Match Report - 01 Sep 2007, Ross High Rugby Football Club 2nd XV beat LINLITHGOW
Linlithgow travelled to the east coast to face a Ross High side that hadn’t won an opening day fixture in 4 seasons so confidence was bound to be high for the visitors especially as it was only 18 months ago that they inflicted a 72 – 0 drubbing on their hosts. There was however, a big boost for the home side as former club captain, Mark Wright returned after a 2 year absence to form a second row partnership with Haddow.
Ross High started the brighter of the 2 sides having won the toss and electing to kick off down the slope. Some good early pressure in the scrum allowed the home side to dominate the early exchanges. The boot of experienced stand off Stuart Ross eased what little pressure Ross High were under.
The home side took a well deserved lead on the ten minute mark when a tidy scrum gave man of the match Fleming, clean ball to distribute to Ross who done the rest himself by beating 3 men with a kick and the pocket battleship used his strength to hold off several players and score the opening try. Bennion’s kick failed to get the height to go over the bar.
The remainder of the first half continued in much the same fashion with the Fleming, Ashurst and Ross all making good yards with their evasive running in the back line and Wright tidying up a faltering lineout flawlessly. Possession was however surrendered far too easily at with unnecessary kicking which meant that despite their best efforts, Ross High failed to add to their scoring before half time. Linlithgow could have easily gone into the break in the lead as in injury time, they worked a move well and were it not for the final pass going forward, it would have been an easy try under the posts.
With the score at 5 – 0 to the home side and Ross High looking fairly comfortable, Cribbes and Wright were withdrawn for Grant and Mitchell.
Ross High came firing out of the blocks again in the second half as most of the early exchanges were fought out in the visitors half. This resulted in Ross High being awarded a penalty in the 22, which they chose to tap and use the width of the pitch only for Stuart Ross to be bundled into touch in the corner. The home side brought on Davis for a game that marked his return from yet another troublesome knee injury as Donaldson came off injured after putting in a tireless shift.
The visitors came more and more into the game with a few forays into the Ross half but with a mixture of solid defending and Mitchell in particular staling a lot of lineout ball, Linlithgow failed to make the pressure count on the scoreboard.
Ross High managed to win themselves a penalty in the 22 and sensibly chose to kick and as a result, Bennion slotted to give the home side an 8-0 safety net. This was not to last long though as the visitors pretty much came straight back and took a quick tap to slice through a sleeping defence and make the score 8-5.
Ross High were still weathering a few storms and some tireless tacking for Miller and Malcolm kept them at bay. With 15 minutes to go, Cribbes and Wright were brought back on to replace Grant and Hood respectively and provide some bulk and stability in the pack. Ross High then managed to hold on to grind out a battling but deserved 8 – 5 victory against their West Lothian opponents.
Next week sees the 2nd XV travel the short distance to Lasswade who they lost 12 – 3 to in a pre-season friendly.
Ross High Rugby Football Club 2nd XV 8 - 5 LINLITHGOW