Comfortable victory for champions

Earlston 7, Hawick Linden 58

By Gary Alexander
Monday, 25th February 2019, 1:05 pm
Updated Monday, 25th February 2019, 1:07 pm
Hawick Linden's second-row forward Jack Wilson on the advance at Earlston (picture by Bill McBurnie).
Hawick Linden's second-row forward Jack Wilson on the advance at Earlston (picture by Bill McBurnie).

An emphatic 10-try victory on Saturday ensured the newly-crowned Tennent’s East Region League 2 champions continued their winning ways at the Haugh against Earlston.

Four first-half tries from the Linden’s number eight, Graham Colville, contributed to a 43-0 lead at the break.

While the foot came off the throttle in the second period, the Royal Blues could be well satisfied with their performance and the fact a number of fringe players made their mark on the game.

A storming run from Shane Donnelly, playing out of position at hooker, led to Macaulay Parker giving the scoring pass to Colville for the first touchdown after 10 minutes.

Craig Glendinning’s run from his own half ended as he found Graeme Anderson in support, who rounded off, with Kieran Murphy converting.

Three minutes later and some more great play from well inside their own territory by the Linden saw Ryan Renwick finish off and Murphy slot the extras.

Straight from the kick-off, Murphy went off on a mazy run which took him deep into the Earlston 22 and he fed inside

to Lewis Stormont, who scored the bonus point try, putting the visitors 24-0 up after 20 minutes.

Anderson came on a short ball from a scrum and linked inside to Colville, who finished a nice but simple try. As the game approached the break, Stormont pounced on a dropped ball in the home 22 and put over Colville for his hat-trick.

An Anderson run led to Colville scoring his fourth of the day and 21st of the season. Murphy’s conversion stretched the lead to 43 points at the interval.

The Linden virtually emptied their bench for the second period, as six replacements entered the fray.

After giving away a series of penalties, the visitors conceded a score as Steven Cessford charged on and stretched to the line, with Chris Shand converting.

When James Rowley picked up at a ruck in his own half, the big back row had the pace to go the distance. The Linden’s final sub, medic Ryan Elliot, then came on for his first game of the season.

A tap penalty was taken on by Stormont, while stand-off Rory Graham found Liam Sharkey on a good line and the flanker went all the way. Five minutes later, he was over the line again.

From an attacking line out, Euan Wood tidied up and Sharkey broke several tackles before touching down for his eighth try of the season and the final one of the day.

An excellent day for the Linden in the lovely Earlston sunshine as they now move on to a difficult assignment at Dunbar as they attempt to maintain their 100 per cent record.