HOSTS SURVIVE CLOSE SHAVE AS CUP TIE STANDS ON KNIFE EDGE

GHA RFC MATCH 10: GHA RFC 22 – 9 LIVINGSTON RFC 

2002/2003: Scottish Cup 3rd Round

GHA RFC 

 LIVINGSTON RFC

A. Scott 15 A. Dick
R. Watson 14 C. Lewis
B. Beagley 13 I. Steel
R. Armour 12 K. Buchan
A. Gibbon 11 G. Kidd
J. Noonan 10 S. Gracie
S. O’Donnell 9 C. Bolan
R. Nolan 1 R. Wilson
S. MacKinnon 2 A. Laird
G. Walsh 3 A. Thorn
J. Vos 4 S. Hay
J. Reid 5 J. Aslet
G. Howieson 6 C. Powley
J. Fitzpatrick 7 M. Catteral
E. Smith 8 L. Cantley
G. Inglis 16 N. Scobie
J. Mundell 17 B. Lumsden
S. Unkles 18 G. Irvine
R. Au 19
Beagley (2), Walsh Try
Noonan (2) Con
Noonan Pen Bolan, Dick, Harris
DG
Referee
Mr M. Valentine (Stewartry)

The final scoreline of this third round victory belies how close GHA came to suffering an embarrassing upset to a superbly tenacious Livingston team who found themselves despite two missed penalty attempts, only a single point adrift heading into the final five minutes.

Following early pressure GHA opted to run their early penalty awards, evidently hoping to outplay their lower league opposition rather than taking the easy points on offer. However, their calculations didn’t take into account the ferocity and strength of Livingston’s defence, with the away pack dominating their counterparts each wave of attack was repelled. Further insult to injury was added as Alan Dick and Peter Harris from distance converted their penalty awards to give the visitors an unexpected but well deserved 0-6 lead at the interval.

GHA’s backline began to exert control during the early stages of the second half, with Brett Beagley opening the hosts account on 53 minutes. Noonan added the conversion and contrary to earlier tactics a penalty soon after, giving the Premiership Two side a 10-6 lead after an hour. In a spate of penalties Livingston’s reliable kicker Alan Dick missed two attempts, resulting in Craig Bolan being given responsibility for converting their third goal on 65 minutes.

As the match sat on a knives edge GHA finally took control in the last two minutes with two quick fire tries from first Gavin Walsh and then Brett Beagley going in for his second from the resultant restart. James Noonan added a conversion to give a final score of 22-9.

Livingston may justifiably feel the scoreline unfairly represents the closeness of the contest but can take great credit and heart from their Herculean effort despite defeat.

Source: The Eastwood Extra & The West Lothian Courier, Thursday 7th November 2002

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