As the return of domestic club rugby has been unfortunately pushed back again, lets continue our trip down memory lane and try to fill that void of Saturday afternoon GHA Rugby.
On this day 8 years ago GHA met Whitecraigs in the first ever competitive East Renfrewshire Derby. The Giffnock side secured the bonus point win that maintained their tussle with Cartha Queens Park at the top of the Championship A table.
GHA TAKE SPOILS IN FIRST EVER COMPETITIVE EAST RENFREWSHIRE DERBY
GHA RFC MATCH 244: WHITECRAIGS RFC 24 – 44 GHA RFC
2012/2013: Scottish Championship A
|W. Corbett||15||D. Dunn|
|G. Mahindru||14||R. Jericevich|
|B. Wamberg||13||H. O’Hare|
|R. Moffat||12||A. Henderson (c)|
|G. Emans||11||J. Brogan|
|C. Percival||10||C. Sorbie|
|B. Farrell||9||A. Gillman|
|(c) I. Laidlaw||1||M. Kidd|
|R. Jaap||2||J. Malcolm|
|F. Campbell||3||S. Fisher|
|S. Pollock||4||R. Glen|
|H. Hunter||5||R. Jenkins|
|B. Blamire||6||D. Malcolm|
|B. Jardine||7||A. Auld|
|N. Blamire||8||G. MacDonald|
|J. Tait||16||S. Carson|
|D. McKelvie||17||P. Harkins|
|J. Christine||18||R. McClymont|
|A. Berry||19||S. Lang|
|Farrell, Laidlaw, Moffat, Pollock||Try||Brogan (2), Henderson (2), Dunn, O’Hare|
|Moffat (2)||Con||Brogan (4)|
|Mr N. Muir (Edinburgh RS)|
John Brogan made a substantial contribution with more than half the GHA;s points in victory against Whitecraigs at West Lodge on Saturday. On his return to the first XV the 19-year-old wing scored two of the visitors six tries and kicked half a dozen goals for a tally of 24 points.
Andy Henderson also had a brace of tries. His fellow centre, Hefin O’Hare, also had a try, as had Dominic Dunn as GHA kept in touch with the RBS Championship A league leaders, Cartha Queens Park, who will be next weekends visitors to Braidholm.
However, GHA suffered misfortunes on the road to victory. The contest had hardly started when Craig Sorbie had to retire with a shoulder injury. Dunn moved forward from full back to take over at stand-off, and before the end of match he too succumbed to injury.
Worse was that Paul Harkins was shown a red card with nearly 20 minutes still left to play. By then, however, GHA had a 13-point cushion, and not only did the 14-man team survive without conceding another score but they added to their tally with OHare running clear for the sixth try.
As if Sorbie’s early injury was not enough of a setback, GHA were seven points down after only five minutes to an Ian Laidlaw try and a Ryan Moffat conversion. But GHAs response was swift. After 17 minutes they led 15-7 with tries by Henderson and Dunn and a conversion and penalty by Brogan.
A try by Biel Farrell cut the visitors lead to three points midway in the first half. However, GHA were 11 points up at half-time with Brogan kicking a second penalty goal and sprinting away for his first try.
Half-Time Score: Whitecraigs RFC 12 – 23 GHA RFC
Another burst of the after-burners brought Brogan his second try only 51 seconds after the interval. He converted that try and the two others in the second half.
With a 30-12 lead and a bonus point secured, GHA seemed to ease up in the third quarter, and Whitecraigs came back with two more tries: Stuart Pollock scored in a drive-over in the left corner, and Moffat ran in at the posts, the latter converting his own try and cutting the GHA lead to just six points after 52 minutes.
Captain Henderson, however, led the way with his second try on the hour. That score and Brogan’s conversion became all the more valuable barely a minute later when Harkin was dismissed in what (from the touchline) seemed to be no more than a collision between two opposing players going for the ball on the ground. O’Hare’s late try was reward for the deleted team’s efforts in the last quarter.
GHA captain Andy Henderson who scored a brace of tries was delighted that the team got back to winning ways. He said:
“I thought we did some things quite well. We scored six tries which is good going. I thought the scrum was pretty solid against a big Whitecraigs pack. However they scored a few tries which has been the case this season against other teams is that we have conceded a few soft tries. We talk about must win games thats what the win against Whitecraigs kind of felt like. With Cartha having won all their games until last weekend it was crucial to stay within touching distance of them. It was a must win game for us and having lost the previous two weekends to get back to winning ways was really important.”
Next up GHA take on Cartha Queen’s Park at Braidholm with the lead at the top of the table cut to five points after Cartha’s first defeat of the season to Ardrossan Academicals. GHA captain Andy Henderson believes that the local derby and the chance to go joint top will add an extra edge to Saturday’s clash. He said:
“Cartha have set the standard in our league. I think they lost at the weekend but obviously won their first seven games. They are in terms of consistency the best in the league and it is going to be a tough game. We know it is a big match. Saturday showed that the local derbies hold a wee bit extra spice and Cartha will be the same. It is a real boost that at the end of the weekend we were just five points behind rather than ten points behind Cartha. If you look at the table it is much more encouraging for us. Obviously playing against them it is almost double points up for grabs because you are denying them the points and hopefully get them ourselves. I think everyone will be fully motivated this weekend and it is going to be a big game.”
Final Score: Whitecraigs RFC 24 – 44 GHA RFC
Source: Bill McMurtrie