Edinburgh Accies 20
ERIN McRITCHIE @ Braidholm
IT has been a struggle for GHA during the opening weeks of this campaign after being one of six sides to move up a division during the summer as part of the reshuffle of the league structure prompted by the introduction of Super6 – but they were not overrun during their previous three outings against some of the top teams in the Premiership and they have now gained a well-deserved, morale-boosting, bonus-point win.
“I think we’ve just finally put together our performance for 80 minutes,” said victorious had coach Trevor Carmichael. “The first three games have been really hard for us, and it’s been a learning curve , so we’ve just had to take a lot of plus points and positives from the first three games and put it together.
“We really took it to Accies today and we got a bonus point by half-time,” he added. “And though we knew they would come back into it, I think the boys really stuck at it. Our effort was commendable.”
Meanwhile, visiting head coach Iain Berthinussen was fair in his summary of the match. “I think it was a dose of reality for us,” he said. “A lesson in risk versus reward – we probably played for about 12 minutes of that game and then started to play risky and we got nothing else out of it.”
“We expected a performance from GHA – we knew it would be tough – every time we came here to play them at National One we’ve always had good games against them,” he added.
Following a 15 minute delay to kick off – both due to traffic through from Edinburgh and the fact that Accies coach driver had reportedly accidentally taken a detour via GHK – it was the home side that kicked off the action in Giffnock and the hosts were immediately onto the front foot, with full-back Grant Mollison getting their first try and Jack Anderson adding the extras to make it 7-0.
GHA crossed the line again on 13 minutes when good line-out ball from I’ve metres out provided the platform for hooker Hamish Clark to crash over, and once more Anderson added the extras.
Accies responded on 17 minutes. A miss-thrown GHA line-out was sniped at the back by Sean Crombie, who fed Patrick O’Sullivan on the wing and No 8 Ruairi Campbell finished the try off. Jamie Loomes couldn’t add tiger extras, but he
was on target with a penalty around the half hour mark which reduced the gap to six points.
But GHA stretched away gain when they ciliated a box-kick Jordan Craig took off, before feeding Mollison, who in turn sent Charlie Lonergan jinking home.
This weekend’s Premiership results:
Just as the crowd started to calm down, and with attention running to the half-time pies, GHA scored once more, with the impressive combination of Lonergan and Mollison released winger Jackson Baillie for the bonus-point score, making it 24-8 at the break.
Jamie Sole struck back for the visitors nine after none minutes of the second half and Loomes added the extras to cut the home lead to nine points, and the Raeburn Place men reduced the deficit further when Loomes and Richard Mill combined to send Max Love in for and unconverted score.
With five minutes left, and only four points separating the teams, the game was wide open, and it was previously winless GHA who wanted it more
The biggest roar of the day was reserved for the 80th minute, when the home forward crashed over the whitewash and Adam Kerr got the credit for grounding the ball. Anderson’s conversion finished off a fine day’s work for the Braidholm men.
GHA: G Mollison; J Craig, C Lonergan, C King, J Baillie; J Anderson, A Gillman; T Brogan, H Clark, S Fisher, A Barnett, J McCarthy, A Kerr, D Ewing, L McCutcheon. Subs: M Fox, F Faulds, G Baird, R Findlay, R O’Keefe.
Edinburgh Accies: M Love; R Cameron, R Wilson, R Mill, J Adamson; J Loomes, M Sinclair; C Imrie, S Crombie, D Anderson, J Bruce, A Inwood, P O’Sullivan, J Sole, R Campbell. Subs: R Simpson, F MacKenzie, C Thomson, R McConnell, W Stephen.
Referee: G Pounder.
GHA: Tries: Mollison, Clark, Lonergan, Baillie, Kerr; Cons: Anderson 3.
Edinburgh Accies: Tries: Campbell, Sole, Love; Cons: Loomes. Pens: Loomes.
Scoring sequence (GHA first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 14-0; 14-5; 14-8; 19-8; 24-8 (h-t) 24-13; 24-15; 24-20; 29-20; 31-20.
Man-of-the-Match: Forwards Adam Barnett and Adam Kerr, and backs Charlie Lonergan and Grant Mollison were all crucial for GHA. Ultimately, however, it has to go to Mollison. The full-back was the first to cross the line for GHA and was constant threat and attack without sacrificing his defensive responsibilities.
Talking point: GHA’s commitment to producing an 80-minute performance was impressive and suggests that they could grow into a real force to be reckoned with in this league as they become accustomed to the level required.