2013/2014: Scottish National League



S. Lang15J. Sullivan
R. Jericevich14C. Parker
H. O’Hare13C. Lavery
(c) A. Henderson12D. Notman
J. Couper11Z. Carlyon
N. Cassie10K. Connor
M. Houston9R. Cullen
S. Carson1C. Arthur
R. Wilson2A. Muir
S. Fisher3K. Anderson
R. Glen4J. Harvey
J. Auld5C. Taylor
R. Jenkins6J. Orr
A. Auld7L. Rees
G. MacDonald8E. Sanderson
J. White16C. Henderson
S. Gallacher17R. Peacock
D. Larkin18M. Bertram
J. Plumridge19D. Reive
C. Binnie20L. McLauchlan
Glen, Harkins, JericevichTryCullen, Peacock
Houston (2)ConCarlyon
LangPenConnor (3)
Mr N. Muir (Edinburgh RS)


GHA should have won at a canter against Biggar on Saturday. A four-try bonus point looked like being in the bag even before half-time. Instead they needed Scott Lang’s last-kick penalty goal to win the RBS National League match at Braidholm.

For quarter of an hour it was a level contest, but when GHA scored two tries in six minutes the signs were good. Hefin O’Hare and Lang were prominent in a surge up the right flank before Robbie Glen ploughed over for Murray Houston to convert. Then when O’Hare exploited turnover ball Alan Auld sent Paul Harkins over.

Houston again kicked the goal points, and a 14-0 lead after 23 minutes should have been the platform for more to come. But GHA went off the boil. The lineout supplies almost dried up, perhaps affected by the absence of Reid Wilson, who departed the field with a leg injury even before the first try, and GHA’s earlier lively back play was stifled by Biggar’s stuffy defence.

Not even Biggar’s loss of Dougie Notman in 27 minutes for a seat in the sib-bin could reignite the home team’s game. To make it worse of GHA, as soon as the visitors’ centre returned to the field, Rheiss Cullen took advantage of a loose pass by O’Hare to run 30 metres for a try that Zane Carlyon converted.

So it was that the home lead was down to seven points at the interval, and only six minutes into the second half that had been overturned into a 14-15 deficit. When O’Hare was yellow-carded Kayle Connor kicked the penalty goal, and Richard Peacock soon added a try.

As soon as O’’Hare returned to the play he was replaced in the bin by one of the Biggar locks, Calum Taylor. That revived the GHA game, and Rangi Jericevich was almost over in the right corner.

Scott Carson injured a leg in the lead-up to that score, and as he was deputising for the injured Wilson as hooker the remaining scrums had to be uncontested. That depowered one of GHA’s strengths. Yet they scored an uncomplicated try off scrummage ball as Jericevich went over on the right. It was too far out for Houston to kick the goal, but GHA were back in the lead at 19-15.

Two minutes later, just on the hour, Connor cut the margin to just one point with his second penalty goal. Back came GHA to camp in the visitors’ 22. But nothing came of that. They even ignored the chance to kick a simple penalty goal in front of the posts, a score which would have made them at least safe from another Biggar three-pointer, and despite four successive scrums at close range they could make nothing of that territorial pressure. Instead, Biggar, despite the loss of Connor Lavery to the sin-bin, struck back by regaining the lead with another penalty goal with less than five minutes left.

GHA’s final play, however, procured relief with Lang’s saving goal.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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