Watsonians 30 GHA 40
Watsonians got off to the best possible start with a try from wing Robbie Greenhalgh in the first minute of the match after he latched on to a long kick forward from inside-centre Tom Hart.
The on-rushing defender lost his footing to allow Greenhalgh’s initial break before he did exceptionally well in the little space left between the covering defence and the white line to score at the corner flag (5-0).
GHA scrum-half Peter Jericevich couldn’t bring the scores closer with a penalty kick from the floor after good kick-chase pressure earned the opportunity.
He did however make amends before the half was over, scoring 10 points of his own, courtesy of a try, a conversion and a penalty amidst a score from impressive Watsonians number 8 Rory Drummond. GHA openside Ross Angus scored GHA’s other from a lineout catch and drive (12-15).
A penalty kick from Watsonians scrum-half Brian Walls then levelled the match at the interval.
Half-time: Watsonians 15-15 GHA
Walls was celebrating another three points after the break, with quick thinking as fast as his feet saw him pop over a short-range drop-goal out of nowhere to retake the lead (18-15).
The Watsonians scrum appeared the more powerful throughout the contest and they looked to that strength around the 55-minute mark, when one was awarded on the GHA five metre line.
The pack walked forward to the line before the ball was shot out flat and wide to replacement wing Reiss Cullen to dot down for the unconverted score (23-15).
Jericevich missed another penalty to bring the scores closer but, true to form, made amends soon after with a three-pointer to keep up the chase (23-18).
Moments later Watsonians looked certain to score what would have been a crucial try, were it not for a spilled ball in space from Greenhalgh with the try line begging.
The mistake would ultimately prove significant as GHA centre Niall Cassie blazed back up to the opposite end to register a sucker-punch score.
Jericevich added the extras to take the lead back from the hosts (23-25).
The Glaswegians then put the game out of sight with two further tries in quick succession from hooker Lewis Anderson and replacement full back Chris Binnie, either side of a Jericevich penalty (23-40).
Watsonians stand-off Ross Aitken then crossed the whitewash for a consolation, try-bonus point securing score, which could have been two, were a long-range Walls penalty to bisect the posts with the last kick of the game.
Watsonians: 15 Rory Steele; 14 Ewan Miller, 13 Chris Berkery, 12 Tom Hart, 11 Robbie Greenhalgh; 10 Ross Aitken CAPTAIN, 9 Brian Walls, 1 Martin Christie, 2 Ally Ross, 3 Ally Marsh, 4 Matt Poole, 5 Ally Miller, 6 Niall Dennis, 7 Jonny Neary, 8 Rory Drummond. Substitutes: 16 Aaron Johnston, 17 Tom Gracie, 18 Dan Elkington, 19 Reiss Cullen, 20 Gordon McGuire.
SCORERS: T – AITKEN, CULLEN, DRUMMOND, GREENHALGH C – WALLS (2) P – WALLS (2)
GHA: 15 Andrew Gillman; 14 Rangi Jericevich, 13 Niall Cassie, 12 Andy Henderson CAPTAIN, 11 Ross McClymont; 10 Andrew Goudie, 9 Peter Jericevich; 1 Scott Carson, 2 Donald Malcolm, 3 Michael Robertson, 4 Adam Barnett, 5 Chris McGeough, 6 Paul Harkins, 7 Ross Angus, 8 Grant Macdonald. Substitutes: 16 Lewis Anderson, 17 Michael Fox, 18 Ryan Jenkins, 19 Chris Binnie, 20 Euan Greer.
SCORERS: T – ANDERSON, ANGUS, BINNIE, CASSIE, P. JERICEVICH C – P. JERICEVICH (3) P – P. JERICEVICH (3)
REFEREE: MR D. McCLEMENT