GHA 12 Dundee HSFP 34
Both sides arrived at Braidholm determined to recover from losing their respective matches last weekend. A busy club house welcomed the visitors. GHA launched information about the GHA Sports Trust and provided a sample of the proposed 3G pitch. Club members are invited to avail themselves of the excellent brochure provided by the Trust which is available at the club which outlines the aims of the Trust and outlines how members and friends of GHA can donate to the 3G pitch appeal.
As both sides went through their preparations there was a clear air of determination emanating from both camps. A dull overcast day with the occasional sunny spells greeted the players. The pitch was quite heavy but continues to hold up well. GHA kicked off and the ball was quickly cleared by the Dundee midfield. In the opening exchanges the home side attempted to drive through the opposition before setting up half backs Gillman and Goudie to release the back line. Penetrations by James Sutherland and Ben Addison were repulsed and a break by Andrew Goudie was stopped at the outset by a crunching tackle which knocked the stand off back on his heels.As both sides looked for space, GHA gave away a penalty just inside their half. Kieran Scoular just missed with his attempt. On the fifth minute a great break by Lewis McNamara was stopped by Cameron King deep inside the home half of the pitch however Dundee quickly recycled the ball and with excellent movement passed the ball speedily through hands to allow Evan Fairweather to score. Kieran Scoular converted the try and the score after five minutes was: GHA 0 DUNDEE 7.
The visitors began to attempt to exert control and from the restart Alan Brown used his powerful frame to make yardage into the home half of the pitch. The visitors were awarded another penalty and Andrew Hamilton as he was to do all afternoon, put a long kick into touch . Play moved back and forth across the ten metre line and in a moment of carelessness Dundee gave away a free kick. Andrew Gillman took it quickly and made inroads into the visitors half who were slow to respond to his initiative. However the good work was undone as the home side gave away a penalty for not releasing the ball in the tackle. Andrew Hamilton with his touch kick forced GHA back into their own half inside the ten metre area. Following a miscued lineout, GHA won the scrum and Andrew Gillman sniped right up to the Dundee twenty two metre line before being tackled. GHA were now challenging the visitors and a promising move with GHA throwing the ball wide was curtailed as Alan Brown was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on a GHA player. Andrew Goudie kicked to the corner and the visitors were defending on their five metre line as we reached the tenth minute. Another inaccurate throw resulted in a scrum which resulted in a penalty for the visitors as the home side were adjudged to have not been pushing straight. The ball was cleared up to the ten metre line and GHA were back in their own half. Play tended to go across the pitch with moves and ploys being undone by fierce tackling by both sides. The visitors were employing their powerful forwards to take the ball into contact thus committing the home defence before releasing the ball swiftly to their eager backs who were interchanging their positions at will. After fifteen minutes a kick through the Dundee defence was chased down by Andrew Spowart whose speed clearly worried the visiting defence. However another penalty was awarded to Dundee at the breakdown from Andrew Spowart’s efforts and again Andrew Hamilton from deep in his own half relieved the pressure on the visiting defence by clearing the ball up to the home side’s ten metre line. Dundee as we moved towards the twenty minute mark began to make inroads through crash ball efforts by Angus Fraser and Neil Turnbull. Again as the ball went loose GHA were penalised and from just inside the ten metre line of GHA, Kieran Scoular hit a fine penalty to make the score: GHA 0 DUNDEE 10.
The visiting side caught the restart and again employed their powerful forwards working in several phalanxes to drive into home territory. Brave tackling by the home side was negating such drives but it kept the home side on the back foot. In a classic example of their tactic, Dundee took the ball into contact and as their whole back line realigned with several forwards the ball was swept through the hands and despite GHA desperate defence Kieran Scoular finished off the move to score. Thus after just over twenty minutes the score was GHA 0 DUNDEE 17 the extra points being added by the full back converting his own try.
As we have seen several times already this season, GHA whilst conceding points to a powerful Dundee side refused to fall out of the match and for several minutes asked questions of the Dundee defence. It was the home side’s turn to take the ball into contact and then recycle and run the ball and Dundee had to work very hard to contain the thrusts from the local side. The home support could sense that the home side were making a huge effort to put points on the board. Several drives by Michael Scott and David Corbenici made ground but the move came to nought as again a penalty was awarded to Dundee which allowed Andrew Hamilton to turn the game back into the GHA half. Dundee seized on this position to mount a concerted attempt to increase the leeway between the sides. The visitors were finding that the GHA pack were working very hard to stop the visitors from using their power to drive GHA off the ball. Aware of this Henry Sampson as a scrum took place deep inside the GHA twenty two metre line quickly passed the ball to his backs who fed Danny McGinn who scored. The conversion was missed and at thirty five minutes the score was GHA 0 DUNDEE 22.
