GHA RFC MATCH 297: GHA RFC 44 – 32 ABERDEEN GRAMMAR RUGBY
2014/2015: National League One
ABERDEEN GRAMMAR RUGBY
|A. Gillman||15||S. Knudson|
|R. Jericevich||14||G. Walker|
|N. Cassie||13||D. Russell|
|(c) A. Henderson||12||C. Lavery|
|E. Greer||11||S. Murray|
|A. Goudie||10||A. Haggart|
|P. Jericevich||9||M. Ward|
|S. Carson||1||M. Schosser|
|J. Malcolm||2||M. Cox|
|M. Robertson||3||C. Neilson|
|A. Barnett||4||S. Smith|
|C. McGeogh||5||E. Nimmons|
|D. Malcolm||6||C. Turner|
|R. Angus||7||C. Champion|
|A. Auld||8||A. Mackie|
|L. Anderson||16||F. McKenzie|
|G. Campbell||17||P. Gillies|
|J. Auld||18||C. Harvey|
|M. MacFarlane||19||A. Robertson|
|E. McKirdy||20||P. Nacamavuto|
|Angus (2), Goudie (2), A. Auld, Gillman, R. Jericevich||Try||Haggart, Mackie, Murray, Walker|
|Goudie (3)||Con||Haggart (3)|
GHA welcomed Aberdeen Grammar to Braidholm for the final match of 2014 and what a game it was, played in near perfect conditions despite the heavy overnight rain.
GHA played some of their best rugby of the season to score 7 well worked trys in a match which they had the upperhand in throughout, however this game was in the balance until the 77th minute largely thanks to a stand out performance from the Aberdeen stand off Alex Haggart, whose masterclass in goal kicking kept Aberdeen in the game until a try from GHA Number 8 Alan Auld sealed the game for the home side with a little under 5 minutes left on the clock.
Despite a strong start from GHA, it was Aberdeen who took an early lead when Haggart converted a penalty chance from out on the right to put Grammar 3 nil up. This was a mere blip in a powerful opening ten minutes from GHA as Number 7 Ross Angus scored twice, both scores coming from sustained phase play from GHA in the Aberdeen 22. GHA also had a potential score held up from a driving maul over the Aberdeen line during this period. A penalty attempt and both conversions were missed to leave GHA only 10 to 3 up despite the early dominance.
Haggart then narrowed the gap with another well taken penalty, this time from wide out on the left. This preceded a strong spell of pressure for Aberdeen in the GHA 22 which right wing Grant Walker capped off with a well taken score which was converted to give the visitors a 13 to 10 lead.
This spurred GHA into action and from the restart they tore into Grammar with some terriffic high octane rugby. After an Aberdeen ruck infringement, GHA put the ball in the corner and after working through the phases, stand off Andrew Goudie, despite his diminutive physique, was able to power through a half gap carrying a desperate opposition tackler over the line with him to score a fantastic team try. Having taken over the kicking duties from Peter Jericevich, Goudie slotted the conversion to put GHA 17 to 13 up.
Aberdeen then responded with their second try of the afternoon. GHA repelled an initial assault on their line however Grammar were awarded a penalty which they kicked to the corner. The lineout was fumbled and as is often the case, loose ball can provide the key to unlock a defense’s door and so it was in this instance when Aberdeen Number 8 Ali Mackie scooped up the ball and bulldozed his way over from close range. The conversion was successful to give Aberdeen a 3 point advantage.
GHA quickly responded when more good build up play saw them win a penalty in front of the posts which Goudie slotted to draw the scores level.
Aberdeen were to have the final say of an enthralling first 40 when, from a scrum on the GHA 22, they worked the ball wide and Haggart showed his talent with ball in hand when he shimmied through a gap to score on the left hand side. Another well taken conversion from the fly half gave Grammar a 27 to 20 half time lead.
GHA started the second half in the ascendancy and pressure on the Aberdeen line finally told when James Malcolm showed great strength to force his way over however the referee did not see the grounding and declared the ball held up despite the very vocal advice coming from those on the touchline. Not to be disheartened, GHA duly got the score when from the ensuing scrum, the ball was worked right and Goudie threw an inch perfect miss pass out to full back Andrew Gilman who went over. The conversion was again missed.
Shortly after, the big talking point of the game happened when a scrap broke out between a handful of forwards. GHA captain Andy Henderson arrived to separate the guilty parties and in what was surely a case of mistaken identity, the referee duly sent Henderson to the sin bin. This was to prove a real turning point in the match although not, as you might expect, for the visiting side who now had a man advantage but rather for the galvanised home team who over the duration of Henderson’s sin binning would score two further trys.
The first score was a piece of individual brilliance from Goudie, who ghosted through the Grammar defensive line from GHA scrum ball inside the vistiors 22. The conversion put GHA 32 to 27 ahead. The second score was from a line out over throw. Alan Auld plucked the ball out of the air and proceeded to run across the Aberdeen midfield before throwing a long miss pass to right wing Rangi Jericeivich who scored near the right hand corner. Conversion was missed but GHA now had a 10 point lead going in to the last quarter.
Ironically, it was when GHA were back to full compliment that Grammar scored their 4th and bonus point try. After some powerful surges on the GHA 5 metre line, the ball was spun wide to left wing Sean Murray who scored in the corner. Haggart missed the touchline conversion but Aberdeen were back in it at 37 to 32..
To borrow a phrase from football legend Sir Alex Ferguson, it was “squeeky bum time” at Braidholm and Aberdeen put GHA in danger when a penalty allowed them to set up a lineout on the GHA 5 metre line with just 10 minutes left on the clock. In somewhat similar fashion to their 4th try, Aberdeen’s direct runners bludgened the GHA defensive line but the green wall stood firm. Grammar had brought on Fijian flyer and danger man Peceli Nacamavuto for the final quarter and it looked like he may have spotted a try scoring opportunity when he switched play with an arcing run round to the GHA blind side however a trademark Henderson bone crunching tackle knocked the South Sea Islander flat on his back and the ball spilled into the hands of a GHA defender. After some neat interchanges, GHA’s Euan McKirdy put a well judged grubber kick down to the Aberdeen 5 metre line. GHA then regained posession and set up camp on the Grammar line. Eventually, after some neat build up play once again, Jamie Auld made a break through the Grammar mid field and found Alan Auld on his outside who scored beneath the posts. Goudie converted and the final whistle shortly followed.
All in all, a great finish to the year for GHA and great credit to both sides for serving up such a fantastic feast of rugby in deep December. 2015 will kick off for GHA on January 3rd when they visit Cupar in Fife to play Howe of Fife in the BT Scottish Cup 3rd Round.
Source: GHA Rugby & Aberdeen Grammar Rugby, Tuesday 23rd December 2014