2011/2012: Scottish Premiership Three



L. Tyley15R. McClymont
B. Wright14R. Jericevich
S. Connolly13H. O’Hare
B. McGroarty12A. Henderson (c)
A. Crossan11B. Farrell
A. Devlin10M. Dunn
A. McDougall9M. Houston
D. Smith1S. Spowart
S. Alexander2D. Malcolm
M. Coyle3S. Fisher
(c) M. Gray4M. Anderson
M. Duncan5J. Auld
A. Knox6I. Nelson
A. Abernethy7P. MacLeod
C. Robb8D. Kellock
Y. Young16T. Ritchie
G. Paterson17Z. McIlwham
S. McTavish18A. Barnett
J. Smith19R. O’Keefe
Devlin, McGroarty, RobbTryO’Keefe (2), Henderson, Jericevich, O’Hare
Devlin (2)ConHouston (2)
Devlin (3)PenHouston
Mr T. McNicol


An away win with a bonus point was on paper the perfect response to last week’s one point loss at home to Lasswade however this was far from a convincing performance from GHA. Nevertheless, considering the number of changes that the GHA coaches were forced to make, especially in the injury depleted forward pack, GHA will probably look back on this as a job well done. 

GHA began tha game in what has become traditional fashion in recent weeks, on the back foot. A strong cross wind was to work in Greenocks favour in the early moments with a couple of kicks from GHA stand off Martin Dunn being blown off course like a paper bag and straight into touch. Greenock were able benefit from these moments with an extended period of pressure in the GHA 22 during the first quarter which saw them build up a 10-0 lead with a penalty kick and a mazy run from their fly half Devlin who scored under the posts. GHA lost full back Ross McClymont in these early exchanges which forced a rehuffle in the back line with Ruairi O’Keefe coming on on the right wing whilst Rangi Jericevich reverted to the full back spot.

GHA eventually started to play some rugby mid-way through the first half and a noticeable increase in urgency and tempo could be seen whenever GHA were in posession. The opening score for GHA came from a solid scrum on the Greenock 22m line which was worked wide for O’Keefe to score in the corner. Despite waves of attack from GHA, it wasn’t until right on the half time whistle that they were to gain the lead. Jericevich took a quick tap from a penalty on the Greenock 5m line and forced his way over between the two Greenock tacklers. Murray Houston converted to give GHA a 12-10 half time lead.

The most encouraging aspect of the first half performance was the GHA set-piece, particularly the scrum which saw GHA win two against the head and provide a stable platform on their own ball.

The second half started much as the first with GHA mistakes helping to put Greenock in the ascendency. A penalty from Greenock gave them a 13-12 lead but as they went in hunt of a try, play was broken up by GHA wing O’Keefe and from inside his own half, he judged the hack on kick to perfection and beat the cover defence to the touch down.

Greenock responded with a well taken try when inside centre MrGroarty found a gap in the GHA mid-field to score under the posts. It was then GHA’s turn to hit back, first from an incisive break from Hefin O’Hare inside the Greenock 22 to score under the posts, then another try, this time to Andrew Henderson who scored in the corner after some well worked phase play from GHA and a great team try. Houston also added a penalty during this period and GHA held a 32-21 lead with a little over 5 minutes to play.

A spot of de ja vu threatened to occur when some slack GHA defending allowed Greenock to set up camp deep in the GHA half and eventually work the ball wide for their second row and captain to score in the corner. However, GHA held out for the win and will now look forward to the visit of Howe of Fife to Braidholm next Saturday.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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