WATSONIANS CRUISE RELEGATION CONTEST TO DEEPEN GHA DESPAIR

GHA RFC MATCH 63: WATSONIANS FC 51 – 17 GHA RFC

2004/2005: Scottish Premiership One

WATSONIANS FC 

 GHA RFC

B. Hennessy 15 R. West
S. McAllister 14 R. Watson
C. McWilliam 13 A. Bulloch
B. Di Rollo 12 I. Kennedy
M. Morrell 11 B. Edgar
J. Easton 10 M. Dunn
J. Blackwood 9 A. Miller
D. O’Connell 1 R. Nolan
S. Lawrie 2 D. Malcolm
A. Welsh 3 D. Jamieson
D. O’Connell 4 I. Smith
R. Duncan 5 G. Harkness
J. Thrush 6 C. Di Ciacca
G. Brown 7 J. Barclay
K. Anselmi 8 J. Mathieson
A. Nash 16 I. McKinnon
T. Takiari 17 J. Reid
S. Gray 18 A. Boag
S. Laird 19 R. Au
Di Rollo (3), Easton McAllister, Morrell, Nash Try Dunn, West
Hennessy (5) Con Edgar (2)
Hennessy (2) Pen Edgar
DG
Referee
Mr R. Dickson (Madras)

Watsonians grabbed a relegation lifeline when they outclassed a GHA side now facing a desperate battle to retain their BT Premiership Division One status. The home side showed flashes of the flowing rugby they are capable of but, in truth, they rarely had to engage top gear against a GHA side that was pedestrian throughout all but the opening minutes.

The match proved a personal triumph for Watsonians centre Ben Di Rollo, who recovered from an early blunder to score three of his side’s seven tries and eclipsed GHA counterpart Iain Kennedy, who was selected on the bench for the Scotland under-21 side to meet France next week – ahead of Di Rollo. There were rumblings of discontent in the home ranks after they were forced to omit under-21 captain Ian Dryburgh and sevens cap Andy Turnbull but, by the time the referee blew the final whistle, their mood was more conciliatory. Less so in the GHA camp, where coach David Wilson said: “That was embarrassing. If we are going to stay in this division, we will have to play much better than that.”

The visitors deservedly edged into the lead when Barry Edgar slotted a close-range penalty after seven minutes. That sparked the hosts into life and Hennessey landed the equalising penalty six minutes later. However, a loose pass by Di Rollo on the edge of the GHA 22 was snapped up by Ross West who galloped clear for a try which Edgar converted. Di Rollo atoned for his error with a searing break that carried play deep into GHA territory where he offloaded to Stuart McAllister then took the return before touching down in the corner. Hennessey’s conversion miss left Sonians two points adrift, but he made no mistake with a simple penalty after 29 minutes.

They then applied a rapid double blow to GHA`s hopes. The first was a move launched by Carl McWilliam and featuring Hennessey, who released Matt Morrell for a stylish score before adding the conversion. Then three minutes before the break, Hennessey again contributed twice to a second score by Di Rollo and converted to give Sonians a 25-10 lead.

Di Rollo completed his transformation from sinner to saint when he sliced through the GHA defence three minutes into the second half to complete his hat-trick and secure the bonus point. Hennessey’s conversion stretched the gap to an unbridgeable 22 points. It was little surprise when Watsonians extended their advantage. Blackwood did the spadework for McAllister to score before Alan Nash raced in for try No.6 and James Easton added the seventh. Martin Dunn grabbed a consolation score for GHA with the game’s final play.

Source: The Scotsman, Sunday 30th January 2005

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