2010/2011: Scottish Premiership Two



C. Parker15D. Dunn
R. Peacock14R. Jericevich
M. Thomson13R. McClymont
S. James12A. Rushforth
S. Watson11R. O’Keefe
C. Lavery10J. Noonan
D. Reive9M. Houston
K. Anderson1G. Warnock
M. Rutherford2D. Malcolm
S. Faamausili3M. Kidd
G. Owens4R. Jenkins
S. Tutaia5D. Kellock
A. Cairns6P. Harkins
L. McLachlan7M. Strydom
S. Cameron8J. Pinder
C. Arthur16I. Nelson
M. Dunlop17J. Clark
M. Hamilton18S. Shearer
R. McLatchie19P. Hilley
James, PeacockTryHilley, Jericevich, O’Keefe, Pinder, Rushforth
ConHouston (3)
Parker (3)PenHouston (2)
Mr A. Ireland (SRU)


Saturday was the 25th of this month. Not December! But it was gift day at Biggar as GHA overturned a 3-19 interval deficit and scored 34 points without reply in the second half, including a blitz of four tries in the space of eight minutes. In all, the visitors had five tries, three of them from charged-down kicks and one from turn-over ball on GHA’s own goal-line.

It was their first win of the Premier Two season, and they had the added satisfaction of taking maximum points. Theirs was a happy return to base and on to celebrate Jamie Pinder’s birthday, albeit 24 hours late.

Even GHA supporters came home from Hartreemill with gifts. Two of the first three prizes in Biggar’s pre-match raffle went to visitors. Those off-field gains looked like being GHA’s only successes, even though Murray Houston gave GHA an early lead with a penalty goal after Ruairi O’Keefe’s kick and chase had pressurised the home team.

Biggar responded with tries by Simeon James and Richard Peacock, and though Craig Parker failed to convert either of those he was successful with three penalties, the last of those in first-half added time for a 16-point lead. It could well have been a wider margin as Biggar, with the advantage of a diagonal breeze, dominated the first half in terms of both possession and position, but they were thwarted by not only GHA’s dogged defence but also by their own failure to finalise what they had started.

GHA had one golden chance of a try midway in first half, when they were down 3-11. Rangi Jericevich’s searing break up the right touchline sent Pinder away to the post, but the score was chalked off as the wing had had a foot in touch before he released the infield support. Had the try been allowed, it would have been the best of the match. Ironic!!

After the interval, however, GHA were not so wasteful as Biggar had been in the first 40 minutes. Their first opportunity came only 18 seconds into the second half, when Patrick Hilley charged down an attempted clearance and grabbed the chance to run in from about 25 metres out. Houston converted, and it was “game on” as Jim Noonan and company, utilising the breeze, played the ball behind the opposition. But nearly an hour had gone in the game before GHA scored again, O’Keefe running the length of the pitch after Biggar had knocked only a couple of strides from the goal-line.

Houston missed the conversion, but from the restart GHA scored again as Noonan’s return kick put enough pressure on the opposition for another chargedown. Paul Harkins galloped almost to the posts before Andrew Rushforth finished off on the left, Houston converting for 22-19. The Biggar support was dumbfounded!

Again Noonan kicked back into the Biggar half, and this time Hilley caught the ball on the full before slipping it out to Jericevich, who sprinted in from fully 35 metres. Houston missed that goal kick from well out on the right, but almost immediately another blocked kick created a fifth GHA try, Pinder running on from about 30 metres into the right corner. The Biggar support was now all but speechless!!

Houston kicked that conversion from tight on the touchline for a 15-point lead with quarter of an hour left. It was the end of the try-scoring fireworks, though Houston had another penalty goal in added time while Biggar were down to 14 men with Andrew Cairns in the sin-bin.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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