GHA 12 Jed Forest 10
GHA have developed a habit of winning ugly lately and Saturday’s late winner rescued the game, and potentially the season, from the fire as a hard working Jed outfit who posess some of the leagues most dangerous broken field runners came within a few minutes of completing the league double over the home side. GHA suffered a couple of set-backs in the warm up when wing Rangi Jericevich and reserve Scrum Half Murray Houston were forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury. Luckily, with GHA’s 2XV suffering a late call off from Dumfries, both Euan McKirdy and Andrew Spowart were available to step into the squad in their absence.
GHA started the game strongly and dominated posession throughout the full 80 minutes however handling errors were the order of the day in attack as numerous opportunities were to breakdown with the ball lost in contact, knock ons, loose passes and unforced errors ten a penny. Jed forest have arguaby the most dangerous outside backs in the league with Scotland 7s Internationalists the Young brothers at 13 and 14 and the strong running Fraser Harkness at 15. The GHA errors gifted them the broken field play that they thrive on and in the first 40 GHA had their scramble defence to thank for not going in at half time with a daunting disadvantage on the scoreboard.
As it happened, Jed did score two first half tries. The first from a well controlled rolling maul from their pack and the second from a sweeping wide move that saw their right wing Glen Young make a searing outside break that GHA were unable to reel in.
Some intelligent kicking from the Jed fly half also had the GHA crowd on the edge of their seats as the GHA back 3 had to scramble clear. GHA had plenty chances of their own yet could not keep hold of the ball for the reasons set our previously.
At 10 nil at half time the GHA crowd hoped for a second half fightback which did eventuate although the quality of the performance still was not where it has been in the past. Much credit for that must go to Jed’s staunch and hard working defensive effort which did not buckle under the GHA onslaught. Errors from GHA continued to thwart them, however from a lineout catch and drive they did eventually break their duck when Ross Angus went over. Andrew Goudie slotted the touchline conversion.
GHA dominated the last quarter where much of the game was played inside the Jed 22. An off the ball scuffle led to GHA second row Chris McGeough and the Jed Hooker spending 10 minutes in the cooler and this resulted in the game going to uncontested scrums which suited the Jed cause well as ther scrum was going backward at a rate of knots by this point.
Wave after wave of GHA attack inside the last 10 minutes eventually broke the Jed resistance when the ball was spun wide on the Jed 5 metre line and left wing Alan Auld bull-dozed over in the corner.
There was still time for the restart however the Jed dro-out didn’t travel 10 metres and with that the referees final whistle went.
This Saturday is the final home game of the season versus Hillhead/Jordanhill and it’s an early kick off of 1230pm due to the Scotland v Ireland game which kicks off at 230pm.
GHA: Chris Binnie; James Edgar, Niall Cassie, Andrew Henderson, Alan Auld; Andrew Goudie, Peter Jericevich; Scott Gallacher, Donald Malcolm (c), Michael Fox, Adam Barnett, Chris McGeogh, Andrew Boag, Ross Angus, Grant MacDonald – Replacements: Michael Robertson, Sean Rendall Corrigal, Erick Cavan, Euan McKirdy, Andrew Spowart
Scorers: T – Angus, Auld C – Goudie
Jed-Forest: F. Harkness, L. Young, G. Young, R. Hogg, R. Shirra-Gibb, M. Mitchell, D. Ritchie, N. Bates, M. Weekley, C. Lothian, J. Hynd, G. Law, J. Barrie, G. Robson, D. Grieve – Replacements: A. Campbell, C. Page, N. Cook, D. Wallace, A. Thomson
Scorers: T – TBC
Referee: Mr F. Brown