West of Scotland 5 GHA 15
Sat 13th Feb 2010
Having being blessed with a fine day in Milngavie, GHA arrived in fine fettle with 24 players to choose from in our return U18 League match against old rivals West.
With a changed team to reflect the depth in our squad we took to the field and within a few minutes of kick off, novice stand-off, Andy Black, made a superb run from the West 10m line straight through the defence only failing to score when he was bundled into touch 5m short of the West try line. Shortly after the line out a scrum was awarded to GHA. Calum Shields picked up fed the ball to Josh Rutnagur who went on one of his usual jinking runs beating 3 players before passing to Andy Black to touch down in the corner. Unfortunately Joshs conversion attempt fell just short to leave the score as West 0 GHA 5.
There then followed a period of scrappy end to end play with both teams guilty of missed passes and knock-ons. Some 12mins into the match Andy Black had to leave the field after a clash of heads (although his dad was heard to comment that he actually looked better after his face had been rearranged) and was replaced by our usual stand-off, David Scott.
No sooner had Davy joined the fray than we were awarded a penalty close to the West line. Josh took a quick tap and go passed to Brendan Barrett who was stopped just short. However, West had not retired 10m and were further penalised. Davy took the penalty from close to the touchline and added 3 points to our tally making the score West 0 GHA 8 after 16mins.
Virtually straight from the restart West upped their game and their winger had a great run down the touchline putting a grubber kick in towards our try line. One of the West players following up got to the ball first and despite suspicions of a knock-on in the run up was awarded the try. The West hooker, on kicking duty, missed the conversion leaving the score West 5 GHA 8.
Just before half time Davy put a great grubber kick through the defence and both he and Johnnie Haughney raced to touch down. Inexplicably the referee decided that he couldnt be sure of the score and did not award the try.
Half time West 5 GHA 8
Ian and Hugh rang the changes at the start of the 2nd half bringing on a number of replacements.
Some great interplay between Johnnie Haughney, Amir Najafian and Craig Williamson nearly resulted in a score for Craig against his old club but he was thwarted just shy of the line. From the resultant scrum, Calum picked up and passed to Josh who feinted left and jinked right to score close to the posts. Davy duly converted making the score West 5 GHA 15.
In the final 20mins of the match play ebbed and flowed from one end to the other with neither team threatening to score and the match petered out with the final score West 5 GHA 15.
There were a number of pleasing factors; the fact that we were able to take a squad of 24, the fact we kept our unbeaten record for another match and the performances of Euan MacCallum, Amir Najafian, Josh Rutnagur and Andy Black. However, for his great forward running from centre and tenacious tackling in defence, the GHA coaches Man of the Match is awarded to Johnnie Haughney.
Forwards: Dominic Barrett, Tom Ritchie, Ben McGinty, Euan MacCallum, Matt Conner, Nick McCaw, Brendan Barrett & Calum Shields
Backs: Josh Rutnagur, Andy Black, Francesco di Cosmo, Johnnie Haughney, Gordon Belch, Amir Najafian & Euan Stirling
Replacements From: Andy Mather, Craig Williamson, Calum Hunter, Adam Barnett, Kelso Brown, David Scott, James Hendry, Rob McLintock, Tim McCarthy & Rory Hughes
West of Scotland 5 GHA 15