2008/2009: Scottish Premiership Two



15A. Rushforth
D. Anderson14R. Jericevich
MacDonald13N. Cassie
A. Smellie12M. Dunn
11R. McClymont
D. Boughtwood10J. Noonan
D. Moore9A. Gillman
1J. Coffey
2G. King
N. Clark3D. McKay
4A. Williamson
5G. Warnock
Jackson6P. Harkins
D. Sangster7A. Boag
I. Rodger8J. Pinder
N. Hogarth16M. Coffey
17D. Kellock
18P. Bennett
19B. Edgar
Aitken, Hogarth, SangsterTry
Boughtwood (2)Con
Boughtwood (4)PenNoonan (2)


Following a red day at Inverleith on day one, the Gytes men secured their first league points of the season against one of the main contenders for promotion.

Tries by Neil Hogarth, Donald Sangster and Willie Aitken and two conversions and four penalties from the boot of Dan Boughtwood accounted for Peebles’ points on a day when the early ran had threatened to curtail what turned into an entertaining fixture.

Coach Bruce McNaughton said “This was a good day at the office for us today. On paper GHA are one of the favourites in the division. We knew we had to compete with their bigger pack and not allow them to settle and dominate the game. We played the difficult conditions better than them and did not allow them to settle for one minute.”

Peebles were buoyed by the return of Neil Clark to the front row after his red card was overturned on Friday night, giving the plucky prop clearance to take up the number 3 shirt. The only other change of personnel was Jackson replacing the injured Andrew Sangster at blindside flanker.

Peebles started the game in typical feisty fashion but were forced into an early change when scrum-half Moore was replaced by Hogarth following a hamstring injury. Hogarth took his place on the wing, allowing the versatile David Anderson to take over at scrum-half. Hogarth made an immediate impact. Following the home teams first points coming from a penalty from Dan Boughtwood, the winger was on the end of some fine passing from the backs to zoom over in the Tweed corner.

Peebles continued to dominate and despite GHA kicking a penalty to reduce the deficit, Boughtwood struck again with the boot prior to Peebles second try of the first half. After fine work form Donald Sangster, who has a terrific knack of being able to break the gain line from static ball, put Peebles on the front foot, the barging Keen went close and after quickly recycled ball, Captain Aitken was on hand to dive over. The try was a good reward for the home pack who, despite their lack of size, bullied their Glasgow counterparts through fitness and gyle and dominated the set piece exchanges.

The reliable Boughtwood kept the Peebles scoreboard ticking over and the second half saw the impressive Peebles back row of Jackson Sangster and Rodger scavenge and heerang and every opportunity.

The Peebles centres of Smellie and MacDonald also stood out and looked comfortable swapping attacking flurries with watertight defence. The team were rewarded with their third try with 10 minutes remaining as Sangster, following numerous phases, bulldozed through the tired GHA centres for a well-deserved try.

Despite coming close to securing the four-try bonus point with the last play of the game, the large hoe support could leave the Gytes satisfied with a performance that gets the Peebles league points off the mark.

Peebles President Jim Currie said: “The boys played well today. I thought they got stuck in right from the start and it’s good to see a few of the young boys beginning to find their feet in this league.” A point echoed by Captain and man of the match Willie Aitken: “I’m really proud of the boys today, and to re-iterate Jim’s point, we’re a fairly young team and I think we’re going to get better as we get used to the higher intensity.”

Source: The Peebleshire News, Friday 12th September 2008

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