2012/2013: Scottish Championship A



S. Lang15L. Tyley
R. Jericevich14D. Watson
H. O’Hare13K. Smith
(c) A. Henderson12B. McGroarty
A. Auld11M. Frizzell
T. Jericevich10C. Harrison
A. Gillman9A. McDougall
S. Spowart1D. Paton
J. Malcolm2S. Alexander
S. Gallacher3M. Lavelle
R. Jenkins4M. Gray
J. Auld5M. McDonald
D. Malcolm6A. Abernethy (c)
D. Kellock7G. Mooney
G. MacDonald8C. Robb
M. Kidd16D. Smith
R. Glen17A. Love
P. Harkins18S. Connolly
C. Binnie19
J. Auld, Glen, Henderson, JenkinsTryFrizzell (2), McGroarty, Mooney
T. Jericevich (4)ConFrizzell (2)
T. Jericevich (2)PenFrizzell
Mr D. Timson


GHA secured a bonus point victory over Greenock Wanderers in an enthralling end to a game which will go down as one of the most dramatic finishes in GHA history.

Greenock Wanderers took a 5 to nil lead after 5 minutes when Hefin O’Hare was turned over having made an excellent break from deep. The GHA defence was in disarray as Greenock spun it wide to their left wing Michael Fizzell who dove over in the corner. The two teams were evenly matched but Greenock’s prowess at the break down was the decisive factor for 70 minutes as they turned GHA over time and time again. O’Hare was forced from the field with an injury which meant a reshuffle in the GHA back line

The visitors continued in the ascendancy and Frizzell extended the lead on 11 minutes from a penalty after the GHA backline had crept offside at the breakdown. Stand-off Tane Jericevich slotted two penalty efforts in quick succession to narrow Wanderers’ lead to 8-6. On the stroke of half-time Greenock gained a good field position with a lineout deep inside GHA territory. Former skipper Matt Gray produced quality off the top ball and McDougall released his backline once more. Smith blasted into contact in the midfield channel and when the ball was recycled McGroarty needed no second invitation to barge over from 15 yards. Frizzell’s conversion secured a 15-6 lead for Wanderers at the interval.

The second half started badly for GHA as turn over ball once again allowed Greenock to stretch GHA out wide with their ever dangerous centre McGroarty who made yards up the left hand touch line before off loading to his winger Frizzell to score his second of the afternoon.

The GHA forwards brought GHA back within a score as Ryan Jenkins went over from a rolling maul. 20 to 13 to Greenock. Wanderers’ riposte was immediate when they were awarded a scrum 20 yards from the hosts’ goalline. A quick strike from Alexander allowed McDougall to spread the play and Harrison amazingly danced through the GHA rearguard before popping the try scoring pass to Mooney to touch down under the posts. Frizzell’s conversion gave the visitors a 27-13 advantage

Cue a remarkable ending. The GHA forwards, led by the teenage trio of James Malcolm (17), Scott Gallagher (18) and Grant MacDonald (18) hammered the Greenock defense scoring two tries in quick succession. The first saw Andy Henderson stretch over as he broke through inside the Greenock 22,  the second came from another rolling maul which allowed Robbie Glen to go over and Tane Jericevich leveled the scores at 27 all. There was 5 minutes remaining and GHA could sense a dramatic victory was on the cards.

GHA worked the ball up the field with some excellent phase play and as the clock ticked over the 80 minute mark, Jamie Auld found a half gap and bull dozed his way over for the winner and a bonus point. Tane kicked the conversion to give himself a perfect 6 from 6 for the day.

GHA Captain Andy Henderson feels the team showed great team spirit after coming back to
win. He said:

“The guys showed great character, showed a bit of confidence and belief that we
could come back. After we scored two tries to level it the momentum was with us and we were lucky that we just had enough time for Jamie Auld to barge over and score the winning try. I think we showed great character and spirit especially since we have a lot of young guys in
the team and hopefully they will take confidence from this. To score three tries and come back from 13 points down to win the match at the end was a brilliant feeling.”

Next week GHA travel to Dumfries for what is sure to be another tight encounter at one of
the most difficult away venues on the fixture list.

GHA captain Andy Henderson believes the team will have to be at their best to get the
victory. He said:

“We know from last season it will be a very tough game. They have some big strong
forwards and have good backs as well. We know it is going to be a tough test and it is difficult to play down at their patch. There are no easy games in this league and every game we have to be at our best.”

Next week GHA travel to Dumfries for what is sure to be another tight encounter at one of the most difficult away venues on the fixture list.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & Greenock Telegraph, Monday 24th September 2012

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