From the restart Dundee gathered and attacked again through Neil Turnbull supported by messrs Redmayne and Arnott. GHA were having to cope without Sean Murray who had been yellow carded . As GHA defended bravely Dundee employed numbers to create a slight overlap and as we reached the fortieth minute, Danny McGinn went over in the corner to score. Despite a huge kick from a difficult angle Dundee missed the conversion. The score at half time was: GHA 0 DUNDEE 27.
The score may suggest that GHA were struggling totally in the match but this would be unfair. The home side had worked very hard to contain the visitors and had competed well in the set piece. Both sides had shown an aptitude for tackling however the movement of the Dundee back line allied to canny work in the loose had given the visitors a platform to strike successfully.
GHA started the second half intent on reducing the leeway as quickly as possible. Dundee were equally determined that they would not be found wanting in defence. After several minutes there was a superb break by Cameron KIng which took play up to the half way line. Ross Angus and Adam Kerr made excellent breaks which in the latter case was only stopped by a thumping tackle by Angus Fraser. However GHA were awarded a penalty which Andrew Goudie kicked towards the corner. From the lineout a passage of play where the home backs and forwards combined to split the visiting defence allowed Adam Kerr to go over for a score. The try was not converted and the score after five minutes was: GHA 5 DUNDEE 27.
The home side now had something tangible for their efforts and for the first time in the match had found a way through the strong visiting defence. GHA continued to apply pressure and play concentrated inside the Dundee twenty two metre area. Huge efforts to break through by Adam Kerr were stopped short of the line and both sets of forwards fought tenaciously to secure the ball. A penalty award to Dundee took play back up to halfway but the home side gathered themselves and once again attacked Dundee. Play raged around the midfield area and the hectic nature of these minutes was slightly abated by a break for attention to injured players. The game restarted at the same hectic pace and sheer willpower and considerable effort allowed GHA to push Dundee on to the backfoot on their own half. In twelve minutes GHA were awarded a penalty and Andrew Goudie took play up to the visiting twenty two metre line. The crowd was enjoying a contest where every player was giving their all. On the fifteenth minute GHA recycled the ball from good penetration by the home forwards and the ball was passed through the hands with speed and accuracy to allow Andrew Spowart to go in at the corner. From a very difficult angle, Andrew Goudie converted to make the score : GHA 12 DUNDEE 27.
Despite the pressure from the home side, Dundee maintained their composure and managed to rebuff further incursions from the home side with effective tackling and astute line kicking . As we reached the twentieth minute GHA gave a penalty away deep inside their own half. Dundee elected to go for a scrum and there was huge pressure on the home forwards to prevent a push over try from just outside their five metre area. Despite holding their line, Dundee in the resulting loose phase following the scrum, created a space for James Forrester who scored . The try was converted by Kieran Scoular and after twenty eight minutes the score was : GHA 12 DUNDEE 34. Again GHA rallied and took the game back into the visitors half but stout defending and the loss of the ball in contact allowed Dundee to weather this late storm by the home side.Scott Carson several times took the ball into contact with colleagues presenting a platform for further attacks but Dundee were able to stem the second ball coming from these attempts by swift tackling and engaging the breaking player. Scott Plumridge as he had done throughout the match tried to find a way through the defensive axis of messrs Hamilton and Lemon but could not quite gain the yardage that would have allowed the home side to strike. The match finished GHA 12 DUNDEE HSFP 34.
It had been a powerful display from a very mobile Dundee side who took every chance that came their way. GHA tried very hard to break the control Dundee exerted in the match but could not sustain the pressure long enough to gain further scores.
GHA: C. KING, A. SPOWART, B. ADDISON, S. PLUMRIDGE, S. MURRAY, A. GOUDIE, A. GILLMAN, T. BROGAN, S. USUDA, M. SCOTT A. KERR J. McCARTHY, R. ANGUS, J. SUTHERLAND, D. CORBENICI – Reserves: S. CARSON, J. LESLIE, E. HARDIE, J. PRESTON, C. BINNIE
Scorers: T – KERR, SPOWART C – GOUDIE
DUNDEE HSFP: K. SCOULAR, E. FAIRWEATHER, R. LEMON, A. HAMILTON, D. McGINN, R. McGINN, H. SAMPSON, J. FORRESTER, A. FRASER, A. BROWN, N. TURNBULL, A. REDMAYNE, G. ARNOTT, A. FARQUHAR, L. MCNAMARA – Reserves: N. DYMOCK, L. MCLEAN, T. FRANCO, J. PALIDINI, S. GAULD
Scorers: T – D. MCGINN (2), FAIRWEATHER, FORRESTER, SCOULAR C – SCOULAR (3) P – SCOULAR
ASSISTANT REFEREES: MR J RYDER & MR G DENHOLM
Photo Credit: Joyce Robinson