Sutherland slotted the resulting penalty goal.

But the Berwickshire men immediately hit back. From scrum ball, David Hutchison came off his wing to slice through the Linden defence, rounded the last man and touched down.

It was then Hawick’s turn to respond. Blaine Willison’s line-out take set up Terry Skeet to crash on. Sutherland darted blind, passing inside for Sean Fairbairn to romp home.

Sutherland added the extras.

But Linden went off their feet at a ruck and Kieran Wilkinson kicked the penalty to reduce the Royal Blues’ lead to 10-8.

Teries’s Gary Wardle was tackled just short of the line when he looked likely to score, before the Dingers made their way into the home half and Andrew Connor burst over from a short range penalty, 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 Linden back to 15-13 behind.

The home team had a further period of pressure on the Duns line, but failed to capitalise.

Linden started the second period 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 Teries could not take advantage of their numerical superiority.

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 the ball wide to the other for Hutchison to run in for his second try of the day. Wilkinson converted from out wide.

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.

Hawick Linden: 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.