Monday, 12 March 2012

Almond Park - Livingston RFC

Livingston RFC 6-71 Musselburgh RFC

10th March 2012

For much of my life Livingston RFC were my local (or at least closest) rugby union club.  I sort of casually followed their results in the local rag, although never actually went along to see them.  Not even, I am now ashamed to admit, during that period in the 1980s when I lived well within walking distance of their Almond Park ground. 

So, in the spirit of Better Late Than Never, I drove across the Forth this particular afternoon, to lend my support to my former neighbours.  And, this very clearly was a club in need of all the support it could get, for season 20011/12 had turned into a real stinker.  Livingston RFC had succeeded in losing each and every one of their nineteen league matches thus far, shipping close to a 1,000 points along the way.  I noted with alarm that this afternoon’s visitors were league leaders Musselburgh.

Well, with a grim inevitability, the home defence managed to withstand the visitors’ onslaught for all of 90 seconds before Musselburgh’s David O’HAGAN ambled over for five points; the same chap then converting.  And thus began a pattern which unfolded throughout the remaining 78 minutes – Musselburgh scoring tries with at times embarrassing ease, although converting the darned things seemed to cause no end of difficulties.  I think they converted only two of their thirteen tries.  The pick of the lot was number 12, I thought, when James DOIG running out of options, kicked up the touchline -  a swift sprint and a fortuitous bounce later and he was in.  This score was significant for another reason, as it racked up Livingston’s 1,000th point conceded in league matches this season – which really takes some doing.  And it did set me pondering just what sort of league set-up we had in Scotland, where there could be such disparity between two sides in the same division.

By the time the unwanted milestone was reached, the Livingston support in attendance of 100 or so were a dispirited and dismayed lot.  A notable exception being a blonde lady, who stood behind one goal and never gave up bellowing alternatively encouragement then reproach in the direction of the home lads.  I smiled at one point, as she furiously scolded a Livingston player for not trying hard enough to push a ‘Burgh try scorer out wide in order to make the conversion kick more difficult – her team were 50 points down at the time!

The stand at Livingston RFC's Almond Park

Kubrick's Thousand-yard stare

Not quite sure how old this greying chap on the ground is,
but he put my waddlesome sloth to shame.

A busy, busy man.

Panorama of Almond Park, Livingston from the stand.

Looking North & East

Panorama of Livingston RFC's Almond Park.

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