Greenock Wanderers 0 GHA 17
GHA opened their 2010-11 u18 League Season with arguably one of the best victories ever
witnessed by this reporter.
Despite having an exceptionally long and arduous journey from Braidholm to Greenock, due
to roadworks between Hillington and the Erskine Bridge on the M8, resulting in a 1 hour
and 20 minute trek and only being able to field 13 players, all the boys played magnificently.
This is a real credit to the coaching team of new Head Coach, Hugh Bell and his equally new
Assistant Coach, Steve Burns.
The coaches have had a difficult start to the season due to 3 boys being lost to the GHA
senior squads, 4 boys currently injured and 5 unavailable due to school rugby commitments.
This has, unfortunately, decimated the squad and led to lower numbers at training than the
coaches would like. Nevertheless, the 13 that turned up to Octavia Terrace, Greenock today
can hold their heads high as they put on a worthy performance. Indeed, at times it looked
like Greenock had only 13 playing against our 15 rather than the other way round.
At all points our players took the game to Greenock, kept it tight and hit anything in a
black, red and yellow jersey that moved in the direction of our try line. It soon became
obvious to our players that we could win this match and after a surging run from inside our
half we won a penalty 10m from the Greenock line. A quick tap and go led to Craig (Tank)
Williamson lunging over the line to score our first try. With no kicking tee available (because
we forgot to bring one out) Kelso Brown duly drop kicked the ball over to give us the 2 extra
10 minutes later we scored our second try after another quick penalty inside the Greenock
22 saw captain Andy Mather surge over and put 5 more points on the board. Unfortunately,
Kelso s conversion attempt drifted past the posts and the score remained 12 – 0 to GHA.
With about 5 minutes of the first half remaining a great backs move from a GHA scrum
near the half way line led to Joe Dunn cutting inside from the touchline leaving 2 Greenock
defenders trailing behind to score the best try of the match. Unfortunately, even though the
kicking tee had now arrived, Kelso narrowly missed the conversion and the half finished with
GHA 17- 0 to the good.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with GHA forcing Greenock back
and although we tired towards the end of the match, we constantly put in try saving tackles
to thwart Greenock every time they approached our line. Furthermore, our line out was
excellent with Alan (Aldo) Campbell and Ally McFall winning anything thrown in their
direction and stealing plenty of opposition ball too. There were no scores in the second half
but it didnt make it any less exciting as play veered from end to end with neither side able
to breech the opposition line.
A great big thank you is extended to all the players and Head Coach, Hugh for starting the
league campaign with such a positive result. Also a special thanks to our sole parental helper
and supporter, Rory Brown whos contribution as water boy and lift giver was invaluable.
Next match v Dumfries at home on Saturday 18th September is likely to be a much tougher
affair and we could do with more players being available as 3 of todays magnificent 13 are
likely to be missing so come on you guys we need you!
1. Craig Williamson
2. Andy Mather (captain)
3. Ben McGinty
4. Ally McFall
5. Alan Campbell
6. Calum Hunter
7. Paul Renucci
9. Kelso Brown
10. Mark Carnan
11. Joe Dunn
13. Rob McLintock
14. James Hendry
15. Fraser Hamilton
Reporter & Team Manager
Greenock Wanderers 0 GHA 17