2013/2014: Scottish National League



G. Raeburn15C. Binnie
C. Blyth14R. Jericevich
D. Mundy13H. O’Hare
R. Brown12A. Henderson (c)
N. Hogarth11J. Couper
D. Anderson10D. Dunn
S. McCormick9M. Houston
A. Clark1M. Kidd
M. Carryer2R. Wilson
P. Stewart3S. Carson
J. Swiatek4R. Glen
K. Clyde5J. Auld
K. Brown6R. Jenkins
A. Warnock7P. Harkins
 W. Kearney8A. Auld
A. Brown16M. Fox
C. McCann17S. Fisher
D. Hall18D. Larkin
S. Bulikiobo19J. Plumridge
20S. Lang
Anderson, Hogarth, KearneyTryA. Auld, Henderson
ConM. Houston (2)
Mr C. Rudkin (Hawick)


GHA were left to rue a number of spurned opportunities in the first half as this eminently winnable game slipped through their fingers.

GHA held the ascendancy for most of the first quarter, setting up camp in the Peebles 22 on 3 separate occasions but numerous surges for the line were held out by the staunch Peebles defence.

GHA’s kick off went straight into touch. Peebles took the scrum and Kearney picked up drove forward from half way and slipped the ball to Scott McCormick but the ball went to ground. GHA immediately got themselves into the game. They won a penalty and kicked to touch. A lineout 5m from the Peebles line was won and O’Hare, Glen and Henderson all had a drive at the Peebles line but all were thwarted by a good defence. Donald Anderson subsequently cleared the lines with a good touch find. However GHA continued to press and only a good tackle by Mundy kept the scoreline at bay.

Peebles had again managed to keep the GHA attacks out and in 14 mins Scott McCormick broke from a ruck. He linked well with Adam Clark, he was stopped and he set up good ball which was transferred to the Peebles backs and Conor Blyth was stopped on the GHA 22. GHA were penalised and Greg Raeburn put the home team in front.

For the next 20 or so minutes, play was even. Jono Swaitek was having a great day. His lineout takes were good and in the loose he was breaking the GHA line on every occasion. His tackling about the pitch was also very good (His Grand father Waddie would have been pleased). Swaitek is proving to be an asset to Peebles.

It was not until the 37th minutes that Peebles increased their lead. Donald Anderson with the wind at his back put in a long touch kick to 5m from the visitors line. From the GHA lineout Peebles were awarded a penalty Capt. Kearney elected to kick for touch. Swaitek won the lineout and Peebles put on a quick drive and Warren Kearney touched down for the 1st try of the day.

GHA hit back immediately and before half time they reduced the lead to 8 – 7. They moved the ball from left to right before Andy Henderson broke the defence and scored near the posts, scrum half Houston added the conversion. In injury time GHA kicked long into touch in the Peebles half. Connor Blyth took a quick throw in. The ball was like a ‘Hot Tattie’ as it was thrown along the backs with each pass being worse than the previous. The ball not surprisingly went to ground on or near the Peebles 22. Henderson even at his age pounced on this loose ball passed to No. 8 Auld and he scored under the posts. Houston again converted. In the space of about 5 minutes or less Peebles had gone from 8 – 0 up to 8 – 14 down.

Two minutes into the second period Peebles were awarded a free kick on half way Swiatek took the tap quickly and drove forward beating the defence and making it into the visitors 22. This was good thinking by the second row and if his team mates and been alert more may have come from his quick thinking. Two minutes later GHA had a great piece of luck. With the wind at their backs they kicked long from their own half. The crowd thought the ball would with the wind go dead and Peebles would be awarded a scrum back. Not the case. The ball bounced at 90 degrees and found touch in the corner but from the lineout Peebles cleared their line.

From a scrum inside the visitors 22 Conor McCann who had replaced Keiran Brown put pressure on the GHA stand Off and he was forced to touch down behind his own line and concede a scrum 5. From the scrum Peebles had a couple of darts at the line before it was passed along through the hands of McCormick, Ross Brown and to Neil Hogarth who scored in the corner.

Now only one point behind, Peebles pushed for a winner. In 60th minute good play between backs and forwards resulted in play being kept in the GHA half of the field. From a line out Scott McCormick who made several good breaks and kept the visitors back row on their toes passed to Donald Anderson, he side stepped inside the defence and linked well with Greg Raeburn who had come into the line on the right. Raeburn left several defenders in his wake before passing back inside to Donald Anderson who scored out wide. The difficult converson into the wind failed. Now 18 – 14 up Peebles should have gone further in front when Mundy got through the defence on half way and with 45 to run with nobody in front of him he was tap tacked by a despairing defender, he managed to get a pass inside to Connor Blyth but the ball went to ground.

Right on the final whistle after good work again by Swaitek, Warren Kearney sprinted in from 35 m only to be brought back for a knock, much to the dismay of the home crowd.

This was a much improved performance from last weekend for GHA yet it is perhaps even more disappointing as the win was most definitely there for the taking but for a disappointing second half performance. GHA’s next league match will be at home to Selkirk who are also chasing their first win of the season.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & Peebles RFC, Monday 2nd September 2013

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