Linden stay cool to follow snow show with avalanche of tries

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hAWICK lINDEN39

pORTOBELLO14

Linden were back to league duty on a stormy Saturday with Portobello the visitors to Volunteer Park, writes Andy Thomson.

Linden opted to play with the advantage of the cold, gusty wind at their backs and they were soon on the attack.

After seven minutes, Graham Colville made a barnstorming run and offloaded to James Hogg, who released Steven Anderson to sprint over for the opening score.

Portobello came back into the game with scrum half Fraser Mackay taking a quick penalty and plunging over for a try, which was converted.

The lead was short-lived as Kirk Ford banged over a long-range penalty and at this stage the weather changed dramatically, with driving snow making play difficult. Linden ploughed on regardless, however, and, following a 60m break by Craig Smith, Sean Goodfellow was on hand to receive the offload and touch down. Ford added the conversion.

With half-time approaching, and the pitch now covered with snow, Conor Gracie scored in the far corner and referee Iain Heard blew for half-time with Linden ahead 20-7.

Both teams left the field to be revived with hot cups of tea and, with the snow stopped and the lines cleared, an action-packed second half ensued.

Further tries from Phil Mactaggart, Anderson and Gary Wardle, with two conversions from Ford, completed the Linden scoring, but Portobello took a second converted try, following a forward surge.