RBS BORDER REGIONAL SHIELD
LINDEN may have lost out to their higher league opponents on Saturday but the Royal Blues can take plenty of encouragement from their performance.
And they were left wondering what might have been after a sterling show against East One side Duns in the opening 40 minutes.
A club spokesperson said: “Had we made more of our first half pressure, and perhaps taken an easy penalty kick at goal, then things might have turned out differently.”
The Linden got off to a great start and when Greg Thomson was tackled late, skipper Barry Sutherland slotted the resulting penalty goal.
Duns hit back straight away. From scrum ball David Hutchison came off his wing to slice through the Linden defence and had the pace to round the last man and touch down.
It was then the Linden’s turn to respond. Blaine Willison’s line out take set up Terry Skeet to crash on. Sutherland darted blind to breach the defensive line, draw the full-back and his inside pass allowed the supporting Sean Fairbairn to romp home and Sutherland converted.
But Kieran Wilkinson kicked a penalty to reduce their lead and a tapped penalty shortly after saw Andrew Connor score and the former converted.
Sutherland slotted a penalty to reduce the gap and the Linden started the second half brightly with Sutherland and Steven Bouglas combining to set Conor Gracie away but Duns scrambled back.
Duns began to control more of the possession and they were rewarded when Duncan Budge plunged over with Wilkinson adding the conversion and a penalty soon after.
Injuries to Willison, Skeet and Greg Cunningham didn’t help the home cause and it was the visitors who had the final say with the last play of the game. They sucked in the home defence on one side of the field before spreading it wide to the other for Hutchison to run in for his second try of the day and his 100th in all for Duns 1st XV. Wilkinson converted from out wide.