Over the past few years GHA have fielded excellent U17 & U18 squads and we hope this year will be no exception

Thanks to a combination of the younger players from last year’s very successful U18 team and the new blood from last year’s equally successful U16 team, we have entered teams in West League Div 1 at both U17 and U18 level. Unfortunately, both the U17 and the U18 West Div 1 have only 5 teams in each league and consequently, the league season will be a short one. Nevertheless, we hope to compete to the best of our ability at each age group and strive to at least match last year’s U18 squad who reached the semi final of the U18 National Cup.

To date there have been very few competitive matches to write reports on but here’s a flavour of what we hope will be regular reports and updates on our progress throughout the 2009-10 season..

Photos of the Season so far

Sat 12th Sept 2009

GHA U18 – 45 Greenock U18 – 5

On a gloriously warm and sunny day our U18’s had their first 15-a-side competitive outing of the season at Auldhouse. We ran out comfortable winners scoring 6 converted tries and a penalty against a solitary unconverted try in the dying minutes by Greenock. It was a pleasure to watch the free running of our backs and the hard work of the forwards in this game. Indeed the only downside was the injury sustained by Euan McCallum, who will now be out for a number of weeks with a badly sprained ankle. However, this was countered by the impressive debuts of new boys Gordon Belch, Mark Carnan, Tim McCarthy and Amir Najafian who will all been an asset to us this season.

Squad: Hughes,Stirling,Currie,Black,Carnan,Belch,Scott,Mather,Ritchie,McGinty,McCallum,Barnett, McCaw, Shields & Haughney. Replacements McCarthy, Renucci, Conner, Brown & Najafian

Sun 13th Sept 2009

Clydebank U17 – 0 GHA U17 – 66

Although we only had 13 players against Clydebank’s 15, we ran riot over a spirited Clydebank scoring 10 tries in the process. Although not the strongest opposition we will face this year, Clydebank did their best to thwart our powerful forwards and pacy backs but to no avail. However, this did not dampen their enthusiasm and the match was played in excellent spirit throughout and credit must go the Clydebank coaches who with limited resources have put together a great bunch of lads.

Squad: Hughes, Gilchrist, Najafian, Haughney, Dunn, Scott , Hamilton, Mather, Renucci, Barrett, Carty, Barnett & McCaw

Sat 19th Sept 2009

Greenock U18 – 19 GHA U18 – 42

In the reverse of the previous Saturday’s fixture, GHA did just enough to overcome a much improved Greenock team winning the try count 6 to 3. However, some sloppy play will have to be removed if we are to compete successfully against the stronger teams in our league.

Squad: Hughes, Hamilton, Di Cosmo, Currie, Stirling, Scott, Rutnagur, Mather, Brown, Ritchie, McGinty, Barnett, McCaw, Conner & Haughney. Replacements: Renucci, Dunn, Najafian, Barrett, McMenemy & Campbell

Sun 27th Sept 2009

GHA U17 – 26 Cambuslang/EK – 0

The U17’s had their first 15-a-side match at Braidholm and ran out worthy winners 26-0 with Man of the Match, David Scott, scoring 3 superb tries and 3 conversions and Rory Hughes the other try. This was a good solid all round performance from GHA and the link play between forwards and backs was a joy to watch. Indeed, it now seems that the sprint fitness work being done at the training sessions with Alex is beginning to pay off for the squad as we are definitely finishing the stronger of the teams. Another GHA debutant today was Scott Wright who had a terrific match and slotted easily into the pack along with James Hendry who looks to have found his true position as a wing forward. A pleasing feature of today’s game was the number of dominant tackles being put in across the pitch by both forwards and backs. However, we will have to work on recycling the ball quicker from the rucks so that we can exert even more pressure on the opposition. Unfortunately both teams sustained injuries throughout the game, chief of which (for GHA) was the loss or Rory Hughes with a broken nose after he put a “big hit” on their right winger. Indeed, as the game drew to a close we had 18 players on the park; our 15 and the 3 we had lent to Cambuslang/EK to ensure it was a 15-a-side contest. Again this match was played in great spirit from both sides and was a credit to all the players involved.

Squad: Hamilton, McMenemy, Dunn, Thomson, Gilchrist, Scott, Rutnagur, Mather, Brown, Conner, Campbell, Barnett, Hendry, McCaw and Wright. Replacements Najafian, Hughes, Ritchie & Di Cosmo

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