Royal appointment ends in defeat for Linden

Hawick Linden 17, Royal High 54

Monday, 16th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Hawick Linden's forwards on the surge ahead (picture by Brian Sutherland)

Playing their first home Tennent’s East Region League 1 game for two months, the Linden couldn’t repeat their previous

three consecutive Volunteer Park wins, as they were defeated by a hard-running Royal High side.

Five first-half tries for the visitors meant it was game over before the break and left the Royal Blues chasing the consolation of a try bonus point, which they just failed to achieve.

In a repeat of the previous week, the Linden started brightly before conceding a third-minute try.

When the Volunteer side lost ball in midfield, the visitors gained field position from which

centre Matthew Hicks slipped through to score, with Alan Haynes converting.

This set a tone for the day, as Hicks continually posed problems and Haynes was pinpoint off the tee, missing

only one kick all day.

The Royal Blues looked like they would hit back when Graham Colville charged through the

middle of a ruck deep in the Royal High 22 but the number eight just couldn’t reach the try line.

The visitors scored again when Hicks drew tacklers on to him to create the space for his support runner to go under the posts.

The Linden were struck a blow when Jack Wilson was forced to retire injured before Royal High scored two quick-fire converted tries.

When Colville picked from a scrum near halfway and made good ground, he found Dai Swailes in support. The latter burst a tackle and sped up the

touchline to put the Royal Blues on the scoreboard.

The first period didn’t end well, though, as first Colville departed injured, Royal High added another seven-pointer, and then Ryan Beattie picked up a painful knee injury and was stretchered from the field.

The half-time whistle finally arrived with the Barnton side 35-5 ahead.

After the turn around the Dean had their best period of the match. A great break by Matthew Mallin lead to Greg Scott putting in a chip ahead which Royal High did well to cover. However, a series of penalties kept the Linden on the attack.

Following a tap, the Hair twins linked up, back in tandem for the first time in two months, which led to Swailes claiming his second

touchdown. The home team applied further pressure which came to nothing.

It took until the 67 th minute for Royal High to add to their half-time tally as the home defence was eventually sucked in to create an overlap and a try in the corner.

The dancing feet of John Frew somehow created space where there appeared to be none as the full-back secured a lovely solo try, which Kris Rowley did well to convert from out wide.

With three tries in the bag, the Linden looked to add a fourth to gain at least a bonus point but it wasn’t to be, as Royal High added two late converted touchdowns to take them past the 50-mark.

Hawick Linden: J. Frew, C. Glendinning, M. Mallin, S. Bouglas, G. Scott, K. Rowley, E. Wood; R. Beattie,

M. Boyle, S. Spalding, J. Smith, J. Wilson, L. Stormont, D. Swailes, G. Colville. Subs: J. White, R. Ali, S. Hair, E. Hair.