Langholm 3-83 Berwick

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Berwick notched up another victory against a team playing in a higher league to secure the RBS Border Shield.

This will mean a long trip to Thurso to take on Caithness in the semi-final of the National Shield. Victory there would see them take part in the RBS Finals day which together with the promotion already secured would be a fine end to a successful season for the Scremerston outfit.

Berwick started the brighter of the two sides, but they were handicapped whenscrum half James Patterson was deemed to have taken the kicker out late resulting in him being sent to the sin bin for ten minutes.

With the penalty being awarded where the clearance had landed, Langholm’s Neil McCubin slotted the kick to give the homes side a 3-0 lead against the run of play.

The yellow card seemed to inspire Patterson’s teammates as they scored four quick fire tries when down to 14 men. Tom Riddle threw off the defensive shackles to power through for the firstscore and Gareth Hill slotted the conversion to give Berwick a 3-7 lead.

Straight from the kick off Berwick again burst forward before Jamie Young gathered the ball and went over for a rare try. Hill missed the conversion but Berwick were 3-12 in front.

Berwick were moving through the gears now and they scored another through back row Alex Frost. Again Hill missed the conversion, but Berwick were 3-17 in front.

Before Patterson rejoined the fray Berwick secured the try bonus point through number eight Ali Grieve with a push-over try.Hill converted to give them a 3-24 lead after only 18 minutes.

Patterson rejoined play and quickly made up for lost time by scoring a smart try. Hill missed the conversion – 3-29.

Langholm then put together their best sustained periods of pressure putting the Berwick try line under pressure. However, like so much of the season Berwick’s defence held and they were able to withstand the pressure before clearing.

From a scrum Grieve powered over for another score. Hill managed the conversion this time to make it 3-36 at half time.

Berwick’s relentless play continued in the second half as they ruthlessly killed off the home side. Grieve scored quickly after the restart after good recycling of the ball. Hill converted (as he was to do for another six tries scored in the second half) to make it 3-43.

The next score came from a catch and driving maul from a line out which allowed captain Gareth Black to touch down – 3-50. Grieve then scored again after good interplay from backs and forwards – 3-57.

Langholm were demoralised at this point and Berwick continued to show some excellent play to create space in the home side’s defence. Riddle exploited this space by claiming his second and Berwick’s tenth try. Hill converted to bring the score to 3-64.

Berwick’s 11th try came from hard working prop Tom Jackson who was on hand to run over after some clever play from Riddle and Graham – 3-71.

Gareth Hill then got onto the score sheet with a try which knocked the stuffing out of Langholm. He also added the conversion to the try to bring the score to 3-78 with a full 10 minutes still to go.

The game came to an unusual end with the referee blowing up with a full seven minutes to play. Immediately prior to the whistle Jack Webster got his name on the score sheet with Berwick’s 13th and last try of the game, which Hill converted to give Berwick a thoroughly deserved and convincing victory.