Hawick Linden 101, Earlston 8
On a perfect day for running rugby, Hawick Linden scored 15 tries, 13 converted, to defeat a weakened Earlston team 101-8.
Earlston actually started the brightest in Saturday’s BT East League Division 2 game and took the lead with a penalty after two minutes, when the Linden were caught offside at a ruck.
After seven minutes, the Linden took a quick penalty on the halfway line and James Rowley broke through several tackles to score a try at the posts,
converted by Kris Rowley.
After 10 minutes, Earlston set up an attack in the Linden half. Linden’s defence pushed up and James Rowley intercepted to romp in under the posts for a converted try.
From a lineout in their own half, the Linden swept the ball out to the stand side. Matthew Mallin sped up the wing, then passed inside to Kieran Murphy to score a further converted try.
Linden secured the bonus point after 15 minutes when John Frew broke, then chipped the ball over the Earlston defence. Kris Rowley received the perfect bounce to catch the ball and score at the posts. His own conversion took the score to 28-3.
From an attacking lineout, Linden prop Shane Donnelly drove hard up field. The ball was moved sweetly along the backs for Kieran Murphy, who sped in for a converted try.
After 22 minutes, Kris Rowley chipped the ball into Earlston territory. John Frew collected the ball after a favourable bounce and raced away to score a further converted try.
After 25 minutes, Earlston showed when they could get their hands on the ball what they could do. After a series of Linden infringements, Earlston chose to the run the ball and wing forward Matt Henry barged over for an unconverted try.
The final try of the half was a cracker. From deep in his own half, Linden prop Shane Donnelly took off on a run up the middle of the park. With the try line in his sights, he moved the ball outside to his fellow prop Simon Spalding, who scored at the posts. Rowley kicked the two points and the half ended 49-8 in the Linden’s favour.
The home side kept up the high tempo in the second half. Within three minutes, Graham Colville broke up field and offloaded to Rory Graham, who had ran a good angle, and he scorched through to score at the posts for a converted try.
After a neat break by Stuart Renwick, he found James Rowley, who powered through to score his third try of the afternoon.
Again, it was converted and, after 50 minutes, Steven Bouglas intercepted a loose pass on halfway. He popped a pass to Ryan Ali and he stormed to the line to score an unconverted try.
After 58 minutes, John Frew received the ball in midfield and, with a determined run, he bumped of a couple of tackles to run round under the posts to score a try converted by Stuart Renwick, who was taking over the kicking duties from the injured Kris Rowley.
Daniel Elliot showed a great turn of speed when he broke from his own 22 to score a further converted try. In 65 minutes, Linden winger Matthew Bell set off from his own line. Turning the ball back inside to his support, the final pass found James Rowley, who scored in the corner.
After 70 minutes, Earlston were attacking the Linden line. The ball was spilled and the ever-eager Matthew Bell scooped up the ball and ran the length of the field to score a further converted try.
With full-time approaching, the Linden summoned up a final effort and the tenacious John Frew broke from halfway, beat a couple of tackles and scored at the posts, which was the final converted try.
This was a total team performance by the Linden and one of those days when everything went to plan.
Especially delighted was one of the club’s most loyal supporters, Russell Molloy, who was match sponsor, along with Anne and Ed Molloy.
To their credit, Earlston never gave up and were to be commended for getting a team on the park.
Shane Donnelly was the Linden’s man of the match and special mention went to the Rowley brothers, who scored a combined total of 43 points between them.
Hawick Linden: J. Frew, K. Murphy, D. Elliot, S. Renwick, M. Bell, K. Rowley, E. Wood; S. Donnelly, P.
Drysdale, S. Spalding, K. Mabon, E. Hair, J. Rowley, M. Mallin, G. Colville. Subs: R. Beattie, S.
Bouglas, R. Ali, R. Graham, C. Smith, B. Sutherland.