Dundee HSFP 19 GHA 37
Mayfield, the home of Dundee HSFP nestles on the banks of the Tay which on this beautiful day was dressed in all its silvery splendour. There have been a number of personnel changes in the home ranks and an interesting collaboration with Dundee Morgan RFC is underway. GHA arrived here on the back of a hard fought victory over Cartha. Mayfield has not been the most productive ground for GHA in recent years and it was very clear a special effort would be required to wrestle the points from Dundee.
Both sides varied their preparation in what had become a very hot day. The pitch still retains it early season vigour and is ideal for running rugby. GHA kicked off and on receipt of the ball Dundee immediately attacked the GHA defence. Several minutes passed as both sides attempted to find gaps in their opponents defence. The trio of George Baird, Ross McCorkindale and Max MacFarlane continually attempting to move the ball quickly and put pressure on the home rearguard.In the sixth minute a superb break by MIchael Scott tore holes in the home defence and the move only broke down when the ball failed to go to hand. After consistent pressure in the Dundee half, the home side gave away a penalty in a desperate attempt to prevent a GHA incursion. Scott Plumridge converted the kick to make the score after nine minutes DUNDEE 0 GHA 3.
The visitors sensed that there was an opportunity to establish territorial control in this match and began to introduce a variety of well rehearsed back moves which forced Dundee on to the back foot .Dundee were driven back deep into their own half being asked to defend a varied and concentrated number of assaults by the visitors to the consternation of the home support. Charlie Lonergan and Michael Scott made inroads through the home defence and after sixteen minutes Dario Ewing a consistent menace to the home side, burst through to score. The conversion failed and the score was now DUNDEE 0 GHA 8.
Undaunted Dundee mounted a huge effort which kept them in the visitors half for the first time in the match. Lewis McNamara and Angus Campbell set up possession for the home side deep in the GHA twenty two metre area, a brilliant burst through the GHA defences by Ross Aitken was only stopped by a desperate tackle. Messrs McKay and Ritch and McGinn combined well to stretch the GHA defence before turning the ball inside to allow Neil Turnbull to charge over to make the score after nineteen minutes DUNDEE 5 GHA 8 the successful conversion brought the score to DUNDEE 7 GHA 8.
Both sides continued to run the ball at every opportunity and the next ten minutes were characterised by clever feints and moves by both sides and effective tackling. Huge tackles by Michael Scott and Grant Mollison amongst others dislodged the ball from the home sides possession. GHA were awarded a penalty quickly taken by George Baird and as the forwards rumbled deep into the Dundee half, Michael Scott seized the opportunity to go over to score. The conversion was missed and the score after thirty five minutes was DUNDEE 7 GHA 13.
Half time arrived with no further score in what had been an exciting half with lots of inventive rugby and stubborn defence…however it was peppered with a number of crucial knock ons and spilled passes. Both sides showed an appetite to attack with GHA enjoying the majority of the pressure. Defences would have to work hard in the second half to prevent being cut open.
The home side started the second half at great pace and their intent drove the visitors back into their own half. Solid possession for the home side was enhanced by good movement from messrs Meadows and Turnbull pushing the visitors into their five metre area and only superb defensive scrambling by Grant Mollison saved the day if only temporarily. A further drive to the visitors line allowed Angus Farquhar to score. A narrow miss from attempted conversion made the score after five minutes of the half DUNDEE 12 GHA 13.
This score gave a platform to the home side to attempt to achieve dominance after being on the backfoot for most of the first half. The pace of the match was hectic with effective tackling causing spilled passes and knock ons. Both sides realised the next ten minutes would go a long way to deciding the outcome and employed a myriad of feints and deceptions to attempt to gain territory. GHA forced play back into the Dundee half and following a quickly taken penalty award Luis Barron shot over to score to great acclaim by his team mates to make the score after fifteen minutes of the half DUNDEE 12 GHA 18.
The conversion was missed and Dundee attempted to take the match straight back to the visitors.Both sides put together impressive breaks but decisive tackling prevented any score. The pace despite the very warm day continued . As we reached the half hour mark both sides defended well and blunted their opponents incursions, as a result play moved back and forth across the half way line. However on the thirty minute mark, a brilliant blistering break by Cameron King allowed him to slice through the opposition to score. The try was converted and the score was now DUNDEE 12 GHA 25.
This score seemed to daze the home side and following the restart GHA attacked again with menace. In an astonishing break Charlie Lonergan broke from his own half to outstrip the home defence to score . This made the score after thirty five minutes DUNDEE 12 GHA 30.
With time at premium roared on by the home support, Dundee mounted a ferocious assault on the GHA line. The visitors defended desperately but James Sutherland was yellow carded for hands in the ruck. Dundee moved the penalty quickly and Harry Meadows went over to score. A very quick conversion made the score DUNDEE 19 GHA 30.
This score brought renewed heart to the home side who strained every sinew to further reduce the leeway.As we headed for the conclusion a fabulous pick up by James Edgar gave him the surprise factor to tear holes in the Dundee defence before he was stopped on the line. With seconds remaining GHA mounted an attack and the ball was fed to Grant Mollison who charged for the line chipping ahead. With his characteristic burst of pace Grant just managed to reach the ball before the cover defence arrived to score. A superb conversion by Ross Findlay meant the final score was DUNDEE 19 GHA 37.
This was an excellent match full of inventive running rugby allied to stout defensive tackling. GHA had dominated most of the match and forwards and backs combined superbly to triumph.
[The Headline is of course a tip of the ‘bonnet’ to that famous Dundee folk song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av2-A-igOJk]
DUNDEE HSFP: K. SCOULAR, J.RUTNAGUR, P. RITCH, F. McKAY, D. McGINN, R. AITKEN, S. LATHANGIE, S. DOIG, A. CAMPBELL, H.MEADOWS, N. TURNBULL, G. HUGHAN, K. FRANCO, A. FARQUHAR L. McNAMARA – REPLACEMENTS: l. McLEAN, A. THOMSON, N. HALL, A. HAMILTON, R. HOOD
SCORERS: T – FARQUHAR, MEADOWS, TURNBULL C – MCKAY (2)
GHA: G. MOLLISON S.DERRICK C.LONERGAN M.MacFARLANE B.ADDISON R.McCORKINDALE G.BAIRD M.SCOTT L.BARRON M.FOX J.McCARTHY A.KERR S.PLUMRIDGE D.EWING J.SUTHERLAND – REPLACEMENTS: S.CARSON B.KASPAR C.KING R.FINDLAY J.EDGAR
SCORERS: T – BARRON, EWING, KING, LONERGAN, MOLLISON, SCOTT C – FINDLAY, PLUMRDIGE P – PLUMRIDGE