As we continue to be deprived of Saturday club rugby, lets continue our trip down memory lane and try to fill that void.
On the fourth Saturday of October back in 2016, GHA welcomed Dundee HSFP to Braidholm in a National League One tie that would live long in the memory with GHA fans as one of the most dramatic comebacks in the clubs history. A true game of two halves!
A WIN AND A HALF FOR GHA
GHA RFC MATCH 342: GHA RFC 29 – 20 DUNDEE HSFP
2016/2017: National League One
|G. Mollison||15||A. Dymock|
|A. Spowart||14||I. Matacagi|
|B. Addison||13||C. Bowie|
|C. Lonergan||12||C. Strachan|
|C. Binnie||11||F. McKay|
|A. Goudie||10||E. Fox|
|P. Jericevich||9||K. Baretto|
|C. Braid||1||J. Gibson|
|S. Usuda||2||D. Russell|
|M. Scott||3||A. Brown|
|R. Jenkins||4||I. Robertson|
|P. Harkins||5||N. Turnbull|
|S. Plumridge||6||K. Franco|
|W. Graham||7||D. Turner|
|G. MacDonald||8||R. Milne|
|T. Ritchie||16||J. Brady|
|S. Carson||17||S. Strachan|
|F. Haig||18||C. Cumming|
|R. Findlay||19||T. McKavanagh|
|J. Edgar||20||J. Petty|
|Spowart (2), Addison, Jericevich||Try||Matacagi, Milne, C. Strachan|
|Mr G. Ormiston|
GHA completed a remarkable second-half revival to overturn a 20-0 deficit to gain a bonus-point win over Dundee at Briadholm.
A busy Braidholm with the Old Aloysians enjoying some repast before the match welcomed Dundee HSFP. A clear day with no wind and a firm pitch promised rewarding conditions for what is always a closely fought encounter between these two sides. Dundee went through a vigorous set of skills in the preparation period and were on the pitch for well over the half hour mark. The home side ran through their drills and then gathered together to go over tactics. Dundee looked to have several powerful players in the pack and would clearly utilise their power as the match progressed. Both sides took the field through a guard of honour by members of the GHA junior section resplendent as always in the striking junior club kit.
Dundee kicked off and despite Andrew Goldie clearing an initial foray by the visitors, Dundee were quickly into the groove using the power of messrs Strachan and Brown to attack GHA around the fringes. After five minutes GHA were adjudged to be offside and Ewan Fox converted the penalty from inside the home sides half to make the score: GHA 0 DUNDEE HSFP 3.
Both sides attempted to establish dominance but effective defensive tackling by both sides meant the game tended to move back and forth across the halfway line with little penetration for either side. After seven minutes Dundee began to use their power at the set piece and as they were to do for most of the match until scrummaging went to non contested, pushed GHA off the ball. Dundee used this platform to bring strike runners from the forwards and the backs to take the game to GHA. The home side had to put in a number of energy sapping tackles to hold their line intact. Dundee with Robertson and Turnbull prominent, were asking questions about the GHA ability to counter these forays into the GHA half. Dundee were awarded a penalty as the home scrum collapsed under pressure. The visitors kicked to the corner and for several frantic minutes attacked the GHA defensive line. Only brave and accurate tackling managed to repel the visitors until Peter Jericevich put in a relieving kick.
By the tenth minute GHA were attempting to break out of their half and a clever kick and chase by Ben Addison was almost successful until Dundee full back Dymock cleared the danger. GHA enjoyed some possession at this stage and began to probe for a way through the visitors defence which engaged the GHA back line with great speed. GHA were penalised for crossing much to the ire of the home support in a packed stand. The home side were to be penalised several times for crossing and the awards seemed to create a confusion and hesitancy amongst the home sides talented backs. In the twentieth minute after good work by Brown and Turnbull a break by the lightening fast Matacagi tore holes through the home defence before being stopped. The ball was recycled and Strachan went over to score. The score now was :GHA 0 DUNDEE HSFP 8pts.
The conversion was missed and Dundee now fully employed their forward power to shunt GHA off the ball and to win quick clean recycled ball.Another penalty was awarded to the visitors just inside the GHA half of the pitch and Fox put the ball in touch on the home twenty metre area. Once again messrs Brown, Turnbull and Robertson carried the ball into contact and with very speedy release sent Milne over to score. After twenty eight minutes the score was now:GHA 0 DUNDEE HSFP 13.
