Exemplary effort from beaten Hawick Linden

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HAWICK linden6

Showing six changes from last week’s trip to Linlithgow, the prospects did not look good againfor Linden as they travelled to Edinburgh to take on Forrester.

However, they made a great start and probably shaded things in the first 25 minutes, having worked extremely hard to take a narrow lead. Alas a costly interception try saw the momentum swing and the home team start to take control.

The visitors were caught out by a neat chip to the corner in the 14th minute and the home winger won the race for the touchdown. The Royal Blues responded well with some thundering charges by skipper Gary Wardle and two Steven Beattie penalty goals put them 6-5 ahead after 24 minutes.

Just before the half-hour mark came the crucial interception as Linden tried to play their way out from deep and the Forrester stand-off read the situation to stroll over and convert.

Linden were still well in the game but any chance of a positive outcome started to slip away as half-time approached.

Firstly, Forrester scored a lovely converted try through their full-back, following nice handling after a lineout. Then, deep into injury time, with Ryan Beattie receiving treatment, the remaining seven forwards couldn’t contain a controlled lineout drive and the try took the Forrester lead to 24-6 at the break.

Two second-half touchdowns for Forrester, both resulting from good lineout play, the second nonchalantly converted by their wing forward from out wide, stretched the score to 34-6. Linden then had a long period of pressure in the home 22 but they couldn’t break down a stonewall defence.

Almost typically, the next score was at the other end although it was somewhat controversial. The teams seemed set for a lineout when Forrester took a quick throw-in away from the mark and got in behind the Linden defence in the 22. When they chipped ahead, full-back Steven Beattie tackled the player without the ball for an unquestionable penalty and yellow card.

However, although there were other Linden players converging, the referee awarded a penalty try and Beattie’s frustration took over and, when he spoke out of turn, the official showed him a red card.

The easy conversion was added and a further seven pointer followed with the game well into injury time to bring up a half-century for the home team.

In the end, a well-deserved victory for Forrester but a tough final scoreline for Linden to take after being in the game for so much longer than has recently been the case. The effort was exemplary as they fought hard and tackled like demons from beginning to end.

Gary Wardle gave a captain’s lead with some excellent runs off retreating scrum ball, often making more yards than looked possible. The front five stuck manfully to their task, and in the backs, Graeme Anderson made a welcome return with some trademark big tackles.