2013/2014: West Cup – Group C



S. Lang15D. Moon
R. Jericevich14E. Carruthers
H. O’Hare13W. Steele
N. Cassie12R. Westwood
C. Binnie11A. Simba-Scott
D. Dunn10C. Lewis
M. Houston9A. McLaren
S. Carson1S. Clowes
G. King2S. Baird
S. Gallacher3D. Hay
J. Auld4E. Ferguson
D. Larkin5M. Hall
R. Jenkins6E. Stewart
P. Harkins7G. Neilson
(c) A. Auld8C. Simmonds
J. White16G. Sloan
S. Fisher17C. McAllister
A. Henderson18C. Gilchrist
J. Couper19C. Collin
A. Auld (2), J. Auld, Cassie, Lang, O’HareTryMoon
Lang (3)ConMoon
Mr A. Watt (West RS)


Tam o’ Shanter would have been at home in the conditions at Braidholm on Saturday. Despite the “rattling show’rs” and a gale that “blew as ‘twad blawn its last”, however, GHA had five tries in the bag by half-time before going on to beat a plucky Dalziel team in the final pool match of the West Region Cup.

Victory took GHA into a home semi-final against Hillhead-Jordanhill, and if success can be achieved in that match then next up would be a final against Glasgow Hawks.

Winning looked as though it was going to be even more comfortable as GHA were 12 points up in seven minutes. Jamie Auld first scored in the forwards’ powerful drive off a line-out in the right corner, Scott Lang converting from the wide angle into the weather, and then Niall Cassie sprinted in off Murray Houston’s quickly taken penalty.

Lang could not convert the second try, and five minutes later he had to take a touchline rest when he was sin-binned, paying the penalty for team infringements as Dalziel had a spell of pressure in the home 22. Later in the first half Lang drew one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon from the sparse crowd, most sheltering in the stand, when he decided not to attempt to try to catch the sodden ball from a high kick: instead, he headed on before gathering to charge ahead.

GHA increased their lead even during the full back’s absence, with Alan Auld going over in the right corner. It was too far out for Houston to convert, but when Dalziel were short-handed, with Craig Simmonds yellow-carded on the half-hour, GHA added two more tries. Lang sprinted in at the left corner under the watchful eyes of the scoreboard operator, and Cassie’s precise offload then sent O’Hare to cut in to score at the posts. Lang converted the second of those.

In the second half GHA surprisingly made little use of the following wind, and, consequently, they found themselves on the back foot for much of the time, though rarely under threat, except when Darren Moon raced away for score between the posts on the hour. He converted his own score.

Nearly quarter of an hour was to pass before GHA scored their sixth try, and it was all the forwards’ own work. It was Alan Auld’s second of the match, the No.8 touching down at the base of a pushover scrum. Lang converted.

GHA’s support were disappointed that not enough had been made of the advantage of the wind in the second half, but with almost 80 minutes gone, thoughts were turning instead to satisfaction that the two teams had fulfilled a match which had gone its full length despite the abysmal conditions. Suddenly, however, the grey day was twice coloured by a red card. O’Hare was sent off only three minutes left, and time was still left for an opponent to follow him.

Before the cup semi-final against Hillhead-Jordanhill, however, GHA have a National League match across the Clyde against the same opponents as a rugby prelude to Christmas. Saturday’s kick-off at Hughenden, as usual for these dark days of winter, will be at 2.00pm.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & Dalziel RFC, Monday 16th December 2013

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