Broughton 24, Hawick Linden 19
Too many mistakes were Linden’s downfall as they went down to a narrow defeat to Broughton in their Tennent’s East Region League 1 game at Wardie.
The Royal Blues couldn’t hold on to their half-time lead after turning around to face the elements.
The visitors played down the slope with a fairly strong wind behind them in the first period, the
vast majority of which was spent in the Broughton half.
They had an early chance to open the scoring but a relatively straightforward penalty kick slid past the upright and a long period of
pressure came to nothing.
Indeed, it looked like the Volunteer side would go behind as Broughton broke away – but consecutive tackles from the Ali brothers, Ryan and Dylan, saved the day.
Winger Dylan was causing problems with his pace and almost squeezed in at the corner on 21 minutes but was tackled into touch.
He was involved again three minutes later as he fed inside to Rory Graham, who linked with No. 8 James Smith, who was up in support. The Irishman drove over the line to open the scoring and Kieran Murphy converted.
The lead was increased following a scrum on half way when Matthew Mallin burst through the defensive line and outpaced the chasing cover to go under the posts for a superb individual try. Murphy’s kick made it 14-0.
With the first period into injury time, the visitors suffered a big blow when Craig Wishart barged over for the Wardie side and Josh Pritchard converted. A seven-point lead was poor reward for all their territorial advantage.
Another setback befell the visitors soon after the turnaround when Murphy went for an interception but, on failing to gather, received the double whammy of a penalty and a yellow card.
During the winger’s time in the bin, the Royal Blues conceded two touch downs.
They defended well a line out drive from the initial penalty but were caught napping when Broughton went blind and Wishart went over at the corner. A chip ahead was regathered by the home team and centre Doug Swinbanks was up in support to touch down, with Pritchard
With 10 minutes remaining, the Linden had a great platform of a five metre line out. Alas, mistakes ultimately ended with Wishart completing his hat-trick at the other end to put Broughton 24-14 ahead.
Following their best spell of phase play in the match, Jordan White was held up over the line.
Despite their efforts it wasn’t until the last play of the game before the Royal Blues could secure a score. Scrum-half Euan Wood went blind from a scrum and Mallin dived over in the corner for his second try of the day to ensure his team at least left the capital with a losing bonus point.
Hawick Linden: C. Glendinning, D. Ali, M. Mallin, C. Gracie, K. Murphy, R. Graham, E. Wood; J. White, M. Boyle, S. Spalding, S. Hair, E. Hair, S. Bouglas, R. Ali, J. Smith. Subs: S. Donnelly, M. Parker, L. Sharkey, G. Scott.