Linden edge close match

Langholm21

Hawick Linden22

THERE was not much to choose between the teams in this rather scrappy match at Milntown last Saturday, but in the end Linden just had the edge, writes John Smith.

The visitors collected the bonus point from four tries and Langholm in the end had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Langholm had the edge in the opening exchanges and, following a number of forward surges, flanker Scott Howatson went over for a try near the posts, which Niall Cubbon converted, with only three minutes played.

Linden were spreading the ball wide when possible and the home defence was found wanting when winger Sean Potts sliced through for an unconverted try.

The home forwards were going well at this stage with the pick and drive, and when possession was sent wide centre Gregor Masterton made the half break and fed to No8 Steven Nicol who ran strongly to score at the posts with Cubbon adding the extras.

A penalty gained Linden an attacking position and the feed out saw winger Connor Gracie outpace the Langholm defence for a try, once again however the conversion was missed and half time arrived with the score at 14-10.

Driving play by the Milntown pack ended with veteran prop Steven Jardine surging over the line after the restart and Cubbon converted from far out.

Langholm were then caught napping when the visitors took a quick tap penalty and the move ended with a try for lock Andrew Baillie which Kirk Ford converted.

Jordan Reid was sent to the sin-bin to reduce Langholm to 14, and then with five minutes remaining the visitors No 8, Sean Fairbairn, who had played well throughout, made a powerful break to run in for what proved to be the winning try.