2009/2010: Scottish Premiership Two



 (c) S. Swankie15M. Dunn
A. Hutt14C. Binnie
S. Gracie13N. Cassie (c)
R. Truesdale12R. McClymont
S. Mormon11P. Hilley
N. Kitching10J. Noonan
J. Bruton9A. Gillman
 A. Warneford1G. Warnock
G. Valentine2I. Nelson
G. McColl3A. Kelly
G. Simmiss4M. Gurran
G. Meyer5I. Smith
K. McGregor6J. Auld
J. Lawrie7J. Pinder
S. Laurie8D. Kellock
 D. Jennings16M. Kidd
M. Fellows17R. Jenkins
R. Gribbons18D. Stoddart
N. Campbell19G. Taylor
KitchingTryKellock (2), McClymont, Pinder, Stoddart
ConNoonan (3)
Mr F. Balharry (Caledonia RS)


GHA notched five tries and five championship points in beating Dunfermline at McKane Park on Saturday. It was their second scoring bonus point of the season. The five points did not change GHA’s league position. They are still eighth in the Scottish Hydro Premier 2 table, but they are now closer to seventh place than ninth.

Dominic Kellock had two of the tries. Two of his fellow forwards, Jamie Pinder and young David Stoddart, scored one each, as did Ross McClymont. Jim Noonan added the extras to three tries and kicked a penalty goal as well as twice striking a goalpost with conversion attempts.

McClymont’s try was the bonus-point score 25 minutes into the second half. But GHA really had should have had that extra point in the bag by half-time. So dominant were they in possession and position that the first 40 minutes were played almost exclusively in the Dunfermline half of the field.

Ian Smith was a key figure in the lineout, not least in winning touchline ball for the first try after only nine minutes. Mike Curran carried on, and the rest of the pack piled in to drive over for Kellock to score. Noonan converted from the left.

McClymont was the most impressive of the GHA backs throughout the game, testing the home defence at almost every opportunity, most notably when he broke from close to the Dunfermline 10-metre line and was denied only in the right corner. GHA made nothing of that. Nor could they capitalise on numerical advantage after James Lawrie’s sin-binning.

It was only at the end of the first half, after the home numbers were restored to 15, that GHA scored again. Once more a Smith lineout take was the catalyst. The pack drove, Pinder scored, and Noonan converted again from well out on the left for 14-0 at half-time.

GHA started the second half brightly with Noonan’s penalty goal from 24 metres and Kellock’s second try, a score set up by McClymont’s elusive run into the left corner and then battering-ram work by the forwards, notably Gurran and Andrew Kelly. Noonan’s goal kick hit woodwork, but GHA had a comfortable 22-0 lead only eight minutes into the second half.

It was then that Dunfermline had their first genuine chance of a try, when Gerhart Meyer was denied close to the line after he had latched on to GHA’s loose lineout ball. Then, in 58 minutes, the visitors lost Kelly into the sin-bin as Dunfermline continued to press.

GHA survived that threat, and ironically they were still short-handed when the bonus point was secured. Patrick Hilley kicked ahead, Chris Binnie won the contest on the chase, and McClymont backed his pace to run in from more than 20 metres. Again Noonan’s kick hit a post.

GHA completed their scoring in 74 minutes when Hilley chased up the left touchline to open the way for 18-year-old replacement Stoddart to pounce for his try. Noonan converted.

It was only then that Dunfermline found the means to notch their only score, Neibert Kitching escaping to run in from fully 20 metres. But he failed to convert his own try.

Late in the game, too, GHA had the opportunity to introduce another 18-year-old, Matthew Kidd, for a replacement appearance. Six under-19 players have now played for GHA this season. The starting XV at Dunfermline included the 17-year-old Jamie Auld on the blind side, and among the replacements were Stoddart and Kidd. At various times earlier this season Josh Low, Chris Lansburgh, and Ben Farrell, all also aged 18, have been in the club’s Premiership match squad.

Not only is the future bright with such youngsters coming through to the first team but the appearance of so many introduced to the first-team squad in the first half of the league season is a reflection of the health of the club’s junior section and the wealth of the coaching ability at that level.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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