Linden dish out capital punishment as they nulify Northern threat

RBS EAST LEAGUE DIVISION 2

Edinburgh Northern32

Hawick Linden48

THE Linden got off to a disastrous start in this match, dropping the kick off and missing tackles to allow the home team in for a converted try with the first play of the game.

But they worked their way into the game and skipper Barry Sutherland hit a hat-trick of penalties to give them the lead.

The home No. 8 was sent to the sin bin but the Linden couldn’t capitalise and started to offend themselves and Northern put over a penalty of their own to again go ahead.

With the visitors’ scrum under huge pressure, Blair Irving did well to pick up and made a surging run from his own half into enemy territory but his offload couldn’t find a support runner. He was forced from the field with an ankle injury to add to Linden’s injury woes.

His teammates overcame this setback with a great score just on half-time. Steven Bouglas broke up the short side, Sean Goodfellow made further inroads and then lovely hands across the width of the pitch put Conor Gracie over in the corner.

Linden’s front row received a welcome break as a fresh front three came on for the second half and it was the Linden’s turn to start with a bang. Sean Fairbairn seized the kick off, Lee Stewart hit up and Steven Bouglas burst through and rounded the full back for a great score, Sutherland converting.

An excellent kick chase by Greg Thomson forced a penalty which Sutherland slotted over. Northern replied with a penalty before Gavin Stirling had to leave the field with a head cut after a tremendous tackle.

A home 22 drop out was then fielded by Goodfellow who took off on a superb run, side-stepping and bursting out of tackles to surge over for a try which Sutherland converted.

Will Barker and Chris Turnbull took ball on to suck in defenders and when moved wide, Terry Skeet, Greg Cunningham and Craig Mitchell handled with the latter touching down. The Linden were now in full flow, Fairbairn secured the kick off and Bouglas took play to the Linden ten-metre line. Goodfellow picked at the base of the ruck and went off on another run leaving the full back for dead and Sutherland with an easy conversion.

A mistake allowed Northern a try in the corner and they added a converted score not long after.

But Stewart and Fairbairn combined to provide lovely line out ball and slick handling put Stuart Campbell in at the corner.

The home side had the final say with a converted try which gave them a deserved bonus point.