NOONAN’S BOOT MAKES IT THIRD TIME LUCKY

GHA RFC MATCH 123: GHA RFC 31 – 27 HERIOT’S FP RFC

2007/2008: Scottish Premiership One

GHA RFC 

 HERIOT’S FP RFC

C. Binnie 15 J. Thompson
R. Watson 14 M. Teague
C. McKay 13 C. Goudie
A. Bulloch 12 R. Mill
N. Cassie 11 A. Douglas
J. Noonan 10 M. Sherwood
J. Wright 9 G. Wilson
J. Welsh 1 B. McNeil
D. Sutherland 2 S. Mustard
A. Kelly 3 K. Blyth
J. Reid 4 G. Bloomfield
J. Paine 5 D. Lambert
A. Boag 6 J. Parker
D. Chaney 7 C. Fusaro
C. Forrester 8 G. Noonan
D. Ziolo 16 W. Blacklock
A. Chambers 17 J. Alston
G. Williamson 18 M. Goldie
P. Harkins 19 H. Goodley
A. Rushforth 20 F. Giles
Forrester, McKay, Welsh Try Douglas, Goudie, McNeil, Teague
Noonan (2) Con Wilson (2)
Noonan (3) Pen Wilson
Noonan DG
Referee
Mr D. Changleng (Borders RRS)

 

Heriot’s assistant coach George Breckenridge believes that the Goldenacre men must go back to basics as they seek to rally from a disappointing league defeat away to the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership top flight newcomers GHA.

Reflecting on the 31-27 loss that had seen Heriot’s lead three times before succumbing to an injury-time try, Breckenridge said: “We have to do the simple things right and show more will to win. “We wasted four or five chances in the first half. The way I saw it, as a backs coach, it was really the poor execution of the two on ones and the other scoring opportunities that cost us dearly. We fought back and managed to get ourselves ahead then we tried to win the game with a flourish using a backs move that wasn’t on and it was intercepted. There was no need to try things like that.” The frustration was all the more acute for Breckenridge as he believes the current squad is fitter and more desperate for success than those of recent vintage at the club. He added: “They train with an enthusiasm and an intensity that Bob [McKillop, the head coach] and I didn’t see for a lot of the time last year. At three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon we need to have that intensity and enthusiasm.”

Heriot’s made a fine start to the match as they sought to protect their unbeaten record, and Graham Wilson slotted an early penalty to set them on their way. With Jim Thompson looking strong and sharp in the early stages and clearly benefiting from life with the Edinburgh pro squad, the Goldenacre men dominated proceedings for the first half hour. Marc Teague took his try tally to five for the season when he sprinted over after Dave Lambert had charged down a clearance kick and the ball had been spun wide. Wilson converted then did so again after Bruce McNeil rumbled over from a well executed lineout move. Seven days earlier, the Heriot’s coaches had bemoaned the fact that they repeatedly allowed their opponents – on that occasion it was Hawick – back into the game. But that failing resurfaced at Braidholm on Saturday and by half time GHA were back in the match through a try by Chris McKay, duly converted by Jim Noonan. Things got worse for the visitors when Calum Forrester touched down shortly after the restart then two penalties and a drop goal by Noonan gave the hosts the lead.

That was the cue for Heriot’s to display the sills at their disposal as Teague took a quick penalty and the ball was moved at speed to winger Andy Douglas who notched his first Premiership try for the club. Noonan’s response was to hammer over a long range penalty, making it 24-22 with ten minutes to play. Colin Goudie edged Heriot’s back in front with the bonus point try but rather than play out the closing stages in opposition territory, the visitors attempted to play an expansive game and found themselves on the back foot during a frantic finale. Twice they thwarted the GHA pack, but they were powerless to repel prop Jon Welsh as he drove over from close range in the third minute of injury time. Noonan’s conversion proved to be the final kick of the match and left Breckenridge fuming. “Two bonus points are great but we should have been 30 points up at half time,” he said. “It’s a very hard league and there are a lot of hard games ahead. We need to start thinking a bit more about what we are doing.”

Source: The Scotsman, Monday 17th September 2007

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