GHA Gazelles 7 Dalziel 3 XV 22

With five call-offs and one player moving up to Braidholm in the couple of hours before kick off, only Zander McIlwham and Jim Clarke coming off the injured and sick list allowed some hasty reconstruction to get a team on the park, the park itself being a last minute tactical switch to the tighter confines of Pitch 3.

Given the far from ideal preparation, it was surprising then that the Gazelles dominated the early part of the game, using the strong wind and forward power to keep Dalziel in their own 22 for much of the time. This pressure culminated in Lawson squirming to the line after several drives were held up, but the referee considered that the ball did not cross.

Immediately after, and much against the run of play, the Dalziel left winger broke away and tore down the touchline, winning the footrace against a heroic covering run from MacGillivray to score an unconverted try.

Before half time, Dalziel added a second converted try after their backs took advantage of midfield space afforded by our unfamiliar threequarter line-up.

After half time, and now into the wind, GHA worked hard to get back on terms. In the previous two games, the forwards have scored eight of the nine tries. But some classic back play from first phase ball notched up one for the backs, and indeed provided the Gazelles’ only score of the day.

At a lineout on the Dalziel 22, an accurate throw from McIlwham was taken cleanly by Harkness, set up by the pack, and the ball was whipped along the line to the intruding MacGillivray. The Pastry Express took the ball at pace, cutting through the Dalziel defence like a sledgehammer through butter. McLean made no mistake with the conversion.

Ultimately, though, the Dalziel pool proved too strong on the day, and in the last quarter of the game, turned the tables on GHA, turning possession and territorial advantage into a further two converted tries.

The final score of 22-7 was a somewhat harsh reward for a dogged performance from a team which bore little resemblance to the original selection.

GHA Gazelles
I. MacGillivray, G. Summers, A. Dalziel-Guest, C. Miller, C. Hodgson, R. Lawson A.McLean, D. Marshall ( J.Clarke, 50 mins ), M.McKee, D. Gowan, J. Harkness, I. Grierson, M. Booth, Z.McIlwham ( D. Marshall, 70 mins ), S.Burns

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