News & EventsLatest NewsCalendar
Match Report: Dalkeith 1XV vs Hawick Linden

Match Report: Dalkeith 1XV vs Hawick Linden

Susan McGhee7 Nov 2023 - 15:24
Share via

Report: Gaz Smith

Dalkeith’s league campaign continued at Kings Park on Saturday where Hawick Linden provided the opposition for a second time this year.

Linden sneaked the win in September thanks to a controversial last-minute penalty in Dalkeith’s only league defeat to date & whilst its natural to enjoy a victory the feeling within the Dalkeith camp was that their celebrations were a wee bit over the top.

Since then, Dalkeith are unbeaten including a win over table toppers Penicuik whilst Linden have plummeted to 2nd bottom of the league, only registering one other victory against Duns.

Weather conditions were ideal for an open game, the pitch although showing the effects of having been trained on during the week had held up fine despite the heavy rain throughout the week.

The Dalkeith line up had several changes from the one earning a close win at Corstorphine the week previously.

Alex Sneddon made his first start of the season at Hooker; Skipper Stephen McMillan was back in his rightful place in the back row joined by Zak Sives & Sam Sutherland. Whilst in the back line there was a welcome return for Andy Hamilton at 12 where he was partnered by the returning Darren McMillan.

A minute’s silence preceded the game due to the tragic death of Hawick Linden’s Finlay Street in a road traffic accident. Players & supporters alike impeccably paid their respects & our thoughts go out to Finlay’s family & friends.

The game got underway with Linden kicking off attacking the fire station end of King’s park. Dalkeith conceded the first penalty of the day within a minute for an infringement at the ruck and the Linden opted for a shot at goal 40 metres out but fairly straight on. Unluckily for them the kick was pulled left of the posts and the scoreboard remained pointless.

A high tackle in the Midfield allowed Mikey Wilson to knock the ball deep into touch inside the Linden 22 for Dalkeith’s first decent bit of territory. A bit of illegal jiggery pokery from Linden in the line out gave Dalkeith the penalty but they chose not to go for the posts but take a scrum instead, looking to impose some early dominance up front. The sting was taken out of the set play though as Halliday was penalized for not pushing straight & Linden were off the hook.

Dalkeith’s next attack was the result of spilled ball by the opposition mopped up by Darren McMillan & recycled to Wilson who spiraled a great kick to just short of the Linden 22. From the resulting line out Jamie Rae collected the overthrown ball at the tail and took off towards the try line, unfortunately the ball was dislodged from his hands causing a knock on. Linden now had a defensive scrummage 5 metres out. The Dalkeith scrum managed to shove Linden off their own feed as their pack disintegrated. The scrum was reset, this time with a Dalkeith put in, predictably Dalkeith kept the ball tight and marched the opposing pack back over their line giving scrum half Clark Young the simple job of touching down for the 1st score of the afternoon. Wilson’s conversion was a formality and it was 7 – 0 after 10 minutes.

From the restart the ball found its way to stand off Mikey Wilson who sent another probing kick deep into Linden territory, the Hawick full back found himself isolated and spilt the ball loose after a solid collision with Robbie Lockhart. Swanson was on hand to gather and was in for an unopposed score, or so he thought. For reasons only he can explain the ref pulled play back and awarded a penalty to Linden for something Dalkeith done at the breakdown.

Linden sprung immediately into action & within seconds the afore mentioned full back was galloping over the Dalkeith try line after strong running by their 13 in what was a pretty impressive try, the extras were added & the scores were now even at 7 – 7.

The score remained the same entering the 2nd quarter of the game when Wilson broke the defensive line off a Dalkeith scrum in their own half. Wilson quickly made a good 50 yards up the park, Andy Hamilton was on hand to receive the scoring pass and did well to outpace his opposite number to dive over near the posts.

Wilson’s kick was good making it 14 – 7

By this point Dalkeith were continually on the referee’s wrong side for high tackling offences, this presented the opportunity for Hawick to reduce the deficit with a kick for posts, the opportunity was gratefully taken and the score moved to 14 -10.

Minutes later Linden were reduced to 14 men due to a sin binning for their 13 (by a distance their best player) for a dangerous tackle.

From the resultant penalty Wilson stretched the Dalkeith lead back to 7 points 17 – 10.
Dalkeith looked dangerous for the latter part of the half, Both the McMillan’s were carrying well and Robbie Lockhart tested the Linden defence on several occasions. It was from a Lockhart carry from a set piece move that brought about Dalkeith’s 3rd score, from an attacking scrum on the left a rehearsed backs move set up the ruck in midfield , from the breakdown Dalkeith attacked again down the left hand side where Halliday found the behemoth that is Gav Davidson with a floated pass 5 yards from the touchline, Davidson barged his way over the line carrying 3 Linden defenders with him for a perfectly constructed score. Wilson with the touchline conversion ended the half with Dalkeith in a healthy 24 – 10 lead.

Dalkeith rung the changes for the second half as Ryan Reid, Euan Lockhart & Ali Baines replaced Sneddon, Muzambi & Swanson.

Dalkeith conceded an early penalty and a yellow card to Young for a high tackle, Linden’s kicker brought about the points to make it 24-13.

Reid & Euan Lockhart made an instant impact on the game, great interplay between the 2 saw Reid flying towards the try line for what looked to be a certain 5 pointer, only for the Linden full back to put in a fantastic try saving tackle, Dalkeith were untidy at the resultant ruck and a penalty was awarded to Linden to relieve the pressure.

Linden were proving to be a hard nut to crack and are really to be commended for the commitment they showed throughout, this was further rewarded when they scored a somewhat opportunist try after a speculative kick through had the Lockhart brothers and Darren McMillan at sixes and sevens, the bounce of the ball fell kindly to the Linden kick chase and they were over for their second try of the game. The kick was missed but the score was now a bit too close for comfort at 24-18

How would Dalkeith respond?

Pretty impressively was the answer and a beautifully executed 50—22 by Mike Wilson who was having a fine game with the boot gave Dalkeith prime real estate in the Linden red zone. The line out was secured and the pressure remained on the Linden try line through many phases of play, However scrum half Young was guilty of not releasing the pass with a certain overlap on the cards and the chance was lost. Play remained in the Linden 22 and Dalkeith eventually earned a scrum, in a carbon copy of the 1st half the powerful Dalkeith forwards forced the Linden pack backwards and Young touched down for the easiest of scores and a Bonus point for the Greens. 31 - 18 and thankfully a bit of daylight on the scoreboard.

By this point the visitors were visibly beginning to tire, probably due to the fact they only travelled with a squad of 18. Their cause wasn’t helped when their number 19 received a yellow card, with a numerical disadvantage gaps began to appear all over the pitch and Dalkeith ran in a further 3 scores 2 from Clark Young taking his tally to 4 on the day and 1 for Euan Lockhart from a Darren McMillan offload after a clever chip kick over the defence.
Wrapping up a solid performance and a pleasing 52 – 18 win for the Greens.

With Penicuik & Dunbar both getting bonus point wins Dalkeith remain in 3rd place but with a game in hand. Plenty to play for and some big games to look forward to.

No league game for the 1st XV this weekend however the Mighty 2’s are at home to Leith with a 2pm kick off.

In closing, a huge well done to our Walking Rugby team who represented our club so well at the Greenyards, Melrose last Friday.

I’m told Bob Montgomery was a stand out scoring 4 tries (Source- Bob Montgomery)

Well done lads!!!

Further reading