2009/2010: Scottish Premiership Two



P. Taylor15G. Taylor
M. Lieberum14P. Hilley
P. Nelson13N. Cassie (c)
C. Scott12R. McClymont
R. Strelow11C. Binnie
M. Bennedick10J. Noonan
R. Lawson9A. Gillman
M. Dixon1G. Warnock
N. Shannon2J. Low
C. McConnachie3A. Kelly
S. Brand4M. Gurran
M. Douglas5R. Jenkins
S. Warnock6J. Auld
T. McGinness7A. Boag
(c) B. Russell8D. Kellock
B. Henderson16C. Landsburgh
C. McCaul17D. Stoddart
M. Oatey18M. Dunn
A. Robertson19G. Jones
RussellTryGurran, Hilley
LawsonConNoonan (2)


On a day more suited to water polo than Rugby football, Aberdeen Grammar and GHA took the field at Rubislaw in front of a good crowd who had braved the elements to support their respective teams.

With the gale force wind swirling around the pitch, and with heavy driving rain, Aberdeen kicked off, straight to James Noonan who managed to kick clear back up to near the half way line. From the resulting line out, Grammar retained possession but were penalised for holding the ball in a ruck and a Noonan kick took play back up field. Aberdeen continued to attack strongly and from a line out, only a good tackle from Andy Boag saved the day.

Noonan continued to clean up much of the Grammar attacking kicks, ably assisted by Greg Taylor who had one huge kick ahead to the Aberdeen 22 metre line. After 20 minutes play, GHA were awarded a penalty kick for “handling in the ruck and James Noonan made no mistake with a kick at goal from the Grammar 22 to open the scoring (0-3)

From the restart, Grammar took play to the GHA 22 metre line where the visitors were penalised for a high tackle on an attacker. The Grammar scrum half Rob Lawson made no mistake with the kick, to level the scores. (3-3)

Soon after, Greg Taylor had to leave the field with a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Greg Jones.

In 30 minutes, a well judged kick by Noonan, to the stand side of the field, bounced awkwardly for the defending winger and Patrick Hilley cleverly and deftly chipped the ball ahead and beat both winger and full back to the touch down. (3-8). James Noonan was successful with a difficult conversion to put his side further ahead (3-10). At this point Jamie Auld was replaced by David Stoddart.

Ross McClymont and Niall Cassie were making some telling tackles in midfield and an attempted clearance by Grammar was charged down by new boy Mike Gurran who repeated his try scoring prowess from the previous week by touching down for his second club try. (3-15). James Noonan brought out full points with a good conversion.

Half-Time Score: Aberdeen Grammar Rugby 3 – 17 GHA

James Noonan kicked off the second half and GHA took play up to the Aberdeen 22 metre line where the home side were penalised for a handling offence. Noonan’s kick at goal was blown just wide of the near side upright. Aberdeen Grammar then took play well into the GHA half and from a resulting line out, the referee awarded the home side a free kick for “closing the gap” at the line out. Grammar were quick to exploit the disarray in the visitors’ defence and it was no surprise when Billy Russell ran in for a well taken try. (8-17). Scrum half Rob Lawson then added to the score-line with a conversion. (10-17).

With 20 minutes of the half remaining, both sides continued to press forward in the attack, but good tackling and the disadvantages of incessant freezing rain and a swirling wind negated much of the good play. Ross McClymont had one excellent clearing kick to deep into the Grammar half but was impeded and gratefully accepted the “double” penalty, taking play to the home 22. Grammar successfully defended their line and took play back into the visitors’ half where they were awarded a penalty which was kicked wide of the posts by Rob Lawson.

Play continued to swing from end to end and as tiredness took its toll, Grammar managed to bring the ball up field and set up a succession of rucks on the GHA line. It was apparent that with 5 minutes over time played, the match was all but over, as Grammar camped on the goal line. Eventually from a surge ahead, the referee raised his arm aloft, not to award a try as the home support had anticipated but, cruelly, to penalise the attempted scorer for making a “double move.” The penalty kick to touch was gratefully taken by James Noonan and the visitors had won an extremely hard victory.

Full-Time Score: Aberdeen Grammar Rugby 10 – 17 GHA

Back in the club-house, the concensus of opinion was that the match probably should not have been played in such conditions but credit must be given to both sides for the spirited way they played in what was a very sporting encounter. Tribute should also be paid to the match officials for their contribution to the match and of course to the Aberdeen Grammar Rugby committee for allowing the game to go ahead and for their hospitality.

This result, despite the BBC TV text service getting it totally wrong, means that GHA have beaten the sides currently first and second in the Scottish Hydro Electric Premier League Division 2, and next Saturday sees Gala coming to Braidholm for a 2 p.m. kick off.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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