A BAPTISM of fire for GHA – Chieftains, Hawick and Marr in their opening three games – but they hung in there gamely – and set the show spectacularly on the road with their bonus point win over Accies in round four.
Great to watch. The fightback against Hawks at Braidholm – the tri-fest with Aberdeen up at Rubislaw – never a dull moment. A never-say-die attitude – good rugby – but mistakes aplenty – at times compensated by absolutely heroic defence. A white knuckle ride for their support – tremendous box office.
Difficult time after the Christmas break with three defeats out of four games – which dropped them from play-off contenders into the relegation mix – but a sterling effort at Philiphaugh in the last game saved the day.
- Welcoming seven talented products of their excellent youth development programme to the club’s senior section – with four of them (Adam Scott, Andrew Hughes, Andrew Lamb and Luke McCutcheon) making it to the first fifteen.
- Finding themselves 16 points adrift against Hawks at Braidholm in round five with 20 minutes to go and Dario Ewing red-carded – yet fighting back for a landmark victory on the last play of the game.
- Heroic last defensive set at Braidholm in round seven to deny Jed and secure a crucial 29-28 victory.
- Beating Marr 17-15 at Fullarton to win the Bill McLaren Shield. It was Marr’s first defeat since January 2018. Hit and run. A huge defensive effort – with young centre Andrew Hughes nominated man-of-the-match.
- Digging deep after the morale sapping defeat at home to Musselburgh to secure the critical losing bonus point in the final game at Philiphaugh.
- Grant Mollison making the Scotland Club side.
- Under-18s beating Hawick Youth in the semi-final of the National Youth Cup so qualifying to play Jed Thistle in the final — a game which unfortunately fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The youth section raising £5,000 for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in support of their team mate Dan Oliver who is battling against acute myeloid leukaemia.
- Losing their way at the beginning November – poor defence and poor discipline against Selkirk at Braidholm – followed by a tough afternoon in miserable conditions through at Malleny when, in truth, they never really got off the bus.
- A below par performance down at Jed in February where, again in admittedly atrocious conditions, they naively kicked the ball down the Young brothers’ throats – and paid the penalty.
- Grant Mollison – a rock in defence – an inspiration in attack.
- Charlie Lonergan made a big impact early in the campaign, particularly in the magnificent fightback against Hawks at Braidholm – but disappeared travelling after Christmas – arriving in Australia just as the bushfires started – and coming back through Vietnam just when Covid-19 broke out. He is now back in Glasgow and raring to go – which given his recent luck, maybe does not augur well for GHA’s prospects!
- Jamie McCarthy led from the front all season – and faced up impressively when it was really needed down at Philiphaugh.
- Robbie McCallum hit some great lines whenever he was released by Boroughmuir Bears.
- Adam Kerr put himself about enthusiastically and carried strongly.
- “Obviously it’s our first experience of Premiership rugby for a while, but Currie came out the blocks really well and blew us away with some great rugby” – head coach Trevor Carmichael, after the opening game against Chieftains.
- “It was a massive learning experience for us” – Trevor Carmichael after the game against Hawick at Mansfield.
- “We have to be realistic – with the three teams we have played we have not had the easiest of starts” – Trevor Carmichael, after the Marr game the following week.
- “I cannot commend the players enough for effort – it was absolutely phenomenal” – Trevor Carmichael after the last gasp victory over Hawks in Round 5.
- “Tennents Premiership not fit for purpose? Aye, right. If its purpose is to provide top quality rugby and entertain the spectators, then this match in difficult conditions delivered perfectly” – Matt Vallance, reporting on the Marr game at Fullarton.
- “We’ve got a really young team. All of our backline is under 21 apart from Andrew Gillman at scrum-half, so the future is bright” – Trevor Carmichael, optimistic despite not having salvaged a losing bonus point against Hawick at Braidholm.
- “The boys put in an amazing effort for 80 minutes” – Trevor Carmichael, after collecting the critical losing bonuspoint at Philiphaugh.
- “The encouraging thing is that we can improve. We have some very good players, and we are lucky having a big squad” – Under 18’s coach Craig Brown, after beating Hawick Youth in the semi-final of National Youth Cup.
- “Our Under-18 squad are an outstanding group of young men, exemplified by the way in which they have supported their teammate Dan as he goes through his treatment. As a club we are incredibly proud of them all and their efforts in raising over £5,000 in less than a week for the Beatson Cancer Charity who are providing support for Dan and his family” – GHA Director of Rugby Rangi Jericevich
GHA are an amalgamation that has worked brilliantly – Clarkston (the best sevens tournament outside the Borders) – Hutcheson Grammar (the Bulloch brothers) – St Aloysius (five times winners of Scottish Schools Cup and runners-up in 2018-19). A progressive pro-active club with an excellent development structure – well on their way towards becoming a veritable force in Scottish rugby.