IT WAS certainly a day of entertainment at the Volunteer Park, starting with a large gathering at the pre-match lunch.
And, with league leaders Preston Lodge looking odds-on for a comfortable victory, the high level of entertainment continued on the field as Linden put in a heroic effort to upset the form book.
Early pressure from the hosts failed to pay off and, after both sides had missed penalties, the visitors opened the scoring when the Teries failed to clear their lines and Peter Johnston sped over for a try, converted by Graeme Paterson.
Some great defence by the Royal Blues saw the half close with Preston Lodge only 7-0 ahead.
The second period started well for the Volunteer Park side as Kirk Ford struck over a penalty goal.
Four minutes later, Linden were in front after Ford’s miss pass found Greg Thomson at pace on his own 10m line.
The full back went through a gap and passed to Sean Goodfellow, on his inside, who raced over for a try.
Preston Lodge responded quickly.
A tapped free kick and a well-judged cross-kick was gathered by Finlay Hughes, who went over in the corner.
This didn’t deter the home side, who camped on the visiting line, but once again their perseverance failed to pay.
Thrice they decided to take quick penalties when goal kicks were on, while Ford went over, only for the score to be ruled out for crossing.
The sucker punch arrived on 68 minutes as Preston Lodge worked their way up the other end and a line-out catch and drive saw Bruce Stoddart credited with the try.
Stoddart added another soon after and, despite their best efforts, Linden couldn’t salvage a losing bonus point, which was the least they deserved for a heroic display.