2003/2004: Scottish Premiership One



A. Nash15A. Scott
T. Mathewson14R. Watson
J. Easton13R. West
B. Hennessy12I. Leighton
A. Rowe11I. Kennedy
A. Hall10C. Pothan
J. Blackwood9S. Cowan
K. Coertzee1R. Nolan
G. Dickson2G. Inglis
D. Wright3C. Hastie
R. Duncan4A. Williamson
S. Hart5J. Eddie
I. Sinclair6L. Hazelton
G. Brown7J. Fitzpatrick
N. Cochrane8A. Plastow
S. Lawrie16S. O’Donnell
W. Scott17
E. Ireland18
NashTryWatson, West
Hennessy (2)Pen
Mr D. Douglas (Hawick Wanderers)


Watsonians who got their season back on track with a narrow victory in a dour contest. The additional four points from this result cements their position in the top six of the BT Premiership and leaves GHA firmly rooted in the relegation zone. Although not pretty, this was a fine win for Watsonians. The visitors came into this game in a bullish mood and they have improved considerably since Watsonians put 49 points past them in the second week of the season. However, while they continue to prove difficult to beat, GHA need to develop a winning habit – and soon – if they are to have any chance of staying up. They will need to win at least half of their remaining matches to avoid the drop. On this form, they just might.

The home team opened the scoring within 10 minutes, after fullback Alan Nash created a try out of nothing. The prodigious Scotland U-19 international kicked over the top and outpaced the defence to score his 11th try of the season. Minutes later, after a penalty by Bernard Hennessey had extended Watsonians lead to 10-0, GHA hit back, winger Rory Watson scoring a fine solo try in the right-hand corner, after a kick and chase that mirrored Nash’s try. Thereafter the half was dominated by GHA. Following sustained pressure, the visitors’ centre Ross West crashed over to level the scores after Ian Kennedy had created the space in midfield. Unfortunately for GHA, Kennedy was having a bad boot day, missing two conversions and a penalty. In the end this proved crucial. Watsonians went into the break with an undeserved lead of 13-10 after Hennessey slotted a long range penalty on the stroke of half time.

In a fraught third quarter, GHA coach David Wilson chose to substitute scrum half Scott Cowan and replace him with O’Donnell. Watsonians were trying to play the more adventurous rugby, with stand-off Ashleigh Hall distributing well and wingers Rowe and Mathewson looking dangerous on the break when they got the ball. Unfortunately this did not happen often enough as Gary Callandar, the home director of rugby, acknowledged after the game. “The forwards played well and provided the backs with plenty of quality ball. What was frustrating was that possession kept breaking down at crucial moments due to poor decision making in midfield.”

Source: The Scotsman, Sunday 7th December 2003

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