Linden forced to dig deep for bonus point win

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PIECES of individual skill were the difference as Hawick Linden eventually overcame a stuffy Lismore outfit.

That was the view of captain Barry Sutherland and he admitted he was happy to forget about the match, take the five points and move on to next week.

He said: “If it wasn’t for strong running from Greg Thomson and Steven Bouglas and a quality off load from Conor Gracie, we would have struggled to win never mind get a bonus point.”

The Royal Blues backs were threatening whenever they had the ball and they opened the scoring with a beauty as Steven Bouglas made ground and fed Gracie who returned the favour with a lovely one-handed pass. As the cover closed in Bouglas kicked on and Thomson picked up sweetly to secure a cracking length-of-the-field try. Sutherland converted.

The visiting forwards began to take control of the ball but despite a long period of pressure the home defence held out.

After 26 minutes Greg Cunningham cleaned up well at a lineout and when the ball was released to the backs, fullback Thomson made a lovely intrusion into the line to create another great try as Greg Bouglas went over.

Lismore were back on the attack when a surging run by their No. 6, who had been forced into the backs by an injury, created the field position for the visiting tight head to drive over for a converted try.

Shortly before the break Greg Bouglas was stretchered off with a leg injury to add to the Linden’s lengthy injury list.

The second half saw the visiting pack take a stranglehold on the game nullifying the threat of the home backs and starving them of possession.

After defending for a long period the Linden unwisely took a quick drop out that went straight out. From the scrum, a good angle from the Lismore centre allowed his supporting open side to go over and the conversion put the Edinburgh side in the lead for the first time.

The Linden responded immediately when a fine run by Steven Bouglas led to Sutherland dropping a goal to retake the lead.

Blair Irving then fielded a kick and some good hands led to a score from Steven Bouglas.

And the Royal Blues clinched the match and the bonus point with a spectacular try as Thomson flew up the cricket field touchline to score. Sutherland’s conversion added the final points of the game.