In normal times we would be wrapping up the seasons loose ends and looking forward to a few months of rest and recuperation, however sadly these are not normal times. Lets see where memory lane takes us this week as we pray there will be no more seasons like this one.
A midweek trip to Gala doesn’t sound ideal to anyone but back in April 2018 this is exactly what GHA were required to do. The young squad did however manage to highlight their future potential by securing the clubs second win and first in fourteen years at Netherdale.
GHA FINISH SEASON ON A HIGH AT GALA
GHA RFC MATCH 381: GALA RFC 7 – 24 GHA RFC
2017/2018: National League One
|G. Speirs||15||G. Mollison|
|J. Frew||14||A. Spowart|
|J. Turnbull||13||B. Addison|
|C. Robertson||12||J. Hamilton-Potter|
|S. Patterson||11||J. Edgar|
|R. Jeffrey||10||A. Goudie (c)|
|L. Johnston||9||G. Baird|
|(c) C. Keen||1||S. Carson|
|J. Chambers||2||S. Usuda|
|T. Logan||3||M. Scott|
|J. Watson||4||D. Corbenici|
|B. Reavely||5||A. Kerr|
|J. McCabe||6||J. Sutherland|
|R. Tod||7||D. Ewing|
|S. Cairns||8||R. Angus|
|P. Stewart||16||K. Chernick|
|L. Roden||17||D. Sutton|
|R. Irvine||18||L.M. Mavunga|
|G. Shepherd||19||L. Venerio|
|S. Wilkinson||20||A. Brennan|
|Penalty||Try||Edgar, Hamilton-Potter, Mollison, Spowart|
|Mr R. Campbell|
GHA concluded their BT National League 1 campaign with a long trip to Gala on Wednesday evening. GHA knew that a win would guarantee a third place finish in the League this season.
The timing of the fixture and the current University exam period meant a number of first team regulars were unable to make the trip down. However, over the 80 minutes any concerns that the away support may have had were put to bed with a calm and professional display from the team including some stand out performances from the boys who had been drafted into the squad.
GHA attacked Gala from the first whistle and after 5 minutes, a powerful counter attack from full back Grant Mollison punched a hole in the Gala defense on the left hand side. Stand Off Andrew Goudie then quickly shipped the ball right and winger James Edgar cut through the Gala defense with a wonderful arcing run before outstripping the cover defenders to score. Gala 0 – 5 GHA.
It wasn’t long before GHA were on the attack again. After multiple phases in the Gala 22, Goudie again fed his back line and Inside Centre Johnny Potter broke the line before scoring to the left of the posts. Goudie converted to give GHA a 12 point advantage.
Gala were causing GHA problems at the break-down winning a number of penalties throughout the match thanks to their work in this area. On the half hour mark, one such penalty allowed Gala Full-Back Graham Spiers to kick for the corner for a Gala line-out on the GHA 5 metre line. GHA were able to hold them out despite losing Ross Angus to a yellow card for entering the maul from the side. Despite this set back GHA were able to hold Gala out for a full 8 minutes before Gala eventually made the pressure count when they were awarded a penalty try from a scrum close to the line. Gala 7 – 12 GHA.
GHA remained composed and Ross Angus returned to the field soon after. GHA spurned a late chance to add a third try before the end of the half when a pass to the dangerous Grant Mollison who burst through the line once more was deemed forward.
Despite some fast and exciting rugby on a warm evening and a bowling green of a pitch, the game did become quite a turgid affair at times due to the number of penalties and also, some injury stoppages. GHA’s third try was a cracker. GHA broke from half way and Goudie was stopped just short of the Gala line. GHA won a penalty and elected to run it and after a sustained period of concerted pressure, Grant Mollison capped an excellent performance with a powerful finish near the left hand corner. Goudie, as he so often does, nailed the most difficult kick of the afternoon with a touchline conversion to give GHA a 19-7 lead.
In the period that followed, the game was briefly stopped after Johnny Potter and Andrew Goudie clashed heads while making a double tackle. Goudie was forced to leave the field for treatment to a badly cut lip and Ben Addison moved to Stand Off with scrum half replacement Lucho Venerio coming on on the wing.
Gala were far from out of it and continued to pressurise GHA and were making good ground in the wide channels. With 10 minutes to go, Gala looked for all money like they were going to score as they hammered the GHA line but an alert Andrew Spowart anticipated a Gala pass beautifully to intercept and run a full 95 metres for the bonus point score. George Baird missed the wide conversion and GHA now had a commanding 24-7 lead.
Goudie returned to the field for the final 5 minutes as Euan Clark also unloaded his bench and GHA were able to see the game out.