Linden preserve perfect record despite fightback

Tough going for Hawick Linden's Matthew Mallin (picture by Alwyn Johnston).
Tough going for Hawick Linden's Matthew Mallin (picture by Alwyn Johnston).

Hawick Linden 27

Trinity Accies 18

The Linden continued their 100 per cent record in Tennent’s East Region League 2 with this win over Trinity.

However, they slipped to second in the table as they failed to pick up a try bonus point.

Accies proved stiff opposition and, although the Linden were 14 points up at the break, their lead was reduced to two points.

They passed a test of character, however, by eventually securing a well-earned win.

There was early enterprise from the home team and Kieran Murphy opened the scoring on nine minutes when Accies were penalised for holding on.

The first try came from a ruck in Accies’ 22. Liam Sharkey ran a great angle to find a gap and kept on his feet to plunge over. Murphy’s conversion made it 10-0 to the hosts.

Accies opened their account when Parker was penalised for a deliberate knock on and skipper Neil Morrison split the uprights with an assured kick.

Trinity were now in the ascendancy, missing a kick at goal, before excellent home defending held out an attacking line out, a scrum five and sustained pressure until a penalty released the danger.

Near half time, Bell kicked into the Trinity 22 and, as Accies foundered, Jack Wilson helped himself as the ball lay at the ruck and nonchalantly strolled round behind the posts. Murphy converted to put the home side 17-3 ahead at the break.

The second period started badly for the Linden. Firstly, Greg Cunningham was yellow-carded for a ruck offence and, two minutes later, Trinity scored their first try. The Linden made mistakes in their own half which led to an attacking line out for the visitors. This was defended well initially but the blind side was left unguarded, which was spotted by Callum Anderson.

Three minutes later, strong running by Accies allowed Duncan Moynan to charge through to the posts. Morrison popped over the conversion and the Linden were now only 17-15 in front.

A thumping Rory Smith tackle led to a penalty award, which Murphy goaled.

Morrison replied in kind and the game was in the balance at 20-18, with 18 minutes left.

In the last 10 minutes, a Rory Smith try was converted by Murphy to put his side more than a score ahead, and the Royal Blues held out with excellent defending.