2003/2004: Scottish Cup 4th Round



M. Parsons15S. O’Donnell
J. Cuthbertson14R. Watson
13R. West
D. Hughes12
11I. Kennedy
P. Arnold10
9S. Cowan
5 I. Smith
G. Mitchell7
M. Heyl8 L. Hazelton
S. Robson16
Heyl, ParsonsTryCowan, Hazelton, Smith, Watson, West
ArnoldConO’Donnell (2), Kennedy

GHA took the opportunity to put their depressing league form to one side with a hard fought victory over Grangemouth a Glensburgh. Considering Grangemouth’s equally wretched form to date, this was a performance that raised some hope for improvement in the second half of their league campaign – despite defeat at the hands of the side languishing at the bottom of the Premiership. Grangemouth controlled much of the game up front and had the back division performed in a similar manner the result could well have been different.

True to form, Grangemouth conceded the first penalty two minutes into the match but survived the pressure that followed when the visitors elected to kick for touch in the corner. GHA actually crossed the Grangemouth line from the ensuing set scrum but the referee ruled that a double movement occurred in grounding the ball.

A good clearance by fullback Mike Parsons finally got Grangemouth into the visitors’ half, and a break by their outside half Paul Arnold, supported by Grant Mitchell, led to No.8 Mike Heyl driving over next to the posts. Arnold added the conversion points and this prompted discussion between Grangemouth supporters as to how long it had been since their team had opened the scoring in a league match.

GHA struck back five minutes later when their scrum half Cowan stole round the fringe of a maul to sprint 40 metres for a touchdown in the corner. There was no conversion, so Grangemouth still led as the game went into the second quarter but this was to be the turning point. The visitors used their big pack to advantage with a take and drive from a lineout near the line and Smith scored, O’Donnell adding the conversion.

Paul Arnold pulled a penalty wide and Grangemouth were soon back defending their line. Last ditch tackles by Jordan Cuthbertson and Donald Hughes prevented further scoring until a minute before the break when poor defence let Lewis Hazelton in for a try converted by O’Donnell.

The visitors led 19-7 at the turn around and it took a try-saving tackle by Mike Parsons to prevent the visitors stretching their lead. But they eventually did when centre Ross West carved through for a try from halfway. Simon Robson, who had come on after the break, made some impressive runs but there was a lack of finishing power in the Grangemouth attack and it was the visitors who scored again nine minutes before the end when their winger Watson ran in for a try between the posts. Iain Kennedy converted.

Not for the first time this season, it was too little too late when, after a series of good drives by the forwards the ball was fed out for Parsons to score in the corner.

Source: BBC Sport, Saturday 22nd November 2003 / The Scotsman, Monday 24th November 2003 & The Falkirk Herald, Friday 28th November 2003

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