2012/2013: Scottish Championship A



R. McClymont15J. Manning
R. Jericevich14T. Davidson
H. O’Hare13A. Scott
(c) A. Henderson12D. Goudie
J. Brogan11T. Hine
S. Lang10W. Burrows
A. Gillman9A. Black
M. Kidd1A. Lamont
J. Malcolm2F. MacKinnon
S. Fisher3R. Gillies
R. Glen4G. Williamson
R. Jenkins5B. Pollock
A. Auld6I. Cook
D. Malcolm7J. Douglas
G. MacDonald8P. Hollier
S.Spowart16R. Ferguson
J. Auld17M. Nellaney
D. Kellock18A. Crozier
C. Binnie19C. Blackwood
Brogan, Henderson, Jericevich, O’HareTryHine, Hollier, Manning
BroganPenBlack (3)
Mr M. Hose (Edinburgh RS)


Not even a three-try finale was enough for GHA to snatch victory in the south-side derby against Cartha at Braidholm on Saturday. So for the second successive home match GHA had to settle for the better try-count in defeat and the doubtful solace of taking two bonus points.

Young John Brogan could have won the match if he had converted Andy Henderson’s bonus-point try. But the kick was almost out on the left touchline, and he may well have been put off by three Cartha players who started their charge before he had taken his first step forward to kick the ball.

Bonus points are keeping GHA involved in the contest for the Championship A title. They have 11 in the bag; eight of the four-try variety, and three for narrow defeats. GHA now lie joint second with Falkirk in the table, seven points behind the pace-setting Cartha. Brogan had the first of GHA’s four tries, the young wing sprinting over on the left from a crossfield attack which included a vital pass that Henderson slipped behind the back of the defence. That score, answering Andi Black’s earlier penalty goal, was after eight minutes play, but an hour was to pass before GHA crossed the goal-line again.

Cartha took the lead for the second time when Peter Hollier went over in the left corner in 12 minutes, but Brogan, who failed to convert his own try, immediately equalised from in front of the posts from an offside penalty.

Black eased Cartha into a 14-8 lead on half an hour with two penalty goals, the first for not releasing in front of the posts and the other for common offside. Brogan and Black each then missed a penalty, but after Alan Auld had had to pull off a try-saving tackle Cartha struck two telling blows either side of the interval. Thomas Hine went over in the left corner, Black converting for a 13-point half-time lead, and Johnny Manning ran in after less than two minutes gone in the second half.

An 8-26 deficit seemed to be a huge hill for GHA to climb, if not Ben Nevis itself, but for the
remainder of the second half they were rarely out of their own territory. For nearly half an hour they were thwarted by their own mistakes and Cartha;s defence.

Suddenly, however, they rediscovered their try-scoring flair. Rangi Jericevich ran over in the
right corner from a scrum on the other flank after 68 minutes, and he was soon in action again, this time in liaison with the persistent Andrew Gillman. That thrust was denied, but soon afterwards Hefin O’Hare ran over for a try from which Brogan kicked his only conversion.

Barely 10 minutes were left, but GHA were within range of a converted try, and their cause was helped when Cartha lost Andrew Crozier to the sin-bin. Even before then the home scrummage had attained dominance. It was that which produced the fourth try after three successive scrums just to the left of the posts.

One of these scrums was trundling steadily forward for what seemed like being a certain pushover try when the referee halted it. Cries of “Penalty Try!” could be heard from the home support. It was not to be, and after Henderson’s try Brogan was left with the far more difficult conversion attempt from near the touchline.

Head Coach Gordon MacPherson was disappointed with some aspects of his side’s performance but was pleased with the team spirit they showed. He said:

“It was a similar performance with what we have had in the past. We started okay and then let in a couple of easy scores one before half time and one after half time. From that point of view it was a little bit disappointing because we started okay in the first 20 minutes. They scored but we hit back with a good try. It was disappointing to let them get up by such a big lead which was a real lack of concentration. We gave away a couple of penalties which was disappointing. However there were positives from the game in particular the fact that we came back from 26-8 down. It was just a shame with the conversion that the ball fell over and John Brogan had to put the ball back up. I think he just rushed the kick really. He should have taken his time but unfortunately he’s just rushed it. However I can’t fault the guys. We showed great team spirit especially for a young team we fought back well. I was quite pleased with the performance especially in the second half against a fairly experienced side who have got some good players.”

Next up GHA face a trip to take on Dalziel hoping to get back to winning ways. Head Coach Gordon MacPherson insists the team won’t be underestimating them despite beating Dalziel on the opening day of the season. He said:

“Dalziel are a tough side to play and they won’t be taken lightly at all. They play well at home so we are expecting a tough game. Hopefully we can pick up the points and keep in contention.”

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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