GHA RFC MATCH 259: GHA RFC 32 – 3 WHITECRAIGS RFC
2012/2013: Scottish Championship A
|(c) A. Henderson||12|
|Brogan, Dunn, Henderson, MacDonald||Try|
|Ms M. Hay (Kirkcaldy RFC)|
GHA secured a crucial bonus point win in the East Renfrewshire derby against Whitecraigs in a tense, error strewn encounter which keeps their promotion hopes alive. The result was a fair reflection on the balance of play although the staunch Whitecraigs defence shackled the GHA attack for much of the afternoon.
Four tries from Dominic Dunn, Andrew Henderson, Grant MacDonald and John Brogan were
enough in the end to secure both the win and a crucial bonus point in the quest for the league
title and the one promotion spot.
GHA Captain Andrew Henderson was pleased with the teams defensive display. He said: “Whitecraigs have some big forwards and some good ball carriers. I thought we handled them well, got them back behind the gain line and not to concede even though they had some good spells of pressure on our try line was pleasing. Obviously there were quite a few mistakes. They disrupted our ball in the contact area quite well. But overall we are very pleased to get a bonus point win which is what we were after at the end of the day.”
The result keeps GHA 10 points clear of Cartha who have two games in hand. GHA have three weeks off before a likely winner takes all showdown against Cartha on the 23rd March.
GHA Captain Andrew Henderson feels the break could be a disadvantage. He said: “It is probably not ideal to have such a long break. I don’t know if there will be a friendly organised. It would probably be better to keep our momentum going and have a few games before the
last game against Cartha. However that is way it goes, they have a few games left to play and we just have one. We will be training hard and work on certain things we need to improve on before the game against Cartha.”
GHA took an early lead through two John Brogan penalties, with Whitecraigs hitting back with three points of their own. Penalties were to become the order of the day as this stunted game was peppered with the referee’s whistle and it seemed that barely a phase would pass without the official finding some reason to blow up. As local derbies go, the competition in the tight exchanges was hotly contested and 3 yellow cards were dished out in the first 40 minutes, two to GHA with second row Ryan Jenkins and centre Hefin O’Hare both spending 10 minutes in the cooler along side Whitecraigs skipper Ally Stevenson.
GHA did show flashes of the free flowing play they have displayed all season and mid way through the first half, after some excellent phase play inside the Whitecraigs half, fly half Dominic Dunn neatly stepped through a half gap in the Whitecraigs defence before stepping inside the full back to score under the posts.
The second half saw GHA add a second score early on when some good handling out of contact near the Whitecraigs line put skipper Andrew Henderson over for the score.
The GHA scrum dominated all afternoon and GHA threatened a push over try whenever they were within sight of the Whitecraigs line but to the dismay of the home team, the referee seemed oblivious to any disruptive Whitecraigs infringements as the scrum trundled toward the try line. Nevertheless, GHA number 8 Grant MacDonald did eventually score a well earned pushover score to give GHA a 27 to 3 lead with just under 10 minutes left on the clock.
As the game stuttered towards it’s conclusion, the home team pursued the bonus point score and in the game’s final moments, John Brogan jinked and jousted his way around the close attention of 3 Whitecraigs defenders to score in the corner.
Despite the one sided scoreline, this game was a real tussle and much credit must go to the Whitecraigs side, particularly their hard working wing forwards who were a thorn in GHA’s side all afternoon.
GHA now have a break for three weekends before they play their final game against old foes Cartha Queens Park in what almost certainly looks set to be a final day title decider at Dumbreck on Saturday the 23rd March.
Source: Bill McMurtrie