Dunfermline 2nds 34 – 39 GHA 2nds

Veteran coach Kenny Fairbairn took his team to Dunfermline yesterday looking for
his first ever win at McKane Park. With call offs from our stand off (and the stand in
stand off) and second row, a huge thanks has to go to Ian “18” Wheeler and Frannie
de Cosmo who both stepped in at the last minute.

After a very quick warm up, Kenny spelt out the game plan to the team. His quote
that we didn’t have any “bulk in our team to combat Dunfermline” brought some
disbelieving looks to the faces of the team. The fact that he missed our 2nd row
partners, Ian “18” Wheeler and Russell Bridges (not an easy mistake to make), can
only be explained by his mind being totally focussed on the game.

The grey miserable weather was apt, as after 12 minutes GHA found themselves 12
points down after Dunfermline scored 2 tries. Both tries were scored after mistakes
by GHA and it looked like a long and painful afternoon lay ahead. Just as the team
started to wake up and exert some pressure on Dunfermline they were robbed of their
blind-side flanker and primary line-out jumper James Beattie. In putting in one of
his usual fearsome hits he collided with a knee and was knocked out. The game was
called to a halt and an ambulance was sent for. With their mate being looked after by
David Lansburgh and Peter Mathieson, the team moved to the adjoining pitch and
started to play some rugby.

A solid 5m scrum enabled Murray Houston to feed Scott Carson the ball. He tied in
several defenders and allowed Scott Mathieson, playing on the wing this week, to
take on his opposite number. Some nifty footwork took in on an outside arc and in
for his first try of the afternoon. Murray Houston was unable to convert but he made
up for this miss by knocking over a penalty 4 minutes later. The comeback didn’t
last for long though, and a break on the blind-side from a wheeled scrum brought
Dunfermline another score. Thankfully Scott Mathieson was having one of those days
where everything he touched turned to tries. He was fed the ball on the Dunfermline
22m line and he scorched past his opposite number again to bag his second. With the
game ebbing and flowing, a stroke of luck for Dumfermline saw their full-back slice
an up and under straight to his winger on the opposite side of the field. He strolled in,
untouched, to give Dunfermline a 22-13 half-time lead.

With some words of wisdom from Coach Kenny and some words from skipper Scott
Carson ringing in theirs ears, GHA duly allowed Dunfermline to score a try and
extend their lead to 16 points. Then the penny seemed to drop for GHA. Win the ball
and get it wide. This allowed Paddy Hilley and Brandon Wamberg to make in-roads
into the Dunfermline half. Although never quite making the try-line, they were able
to keep the ball alive due to support from the back row of Dom Santi, Mitch Gregory
and man of the match Tom Ritchie. The pressure paid off and allowed Gordon Adams
to slice through the Dunfermline defence and score under the posts. Tee-boy for the
day, Jim McCormick had no time to catch his breath before having to run back on as
Murray Houston converted Scott Carson’s try. The skipper then elected to run several
penalties with Jason Clark leading the charge. After quick recycled ball was fed along
the back-line, Scott Mathieson completed his hat trick by crashing in at the corner.
With 20 minutes to play, GHA had eventually taken the lead for the first time in the

Much to the annoyance of the coaches, GHA switched off at the re-start. From

the resultant scrum GHA won a turnover but then gave the ball straight back to
Dunfermline, who marched up to the GHA try-line. Another scrum on the GHA
5m line led to a score for Dunfermline, which was not converted. Advantage

With ten minutes to go, GHA took another quick tap penalty and the ball went along
the back-line. Eventually it ended up in the hands of Frannie De Cosmo on the
halfway line and he pinned back his ears and headed for the Dunfermline line. He
outstripped the desperate cover defence and dived over the line for a well-deserved
score. With Murray Houston’s successful conversion attempt, GHA took a 39-34

Dunfermline came roaring back and exerted a huge amount of pressure on the
GHA line. Thankfully they were unable score again and the final whistle heralded
celebrations both on and off the field by the GHA players, coaches and fans (a special
mention to the lucky mascot Bessie). A hard fought victory which definitely made a
veteran coach happy – well at least until training on Tuesday!

MOM – Tom Ritchie (must have been outstanding to win this on a day when a hat-
trick was scored!)


PS Hope to see James Beattie (concussion) and second row stalwart Jonathon Letch
(torn ligaments) back playing soon

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