GHA 45 Aberdeen Grammar 12
Braidholm was very busy on Saturday with a packed club house watching the Six Nations match in Rome on the impressive wide screen. Aberdeen arrived for this rearranged League match with a number of key personnel unavailable. However their preparations displayed a determination to challenge the home side. GHA were equally determined that there would be no repeat of the collapse in Aberdeen earlier in the season. GHA went through the gambit of moves and drills in their preparation. The pitch was in very good condition but the day was marred by a bitterly cold cross wind which came from Siberia and cut through any person standing still!
GHA kicked off and launched a long kick into the Aberdeen half. Almost immediately the visitors were penalised and Andrew Goudie kicked to the corner . Following a scrum resulting from a knock on at the lineout, Aberdeen were awarded a penalty for the home side not pushing correctly. Bryn Perrott chose to kick long into the GHA half but found the ball being run back at him as Andrew Spowart, Andrew Goudie and Dario Ewing combined to take the game into the Aberdeen half. The home side began to use a three man spearhead to punch holes in the visiting defence and excellent recycling and quick hands from George Baird pushed Aberdeen on to the back foot. By the ninth minute GHA were pressing inside the Aberdeen five metre area and defending desperately as the home side threw wave after wave of attacks through the forwards at the visitors. George Baird took a quick penalty and working closely with the forwards drove towards the visitors try line. Michael Scott went over to score under the posts and Andrew Goudie converted the try to make the score after ten minutes GHA 7 ABERDEEN 0.
Despite the fact that they had been forced to defend for all of the early stages, Aberdeen began to make some yardage but further advance was limited by a succession of knock ons. The bitter cold was clearly affecting players ability to handle the ball. As we moved into the twentieth minute, GHA began to reassert themselves and some very quick crisp passing between forwards and backs was giving Aberdeen problems. A break out by Greg Ryan and a kick through momentarily took play into the GHA half. Andrew Spowart took a quick line out throw and the pressure was back on the Aberdeen defence. Skillful and quick passing between the GHA players presented an opening for James Sutherland to go over and Andrew Goudie converted to make the score after twenty seven minutes GHA 14 ABERDEEN 0.
The home side began to dominate in the loose and set piece and Aberdeen were being forced on to the back foot.Excellent driving work by Adam Kerr, Adam Barnett and Seitaro Usuda took play into the Aberdeen five metre area where Michael Scott was able to go over under the posts. The try was converted and after thirty five minutes the score was GHA 21 ABERDEEN 0.
There was a confident air about the home side whose combination of forward rushes and backs swift passing was giving Aberdeen a torrid afternoon. Andrew Goudie also put in some deft kicks behind the visiting backs which forced them to turn. In the thirty eighth minute Charlie Lonergan who’s running was causing the visitors great difficulty, broke free from the opposition and weaved his way to a superb try which was converted. The score was now: GHA 28 ABERDEEN 0.
The visitors were having difficulty retaining possession and the running lines of the home side constantly forced Aberdeen on the defensive. GHA forwards and backs were combining in an impressive manner and as we reached half time Charlie Lonergan made a superb break with Dario Ewing in support to allow Chris Binnie to fly over the line to score. The conversion attempt failed and the half time score was: GHA 33 ABERDEEN 0. In freezing conditions the home side were displaying considerable skill and a variety of attacking ploys, their ability to retain the ball and constantly change the angle of the attack had proved very successful.
The second half began with Scott Carson again taking the ball into contact and forcing Aberdeen to commit to the breakdown. However as the minutes ticked by, Aberdeen began to display greater control of the ball and Nathan Clough made a good break with support from the hardworking Craig Shepherd. Despite this Aberdeen were being forced across the pitch in their attempts to find a way through the home defence. Aberdeen after seven minutes did manage to take play into the GHA five metre area and a concerted effort by the visiting forwards resulted in a score. The conversion attempt was missed and the score after eight minutes of the second half was: GHA 33 ABERDEEN 5.
GHA seemed stung by the loss of the try and put great pressure on the Aberdeen backs . A succession of incursions by messrs Carson, Kerr, Corbenici, Barnett and Sutherland made ground for the home side and tested the resolve of the visitors. The home side tied in the visiting forwards and continued to drive towards the Aberdeen line as the visitors frantically tried to stop the advance. However in fifteen minutes James Sutherland finished off a forwards move with a try which was not converted. The score was now: GHA 38 ABERDEEN 5.
Michael Mavunga made a huge break from his own half right up to the visitors five metre line before being stopped. As we reached the twenty fifth minute Aberdeen enjoyed some success in term of possession and territory.Matthias Schosser used his power to engineer a good attacking position for messrs Perrott and Shepherd who cut through the despairing home defence to set up Greg Ryan to score. An excellent conversion by Bryn Perrott made the score after twenty eight minutes: GHA 38 ABERDEEN 12.
Despite the bitter conditions both teams continued to try and play constructive rugby. As the game moved towards full time Ben Addison who had made several scorching breaks once again gathered a pass and flew over to score. Andrew Goudie converted to make the final score GHA 45 ABERDEEN 12.
Tihs was an impressive display from the home side, firing on all cylinders, demonstrating skill,patience and variety to overcome Aberdeen. Everyone who played, assisted or watched this match in freezing conditions deserves to be commended .
ABERDEEN : T.MORRISON G.WALKER C.SHEPHERD N.CLOUGH B.WALSH B.PERROTT J.GRAY M.SCHOSSER C.HOWARD C.NELSON D.WHITEHEAD A.ROBERTSON A.DRAVITSKI W.ALTON G.RYAN N.GILMORE T. McLOUGHLIN E.MURRAY J.SIM D.CRAWFORD
GHA: C.BINNIE A.SPROWART C.LONERGAN C.TUCOULET B.ADDISON A.GOUDIE G.BAIRD S.CARSON S.USUDA M.SCOTT A.BARNETT A.KERR D.EWING J.SUTHERLAND D.CORBENICI K.CHERNICK L.MAVUNGA S.PLUMRIDGE J.EDGAR
REFEREE MR L FISH
ASSISTANT REFEREES: MR D McKERVAIL MR S WARD
Photo Credit – Colin Robinson