2009/2010: Scottish Premiership Two



N. Watt15C. Binnie
M. Legget14R. O’Keefe
C. Mark13N. Cassie (c)
E. Herkes12R. McClymont
G. Crawford11G. Jones
R. King10J. Noonan
W. Haenga9A. Gillman
D. Orr1G. Warnock
C. Harrison2G. King
G. Glass3A. Kelly
R. Martin4I. Smith
Q. Caulfield5R. Jenkins
M. Morrison6T. Peyton
A. Spence7J. Pinder
D. O’Riordan8D. Kellock
A. Laidlaw16J. Coffey
G. Wright17D. McKay
A. Scott18P. MacLeod
I. Watt19R. Watson
O’Riordan (2), Caulfield, N. WattTryCassie, McClymont Pinder
King (3)ConNoonan
KingPenNoonan (4)
Mr D. Crudge (Borders RS)


Rugby can be fickle game, as GHA and Haddington were reminded in their high-scoring draw at Neilson Park on Saturday. 

GHA were on song in the first half. With the advantage of a stiff westerly breeze, they were 20-3 up at the interval. The forwards worked well in tight and loose, the backs showed a willingness to use the ball at pace, a first league win of the season was on the cards, and they were one try away from a bonus. But that bonus proved beyond their reach as Haddington rack up four tries of their own in the second half, and it was left to a last-gasp penalty goal by Jim Noonan to snatch the draw.

Even though GHA have failed to win any of their five league match so far, they have moved off the foot of the Scottish Hydro Premier Two table. Their two draws (the other at Jed two weeks ago) and a bonus at Poynder Park have taken them above Kelso, albeit only on points difference.

It looked like being so different when Niall Cassie led the way for GHA with a try after less than three minutes play. Andrew Gillman put the visitors in to the scoring position with a long break from a tapped penalty inside his own half, and after GHA had hammered the home goal-line the captain found the way over.

Noonan missed the conversion from far out on the left as well as a subsequent penalty shot. But midway in the first half GHA struck again from Noonans cross kick to the right for Jamie Pinder to score.

Ross King soon replied with a penalty goal for Haddington, but on the half-hour Ross McClymont sprinted through for GHA’s third try from Ruairi O’Keefe’s inside pass. Noonan converted from well out after he had had to wait while the referee spoke to both front-row triumvirates, and the stand-off also kicked a penalty goal.

GHA lost Gregor Jones to the sin-bin late in the first half, and before he returned Haddington had started their comeback with a Derek O’Riordan try from a close-range tap penalty. Thereafter it was defensive strength that GHA needed rather than attacking acumen.

Further tries followed for Haddington from Neil Watt, Quinton Caulfield, and O’Riordan again. That was not only Haddington’s bonus-point try, but it took them into the lead for the first time in the match with only three minutes of normal time left. King converted all of those three.

Over the second half GHA were within range only three times, and Noonan kicked a penalty goal on each occasion, all from 25-30 metres. The first took GHA to 23-8 in 44 minutes, the second eased the margin out to 26-22 after 69, and the third earned his team two points four minutes into added time.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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