SPIRITED FIGHTBACK AT STEW MEL AS LIGHTENING THREATENS TO STRIKE TWICE

SPIRITED FIGHTBACK AT STEW MEL AS LIGHTENING THREATENS TO STRIKE TWICE

GHA RFC MATCH 270: STEWART’S MELVILLE FP RFC 34 – 28 GHA RFC 

2013/2014: Scottish National League

STEWART’S MELVILLE FP RFC 

 GHA RFC

M. Hanning 15 S. Lang
M. Morrell 14 R. Jericevich
D. Hampton 13 J. Edgar
S. Allan 12 A. Henderson (c)
A. Whittingham 11 J. Couper
(c) N. McCashin 10 D. Dunn
F. Strachan 9 J. Plumridge
W. Aitken 1 S. Carson
A. Howie 2 M. Kidd
R. Morgan 3 S. Fisher
S. Brewster 4 R. Glen
F. Morrison 5 D. Larkin
R. Stewart 6 P. Harkins
B. Wilson 7 A. Auld
D. Sangster 8 G. MacDonald
R. Anderson 16 G. King
N. Hart 17 J. White
D. Pech 18 J. Auld
S. Rowlands 19 G. Adams
N. Bowie 20 C. Binnie
Whittingham (3), Morrell (2), Allan Try Binnie, Couper, Lang, Larkin
McCashin (2) Con Lang (4)
Pen
DG
Referee
Mr S. Grove-White (Caledonia RS)

 

A lacklustre first half from GHA left them 22 points to nil adrift at the interval and no doubt had GHA supporters anxious that a repeat of the opening day, 44 nil defeat to Stewarts’ Melville might be surpassed.

Credit must then be paid to the fighting spirit of the players that saw them not only add respectability to the score line but in scoring four second half tries and finishing within 7 points of the hosts, secure a vital double bonus point. Alas, having scored with the last play of the match and with the momentum firmly in their favour, it was a real pity that there was no time left to launch one final attack and go for the win.

After five minutes of constant pressure by the home side, Whittingham was given a one on one beside the clubhouse – a challenge that he accepted with alacrity to open our account. Whittingham, again, was then given space with a clever decoy move to double the lead and ran in unopposed. Further pressure on the GHA try line led to a yellow card for Rangi Jericevich for an infringement at the ruck.

McCashin then changed direction quicker than a Unite shop steward to give Morrell the scoring pass and extend our lead to 17 points. Matt Morrell then turned provider as he fed Dave Hampton to give Whittingham the bonus point try.

Half time, then, saw the score at 22-0, the home forwards having played their parts in this half with a commanding scrum from Morgan, Howie and Anderson, great scramble defence from Ben Wilson and some excellent support play from Fraser Morrison.

In the first half GHA had not been able to capitalise on breaks from Lang and Edgar, but, after half time, they were rewarded for their efforts with a good try from Lang. Struan Allan then battered his way over to give Nick McCashin a kick in front of the sticks and Matt Morrell appeared on the right to extend Stewart’s Melville lead to 34-7. Ruaridh was yellow carded at this point, and, if last week he was decidedly unlucky to see yellow – this week it was guilty as charged, as he prevented fair release of the ball.

Soon after, it was the forwards turn as some close quarter pick and go play close to the Stew Mel line eventually saw second row Declan Larkin dot down. GHA’s third was scored by wing James Couper who capitalised on loose play by Stew Mel near their own line to score.

Then, in a relentless last 5 minutes, GHA worked the ball up field from inside their own 22. With the last play of the game, a sensational finish from substitute centre Chris Binnie saw him draw GHA to within 8, Scott Lang added the pressure conversion to make it a 6 point defeat but secure the second bonus.

GHA head coach Gordon MacPherson was the more satisfied coach after Saturday’s game. He reasoned that, if his players had played the same way in the second half as they had in the first, he was looking at the wrong end of a sixty pointer. Instead, they travelled home with two points in the bag, having ‘won’ the second half.

Next week GHA welcome Peebles to Braidholm with the kick off at the earlier time of 2pm.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & Gav Calder, Monday 28th October 2013

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