2008/2009: Scottish Premiership Two



G. Taylor15
P. Hilley14 N. Watt
N. Cassie13
A. Rushforth12
R. McClymont11
J. Noonan10J. Peters
A. Gillman9S. Johnston
J. Coffey1
J. Pinder2
A. Kelly3
A. Williamson4Q. Caulfield
I. Smith5
P. Harkins6
A. Boag7
D. Chaney8
A. McCormick16
G. Warnock17
R. Jenkins18
R. Jericevich19
Cassie, McClymont, WarnockTryJohnston
Noonan (2)ConPeters


GHA once again took full advantage of playing at Braidholm by securing the points against Haddington.

The match kicked off in near perfect conditions for November with GHA keen to contain a Haddington side buoyed by last weeks win against Peebles. Neil Watt got an early opportunity to stretch his legs whilst Quinton Caulfield was doing well to steal a few lineouts on the opposition throw early on, however, GHA seemed to have the upper hand in the scrums and offered more going forward with ball in hand. As the match settled, GHA began to press the Scarlets back into their own half and had the majority of ball in which to threaten. Stand Off, Jim Noonan was unlucky with a couple of missed penalty opportunities during this period. Haddington will have been pleased to keep the score level after the opening quarter but were rocked soon after when centre, Niall Cassie ghosted outside the Haddington defenders to cruise home from the half way line for a 5 – 0 lead. Jamie Peters soon had a chance to narrow the gap but his penalty attempt drifted just wide. As half time approached, GHA doubled their try tally with another lapse in concentration by Haddington allowing winger, Ross McClymont the simplest of scores as he waltzed through the Scarlets rearguard. This time Noonan added the extras to stretch the lead to a deserved 12 – 0. With barely a minute remaining Sam Johnston cleverly took a quick free kick and caught the home side napping as they scrambled back, however, GHA were penalised in the process and Jamie Peters reduced the deficit as the first half was brought to a close.

Haddington started the second half with more urgency and took the game to GHA with some direct and purposeful running into the heart of their opponents. Callum Cockburn was first to show with a fine run deep into the GHA 22 and after the ball was taken on by the forwards with several pick and drives, it was Sam Johnston who eventually found the yard of space to dive over. Peters kicked the conversion and the Scarlets now only trailed by 2 points at 12 – 10. Haddington were worrying the Glasgow side at this point and had them back pedalling with several telling breaks throughout the second period. Callum Mark made a great run over 40 metres, beating a number of GHA players on the way, but in the act of scoring, a last-gasp lunge by a GHA defender knocked the ball from his clutches as he was about to celebrate. The Scarlets also missed another penalty soon after as the pressure was telling on GHA. The Glasgow side weathered the storm though and managed to keep their line intact during this spell and it turned out to be the Scarlets that were left to rue their luck when GHA scored next on a rare visit into the Scarlets 22. Again it seemed all too easy when GHA Sub, Geoff Warnock, found himself in the right place at the right time to cross the whitewash after the Scarlets had been sucked out of position. Noonan stroked over the easy conversion for a nine-point lead that now had the Scarlets chasing the game, when it could so easily have been the other way around. Going into the last quarter, Haddington continued to throw everything at GHA with again Mark and fellow centre, Euan Herkes, who had replaced Donald Snodgrass early in the match, making clean breaks towards the GHA goal-line, however, lack of support or a small infringement would prove the Achilles heel yet again to the Scarlets hopes of adding to their score.

Source: Haddington Rugby Football Club, Saturday 1st November 2008

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