2012/2013: Scottish Championship A



H. O’Hare15S. Swankie
R. Jericevich14N. Donald
J. Brogan13M. Scade
(c) A. Henderson12S. Gracie
S. Lang11W. Daley
D. Dunn10G. McNeish
A. Gillman9R. Davies
S. Spowart1G. Blackburn
J. Malcolm2T. Murray
S. Fisher3I. Harley
R. Glen4C. Stewart
J. Auld5M. Pinkerton
D. Kellock6G. Valentine
P. Harkins7J. Lawrie (c)
G. MacDonald8C. Eadie
D. Santi16J. Carr
S. Gallacher17L. Quarm
R. Jenkins18D. Campbell
G. Adams19F. Cowe
Jericevich (2), Brogan, Jenkins, Henderson, Lang, MacDonaldTrySwankie
Brogan (6)ConMcNeish
PenMcNeish (2)


Saturday was a happy day at Braidholm. First, a special lunch honoured Jon Welsh, who had become GHA’s first capped player since the amalgamated club was formed in 2002 with his Scotland debut against Italy in March, and then the Braidholm club jumped into top place in the RBS Championship A league table with a seven-try victory against Dunfermline.

Admittedly, GHA’s lead is only on goal-difference ahead of Falkirk, and those two are just two league points clear of Cartha Queen’s Park, who have a game in hand. It’s tight at the top!

GHA now have no fewer than 13 bonus point to their name, 10 of them of the four-try variety. They have scored at least four tries in all but one of their 11 league matches. They relish tries, even in matches such as Saturday’s with peaks and troughs.

The pattern of the contest was upset when because of injuries in Dunfermline’s front-row ranks the scrums had to be uncontested after only 22 minutes. That was to GHA’s disadvantage, though they could have countered that more often if they had not allowed themselves to be drawn into the visitors close-quarter rugby. That, of course, made the GHA tries all the more enjoyable, if not a magnificent seven!

Barely two minutes had been played when GHA showed their intent. A typical surge from Grant MacDonald created the position for Dominic Dunn to chip the ball through into the right corner for Rangi Jericevich to beat the opposition to the touch. It was to be the only try that John Brogan did not convert, the young centre finishing with 17 points in the match.

Gregor McNeish countered with a penalty goal for Dunferemline, but Jericevich soon had his second. That originated in a turn-over scrummage, a platform that GHA were to be denied for most of the match.

Brogan converted from five metres in from the right touchline. But Dunfermline almost responded when Greg Valentine was denied at the home posts, and similarly GHA failed to profit from Andrew Gillman’s break from his own half.

MacDonald then excited the GHA support in 24 minutes by breaking clear from just outside the visitors’ 22 for a try. But the only other score of the first half was a second penalty goal by McNeish, leaving GHA with a 19-6 lead at the interval.

GHA really should have has a bonus sewn up before then. However, that extra point was gained nine minutes into the second half when Scott Lang broke up the left touchline and chipped ahead, and Brogan sprinted through to pick up on the run and dive over.

Brogan (or a colleague) should have had another try soon afterwards between the posts. However, the youngster was heavily body-checked without the ball. A penalty try? Or just a penalty? No, a 22-metre drop-out for Dunfermline.

GHA, however, took charge in the last quarter. Brogan’s thrust to the goal-line and the forwards follow-up created a try for Andy Henderson in 64 minutes, and though Dunfermline full back Scott Swankie had a deserved try six minutes later, McNeish converting, GHA had still two more up their sleeves. A close-range tapped penalty provided scope for Lang to score, and Ryan Jenkins finished off after the visitors had conceded four penalties in quick succession.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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