GHA RFC MATCH 201: KIRKCALDY RFC 35 – 20 GHA RFC
2010/2011: Scottish Premiership Two
|N. Cassie (c)
|(c) C. Harvey
|R. Van Rensberg
|G. Wallace, Sanft
|Mr C. Samson (Howe of Fife)
For both Kirkcaldy and GHA their Beveridge Park contest on Saturday was a must-win game. The home club achieved that, and the result left GHA to prop up the Premier Two table.
Ironically, the try-count was level, two apiece. The damage was done by Kirkcaldy goal-kicking,
though GHA could have little complaint about the defeat as they failed to utilise their undoubted
advantage in the pace of their outside backs. They were too readily drawn into a close-quarter game that better suited Kirkcaldy, though 15 minutes into the second half, down 13-22, the visitors still had a losing bonus point within their sights. Even that crumb slipped from their grasp.
Moreover, three sin-binnings were to prove costly for the visitors. Yet, even while down to 13 men in the final eight minutes, GHA had the urgency to grab their second try. It was created by Andrew Gillman’s quickly tapped penalty deep in the home 22 for Niall Cassie to ploughed, and Gillman converted.
Early on the portents were not good for GHA. Quintan Sanft too easily broke through to create a try for Greg Wallace after just six minutes. The try-maker also converted, and he was to continue to damage the GHA cause with seven penalty goals, a try, and a second conversion; 30 points in all for the Kirkcaldy stand-off.
Six minutes after that first Kirkcaldy try, with GHA turning on what was to become rare pressure, young Adam Barnett broke clear from a maul about 30 metres out. Jamie Pinder was up to continue the thrust close to the goal-line, but the rest of the support was not sharp enough to carry the attack to its ultimate.
Midway in the first half GHA did draw level when they exploited a Kirkcaldy knock-on for Pinder
to score. Gillman equalised with the conversion. Within six minutes, however, Kirkcaldy were 16-10 up with two Sanft goals. The first of those was a soft penalty, allegedly for obstruction, though it appeared to be no more than accidental offside as Ross McClymont endeavoured to avoid both friend and foe. Gillman then kicked one goal from two penalties, and Sanft finished off the first-half scoring with another, this from 40 metres out close to the right touchline.
Another Gillman miss early in the second was followed by another Sanft goal. That was 19-10 for Kirkcaldy after 47 minutes, and it was then that the wheels really started to fall off the GHA wagon, with Cassie sin-binned for complaining that a Kirkcaldy player had illegally fallen on Gillman after the GHA scrum half had dropped to ground to gather the ball from a Kirkcaldy kick to the visitors’ 22. That, without question, ought to have been a penalty against Kirkcaldy, and if that had been the way the script had gone then the sin-bin scenario would not have arisen. Sanft kicked the goal from that incident, and two minutes later the numbers were evened up with a Kirkcaldy sin-binning, from which Gillman had his second penalty goal. But two more goals from the home stand-off took the score to 28-13.
By then, the game was fast slipping away from GHA, all the more so because their scrum had been destabilised, spinning as if in the vortex of a tornado each time it was Gillman’s put-in. No scrum surely turns that fast under natural playing forces!
The final killer for GHA was when Paul Harkins and Geoff Warnock were sin-binned at the same time; one on a touch judge’s call, the other for killing the ball. Sanft quickly took advantage with his try and conversion, but the visitors still had enough spirit to take the game to opposition for Cassie’s try and Gillman’s second conversion. If only GHA had done more of that much earlier in the game …!
Source: Bill McMurtrie