Linden in merciless Friday night form

Hawick Linden, in blue, in line-out action during their game the previous week against Gala YM (picture by Alwyn Johnston).
Hawick Linden, in blue, in line-out action during their game the previous week against Gala YM (picture by Alwyn Johnston).

Hawick Linden 71, Earlston 10

Friday evening rugby in Tennent’s East Region League 2 attracted a large crowd to the Volunteer Park, who witnessed an equally large Linden victory as they trounced Earlston with an 11-try onslaught.

But credit was given to the visitors, who stuck in to the end and only conceded four second-half tries when lesser sides might have completely crumbled.

Indeed, the men from the Haugh were first to score, when Chris Shand landed a second-minute penalty goal for a high tackle.

The Linden went straight up the other end and had a strong claim for a penalty try fall on deaf ears, but a touchdown came immediately.

A tap move put Stuart Hair on the charge and his offload to brother Euan saw the second row go over at the posts, with Kieran Murphy converting.

Soon after, the dancing feet of stand-off Matthew Bell created the space for Graham Colville to finish off. Murphy landed the extras from out wide.

Good hands following a line out switched the ball from one side of the field to the other and Craig Glendinning sped in at the corner and Murphy again slotted a difficult conversion.

Another barging run by Stuart Hair set up James Rowley to secure the bonus point try after only 13 minutes, and Murphy’s goal stretched the lead to 28-3.

Four minutes later, the Linden sneaked up the unguarded side of a ruck, which released Glendinning up the touchline for his second try of the night.

A neat box kick bounced up nicely with Colville, who won the contest to catch and stroll over.

On the half hour mark, a poor pass after a Linden scrum allowed Rikki McLean to snap up the loose ball and run in under the posts for Shand to convert and make the score 38-10.

The Royal Blues had the final say of the first half as Colville intercepted to complete his hat-trick and put his side 43-10 ahead at the break.

Scores didn’t come so easily in the second period for the home team, as a few chances went astray.

Matthew Mallin did go over at the posts, though, following a line out, and Pete Drysdale touched down after a tap penalty.

Replacement Gary Alexander slotted in at centre and scored two quick-fire touch downs, one thanks to an excellent hand-off to get through the Earlston defence. Murphy converted all four second-half tries for a personal haul of 16 points.

The Linden, therefore, completed three wins from three in East League 2 and, next up, travel to Penicuik, as they look to maintain their 100 per cent record.