2009/2010: Scottish Premiership Two



G. Taylor15C. Harvey (c)
R. Watson14A. Tasker
(c) N. Cassie13C. Goodall
R. McClymont12I. Gillies
C. Binnie11J. Webster
J. Noonan10Q. Sanft
A. Gillman9G. McKenzie
J. Low1M. Thomson
G. King2G. Wallace
A. Kelly3W. Gray
G. Warnock4S. Porter
R. Jenkins5K. Fraser
J. Auld6M. Harvey
A. Boag7R. Van Rensberg
D. Kellock8C. Wilson
T. Peyton16J. Brown
M. Gurran17G. Nelson
P. MacLeod18R. Venters
G. Jones19C. McConnell
Binnie, Boag, Cassie, Gillman, Gurran, McClymontTryWilson (3), Webster
Noonan (4)ConSanft (2)
Mr G. Tweedale (Stonehouse)


What a difference a week makes! GHA set the Hawick horror behind them and ran in six tries in beating Kirkcaldy on Saturday in the Scottish Hydro Premier Two match in ideal rugby conditions at Braidholm. It was their first four-try bonus of the season, and the maximum-points haul lifted GHA up to eighth in the table.

Moreover, success extended down through the ranks. The second team also beat their Kirkcaldy counterparts, and in a third match at Braidholm the Gazelles defeated Glasgow Hawks. Away from home, the Braidholm XV beat Birkmyre, and they top the table in the West League’s third division. All of them, like the first XV, collected a four-try bonus, and the under-18 team won as well.

Andy Boag, Niall Cassie, Andrew Gillman, Chris Binnie, Mike Gurran, and Ross McClymont scored GHA’s tries in the Premier Two game. Gurran, a 23-year-old New Zealander, arrived in Glasgow less than 24 hours before the kick-off, and though he started on the bench, he wasted no time in marking his presence on the scoresheet after he had joined the contest for the second half. He was on the field for barely 10 minutes when he picked up from a blocked Kirkcaldy kick and galloped in from more than 20 metres.

Another debutant, Josh Low, made his mark in the first half, particularly in the scrummage. The 18-year-old was unfazed by the step-up to the first XV and fitted in admirably to the loose-head role.

Jim Noonan opened the scoring with a penalty goal in seven minutes following sustained pressure. But he then missed two penalties and a couple of conversions before he found success again by adding the points to tries number three to six, one from tight on each touchline.

GHA were eight points up within three minutes of Noonan’s first goal. Rory Watson broke up the right touchline, and though the wing was caught close to the line the support was with him as Cassie linked to send Boag over. The flanker went on to make so much of an over-all impression on the game that he won the man-of-the-match award.

Quintin Sanft was short with a 40-metres penalty attempt for the visitors, but the flow continued to be in GHA’s favour as Kirkcaldy fell foul of a referee who applied the contact and breakdown laws as they ought to be. A Gillman thrust into the Kirkcaldy 22 deserved better than a Noonan miss, and more than half an hour had past before GHA scored again. From a ruck set up by Binnie just inside the visitors 22 Cassie arced round to the blind side and ran down the left touchline to score at the corner.

Immediately, GHA struck again, though it was from what seemed no more than a speculative cross-kick to the right by Boag. A forward kicking for position? But Gillman was to profit as he sped on to a kind bounce to gather and score at the posts.

Noonan kicked the first of his four conversions, and GHA led 20-0 going into first-half added time. But in the 10 minutes straddling the interval Craig Wilson scored twice for Kirkcaldy from close-range scrums. Sanft converted the second of these, and the home lead was down to 20-12.

But GHA responded with two quick-fire tries. Gregg Taylor sprinted down the left touchline from a Noonan cross-kick, and Binnie was there in support to score the bonus-point try. It was then that Gurran grabbed his debut try, and GHA led 34-12 only 12 minutes into the second half.

Going into the final quarter, Geoff Warnock and Chris McConnell were sin-binned in a single incident, and soon afterwards Wilson scored his third try, also from a close-range scrum. Sanft again converted.

GHA were not finished. The contest was close to added time when McClymont chipped ahead about 22 metres out and won the race to score. But with the final play of the day, four minutes into overtime, Jordan Webster snatched a bonus point for Kirkcaldy.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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