Despair Against Dalziel

GHA 2nds 20 – 29 Dalziel 2nds

GHA 2XV were occupying the main pitch at Braidholm on Saturday with Dalziel
as the visitors. Going into the game second in the league has brought the second
XV some attention from the local support and there was a good crowd down
watching the boys, who hadn’t lost in four games.

Coach Fairbairn gave his words of wisdom and warned the players as he always
does, “there are no easy games in this league”, advice which should have let the
boys know that although Dalziel were sitting some places below the home team,
they would be more than ready for a tough match. With a strong group of players
out GHA lined up on pitch one for the start of an unpredictable game.

The anxious crowd didn’t have to wait long for GHA to break the ice, the first
minute had barely passed as Miller Greaves and Gregg Taylor ran in down the
left side exchanging passes around the sleeping defence. Miller was the one to
finally go over the line to big cheers. He failed to convert his try leaving GHA 5-0
ahead. Dalziel were waiting to put points on the board and converted a penalty
conceded for a late tackle, cutting GHA’s lead to just 2 points.

With the sun shining GHA didn’t let their heads drop. In his first home game
since injury Brundon Wamberg went over to add 5 points to the GHA lead. A
scrum deep in the Dalziel half and a crash ball from Scott Carson left Brundon
sailing over for a well-worked try. Coach Fairbairn even managed a rare smile
while rejoicing at the textbook move.

Dalziel instantly applied the pressure and GHA were back on there own line.
Coach McCormick was furious at the slow pace with which the back line were
closing down space. When the press was eventually rushed by GHA the Dalziel
stand off slipped a grubber kick through the line, which was touched down by
the centre. It was a cleaver try and hinted that Dalziel were very much still in the
game.

Before the first half ended Greaves managed to slot over a GHA penalty and
when the referee brought the game to its intermission the home side were 13-8
ahead.

The half time talk was fierce from the coaches, they knew the team had under
preformed and the boys were told not to force plays but to stick to the game
plan. There was no question that a fight was on to retain the lead. Coach
Fairbairn spoke of desire and commitment, while McCormick gave individual
pointers to players. GHA needed more support and the clubhouse emptied to
bring record numbers down to the pitch side, even the bar girls were at the
windows watching with desire, Gordon Adams game increased dramatically

from this point on. Weird.

Seven minutes into the second half and GHA were dealt a punishing blow. With
two missed tackles Dalziel broke through their number 10 and they scored
a converted try. With the score at 13-15 against GHA the crowd looked for a
playmaker to change the fortunes of the losing side, Patrick Hilley responded and
the crowd and coaching staff agreed he’d do. With a scrum wide in the Dalziel
half “Paddy” had an outside break which sent him diving in to bring GHA 5
needed points, Greaves added 2 more to take the score 20-15 in the home teams
favour.

Dalziel were not happy at giving the lead up, and instantly stepped up the
pressure against the GHA line. Almost immediately from the restart they
capitalised from a basic handling error and went under the posts and converted
to bring the score back in their favour 20-22.

GHA did all they could but seemed out of ideas. Dalziel kept them buried deep
down the pitch and even with the long range boot of Scott Carson at hand there
was no opportunity for the home team to put the 3 required points on the
board. Even Gordon Adams head had dropped, much to the disappointment of
his personal supporter. With GHA pressing and less than 5 minutes left on the
referees watch the boys pushed hard for a late try. When Brundon Wamberg,
knocked the ball on (much to the disgust of Coach Fairbairn), there was little
GHA could do but be worked back down the pitch and behind their own posts as
Dalziel put the game past them with a late 7 point try. The score was now 20-29
there was little anyone could do to turn the game around.

The match finished with Dalziel as the victors by 9 points. After the game Coach
Fairbairn and McCormick spoke about the lack of desire from the boys. They
both stressed that as players you need to do more than simply turn up but
actually perform. It was a disappointing day for all and there were no gracious
accolades from coach Fairbairn to his boys as there had been in weeks gone by.

Credit must be given to Michael ‘Foxy’ Fox who was playing in second row for the
first time, Iain Wheeler who was pulled up as a replacement, Stephen Spowart
who was returning to starting form in style and also to Gordon “lager tops”
Adams for securing the team free drinks after the game!

GHA 2nd’s are now down to 3rd in the league, however second position is
recoverable with hard work and commitment. Coach McCormick asks for all
players (including coach Fairbairn) to attend training without excuse. He said in
a later interview “we will need to be better prepared for the local derby match
this coming weekend against Cartha”. Cartha, who are now sitting bottom of
the league, will be visiting Braidholm on the 23rd of October so come along and
support the 2nd’s, for what will be an exciting day of rugby at GHA.

Johnny Leitch.

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