Mar 20 2009 by Clair Fullarton, Kilmarnock Standard
ON a dry, windy day at Bellsland, Kilmarnock hosted second placed league contenders Linlithgow last Saturday. A valiant effort by the home team ended in vain as they lost 15-8.
From the Linlithgow kick off, Kilmarnock mounted two attacks, but were penalised for holding on the ground, and full back Matt Dixon slotted over the penalty for an early lead.
For over half an hour Kilmarnock held the heavier pack and well drilled backs at bay. Kilmarnock countered on several occasions but were unable to convert pressure into points.
In the final minutes of the half Kilmarnock's full back Ali McWhirter failed with a penalty kick from 30 metres, but landed a second attempt on the stroke of half time to level the scores 3-3.
In the second half Linlithgow looked more intent and dominated the early passages of play. Following several backline moves, the heavy visiting pack forced a scrum five and the number eight picked up and drove over for a converted try, 10-3.
Ten minutes later Linlithgow fielded two substitutes and increased their lead with an unconverted try scored by the rumbling forwards.
Kilmarnock played more controlled rugby than in recent games and continued searching for a score. They mounted a series of attacks in the closing minutes which paid off as centre Steven Whittet broke through the defence and released a low pass which was caught by winger Kris Milligan who scored near the touchline.
Ali McWhirter failed with the conversion as time ran out.
Coach Paul Meehan was well pleased with the disciplined team display particularly in the first half.
No game this Saturday for the first XV as Scotland face England at Twickenham.