Linden’s day in capital ends with thumping

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Broughton 80

Hawick Linden 17

The Linden returned from Edinburgh on the end of a thumping loss to Broughton.

Whilst undoubtedly well beaten, there was some head shaking at the margin of defeat as the final scoreline was very harsh on the visitors.

The Royal Blues were forced into a late change as Macaulay Parker was suffering from illness and swapped places with Michael Knight who had been due to start on the bench.

On a glorious day in the capital, Broughton struck first with a penalty after four minutes from what was to become the faultless boot of Gavin Tainish. In the lead up to the award, Stuart Hair took a blow to the mouth, which later required stiches, in an accidental clash of heads and left the field. The early loss of the big middle row forced a reshuffle as Scott Grant moved into the forwards and Gary Alexander came on to the wing for his Linden debut.

Broughton extended their lead with a try in the corner by Craig Wishart converted by Tainish. The Linden hit back after quarter of an hour. Simon Spalding started it off with a strike against the head and, following some hit-ups near the line, it was Spalding who finished matters off. Kieran Murphy converted and soon after added a penalty goal to tie the score at 10-10 after 20 minutes.

The home team regained the lead with touchdowns from Wishart and Dan Smith both converted by Tainish. The half-time whistle blew with Broughton 24-10 ahead.

The second period got off to the worst possible start for the Linden as Broughton scored in the first minute and added three more by the 51st minute suddenly, in what felt like no time at all, the Royal Blues were now trailing 52-10.

However, they showed some character with their best period of the half. Some good picking and driving and then a thrust by Stuart Hair, having bravely returned to the fray, who popped a short ball to his brother Euan who burst the line and had the pace to go over for the touchdown which was well converted by Phil MacTaggart.

Linden couldn’t contain the hard-running Broughton side who were able to add three further converted tries.

Their second half home touchdowns came from Wishart, to complete his hat-trick, Andy Archer, Scott Rogers, Phil Rogers, Scott McClenaghan, Stu Hagen and Gavin Tainish with a brace. Tainish had a 100 percent success with the boot for a personal haul of 35 points.

Linden: J Frew, M Bell, G Anderson, S Walker, S Grant, K Murphy, R Graham; K Mabon, S Spalding, J White, S Hair, E Hair, M Knight, C Smith, M Mallin; Subs: M Parker, K Walley, E Wood, G Alexander, P MacTaggart, R Hamilton.