The conversion was missed and GHA were desperately looking for ways to counter the pressure from fast engaging backs and their opponents forward power. Dundee had settled into the pattern they wished to play to .driving forward play at set piece and loose before releasing backs. In one such move a great break by Dundee was stopped by a superb last ditch tackle by Andrew Spowart. Dundee continued to take the game to GHA and won a penalty for hands being used in the loose. This was in front of the posts from around twenty metres. Surprisingly and to the relief of the home crowd Ewan Fox missed the chance to put Dundee further ahead. As we reached the thirty fifth minute there was a sparkling break by the talented Matacagi in which he weaved and sidestepped his way brilliantly through the home defence before being forced to touch down in the corner as GHA desperately succeeded in preventing him scoring under the posts. As if to make amends for his previous error, Ewan Fox converted the try from a difficult angle and as we approached half time the score was now : GHA 0 DUNDEE HSFP 20. GHA garnered themselves and took the game bravely to the visitors, several breaks by Grant MacDonald and Paul Harkins were blunted by the all enveloping defence of Dundee. Just on half time Dundee were awarded another penalty and from just on half way Fox missed the chance to increase the lead.
Half Time : GHA 0 DUNDEE HSFP 20
Half time allowed both sides to assess the situation. Dundee had amassed a healthy lead by using forward power and individual talent in their backs. GHA had worked hard to stem the tide and whilst in deficit could take heart from the determined defence they had put up and the last five minutes before the interval when passing and support play had become more assured and effective. Immediately on the restart GHA were awarded a penalty for a Dundee offside. Peter Jericevich converted to put GHA on the scoreboard. GHA 3 DUNDEE HSFP 20. There was a spring in the step of the home side and Dundee had to defend over the next few minutes as the home side took the game to them competing well in the loose and beginning to find little breaks in the Dundee defensive line. Fergus Haig, Seitaro Usuda and Michael Scott all made well supported forays into Dundee territory only for knock ons to bring these attempts to naught. There was a very clear increase in the tempo GHA were applying to the match and Dundee did not seem so comfortable coping with this tempo.
By the thirteenth minute GHA were working hard to establish a strong platform and Grant MacDonald in an incisive break was unfortunate to be stopped inside the Dundee twenty metre area. GHA were awarded a penalty for a dangerous tackle and Fraser McKay received a yellow card at a critical stage of the match. Scrums were now uncontested as injuries to the home front row and replacements prevented any meaningful engagement. GHA kicked long into the corner and from lineout ball mounted several attacks at the Dundee line. Peter Jericevich, Andrew Goudie Grant Macdonald and Walker Graham were working closely together trying to set a winning pass up for a colleague. The home crowd watched as one such pass was intercepted and the recipient was only stopped by the home side s last ditch tackle deep into their own half. Dundee were going through their skills repertoire; ball carriers taking the ball into contact and then releasing. However there was a new tenacity about the home side and Dundee were not enjoying the success such endeavours had created in the first half. By sheer determination, GHA forced Dundee back into their own half with crisp passing ,powerful support and quick recycling. After nineteen minutes after a very clever interchange between the GHA backs which left Dundee backs floundering, Ben Addison went over to give hope to the home side. The try was converted and the score was now: GHA 10 DUNDEE HSFP 20.
The complexion of this match had totally changed with the home side finding renewed belief and strength that they could save this match. By contrast Dundee began to look less comfortable and less assured in possession. However there was still a huge effort required for the home side to turn matters to their advantage. In the twenty eigth minute an inspired inter passing move by Ben Addison and Andrew Spowart saw the winger dive over to score which was converted by Peter Jericevich to bring the score to : GHA 17 DUNDEE HSFP 20.
The impetus was now with the home side and a lightning break by James Edgar just failed to succeed. The ball was very quickly recycled from deep inside the Dundee half and from a loose ruck Peter Jericevich dived through a pile of bodies to score. Peter failed to convert his try and the score now read :GHA 22 DUNDEE HSFP 20.
There was a mere seven minutes of the match remaining and Braidholm members began to reflect that a late interception had cost us dearly the previous week. Despite the game being on a knife edge both sides threw the ball wide trying to find space to run through. Dundee moved the ball menacingly through their back line up to halfway. Andrew Spowart brilliantly read the move and intercepted the pass. With considerable dexterity he moved around the desperate attempts to stop him and scored between the posts with five minutes left of the match. The try was converted and the score in the dying minutes of the match was : GHA 29 DUNDEE HSFP 20. Despite scenes of euphoria in the stands the home side concentrated on seeing out the match and claiming a victory and a bonus point with an outstanding display in the second half.
Final score:GHA 29 DUNDEE HSFP 20.