Edinburgh Accies 19
ANDY WHITE @ Raeburn Place
VICTORIOUS head coach Trevor Carmichael praised the cohesion of his GHA side as they held their opponents to a scoreless second half to win a scrappy, attritional battle. This result means Accies drop to the foot of the table, one point behind Musselburgh, although they could climb to fifth if they win all their games in hand and other results go their way.
“Following on from our game at Marr last week our defence was really key in that second half, keeping Accies to no points was really good,” said Carmichael. “We’re coming together as a group and there’s a self-belief there that we can definitely do something in this league, and we’re really enjoying the challenge we’re having every week”.
Meanwhile, Accies lead coach Iain Berthinussen lamented the lack of territory and opportunities his team had to play their own game.
“We got a lesson in that second half around game management,” he said. “We didn’t do enough in the first 40, and in the second we probably did it for ten minutes, then played a game for 20 minutes with 14 men. We get into their 22 and we score tries, but we then make an error and concede one. That’s the thing we need to fix, it’s what we’re doing in our half more than what we’re doing in the opposition’s half”.
Accies took the lead when lock Cameron Bain controlled the ball well at the tail of a 20 metre rolling maul which seared through the heart of GHA’s defence before bundling over the line, and stand-off Richard Mill added the conversion to put Accies into the driving seat early on.
GHA struck back ten minutes later, putting it through the hands to release full-back Grant Mollison, who was unable to find his back three partner Jordan Craig, before an Accies hand in the ruck gave Jamie Mackinnon a shot at the posts from 30 metres out.
It wasn’t long before Accies were back in the driving seat, making up for a squint line-out feed to throw by pinching the re-throw at the tail. They kept it tight again and this time hooker Sean Crombie was the man in control when the ball was grounded. Mill couldn’t add the extras with the conversion bouncing the wrong way off the left upright.
From the restart, a mistimed collision in the air forced GHA open-side Mike Ryan off with a leg injury and his replacement Milan Marinkovic made an impact with some good carrying, contributing one of many pick-and-goes before lock forward Adam Barnett crossed to the right of the posts. The conversion added by Mackinnon, made it 12-10 to the home side.
Accies’ set-piece was working well and a few misplaced kicks straight to touch by GHA played into their hands. As half-time approached, Crombie crossed again after the home team had made 30 yards with some impressive close-range driving play.
But the visitors had the last say in that opening 40, when some deft hands and linking play saw scrum-half Andrew Gillman release Mollison on an arcing 30-yard run, before he was hauled down illegally, leading to Accies lock Patrick O’Sullivan copping ten minutes in the bin, and Mackinnon knocking over the three points for good measure.
And GHA weren’t done yet. Straight from the restart, Gillman collected a nice pass from inside-centre Robbie McCallum to set back-rower Luke McCutcheon on the rampage, before McCallum appeared on the scene again to finish off the move on the stroke of half-time. Mackinnon’s conversion meant the away team took a one-point lead into the break.
After the break, GHA were the brighter team, trying to create from their own 22, and when Mackinnon set Mollison free again up the wing, it caught Accies unaware, making yards before the conditions forced a knock on.
As the rain piled on, the errors from both teams multiplied. GHA were afforded a large territorial gain from two swift Accies ruck infringements, and Mill ended up seeing yellow. Until then, Accies’ defence had been unwavering, but the numerical surplus proved enough for GHA replacement Andrew Lamb to cross, switching sides to receive the ball from the scrum and race into the left corner.
Moments later, hooker Dario Ewing took a short ball and, with plenty to do, showed a deceptive turn of pace to race 40 metres for what looked certain to be the bonus point score, only to be hauled down illegally by scrum-half Max Love. The ball was recycled quickly to GHA winger Aaron Purewal, but was then fumbled. Love was swiftly dismissed to the bin but no penalty try was awarded.
GHA kept the pressure on for the remainder of the match but Accies managed to keep the bonus point try at bay.
Edinburgh Accies: R Wilson, J Paterson, R Campbell, N Armstrong, H McLean, R Mill, M Love; C imrie, S Crombie, C Lamberton, C Bain, P O’Sullivan, C Thomson, J Sole ©, J Bruce. Subs: R Gregor, D Anderson, D Dineen, M Sinclair, C Armstrong.
GHA: G Mollison, J Craig, A Hughes, R McCallum, A Purewal, J Mackinnon, A Gillman; T Brogan, D Ewing, E McLaren, A Barnett, J McCarthy, A Kerr, M Ryan, L McCutcheon. Subs: K Chernick, M Fox, M Marinkovic, G Baird, A Lamb.
Referee: D Young
Edinburgh Accies: Tries: Bain, Crombie 2. Cons: Mill 2.
GHA: Tries: Barnett, Lamb, McCallum; Cons: Mackinnon 2; Pens: MacKinnon.
Scoring sequence (Edinburgh Accies first): 5-0; 7-0; 7-3; 12-3; 12-8; 12-10; 17-10; 19-10; 19-13; 19-18; 19-20; 19-25.
Yellow cards –
Accies: O’Sullivan, Mill, Love.
Man-of-the-Match: Despite Crombie’s brace, and solid scrummaging, GHA full-back Grant Mollison was a constant thorn in the side of Accies, with determined running creating chance after chance either side of half-time.
Talking point: It could have been a bonus point win for GHA, could a penalty try have been awarded after hooker Ewing was high tackled five metres out?