GHK v Biggar 7 October 2017
Pitch 4 at Old Anniesland was the venue for Saturday’s BT National 2 clash with Biggar, The visitors came to Glasgow with a record of three wins and two very narrow defeats from their five league games to date. A close encounter was anticipated.
GHK got proceedings underway attacking the Anniesland Road end. The welcome habit of clicking in to a very effective early rhythm was present again with the visitors’ defence stretched and tested. The home line out produced tidy possession and when the ball was moved left Danny Campbell cut the line and was over in the shadow of the posts.
GHK kept up the attacking intent and a series of handling combinations made ground. This time it was Mark Smyth who ran the smart angle and the prop crossed for the second score with about twelve minutes gone. A very promising start indeed.
The Border response was physical and abrasive and at last they spent some time in the GHK half. Fortunately, the home defence was resolute and the line was held firm. An attempt at goal from a penalty came back off the post and the ball scrambled away. However, the Biggar men were not leaving empty handed and after another period of controlled possession, the home defenders were drawn in, creating space out right and the try was inevitable.
By this time the visitors had well and truly got their second wind and they kept the pressure on the hosts. A lot of direct running by robust centres and carries by mobile forwards punched holes and created space. In the midst of some courageous rear guard action Jamie Cook hammered in to a try saving tackle and in so doing suffered what looked like a nasty injury. The game was halted as Jamie received lengthy on pitch attention. After a delay of several minutes, and when thankfully reports were emerging that he was ‘all right’, he was carefully assisted from the field and he escorted away for further help.
The enforced break no doubt affected both sides as they had to set about restarting their engines. It was GHK who seemed to get up to speed a little bit quicker than the visitors getting back to their effective early game form. Moving the ball right to left, Rory Taylor made a half break and his off load to Marc Taylor gave the returning left winger enough space to slide through the narrowest of gaps on the left. A very welcome response by GHK who then managed to see out the remainder of the half with their fourteen point lead protected. GHK 21 Biggar 7
And then there was the second half……….
The first sixty seconds were not at all bad as the home side appeared composed and secure in possession. However, there then followed approximately thirty eight minutes of misery for those of a GHK persuasion. If it could go wrong, it did. If there was a decision to be made, GHK took the wrong one. Some poor execution and coughing up of possession made life a whole lot easier for eager opponents. In the week that saw the untimely demise of Tom Petty, GHK were indeed ‘free falling’ and Biggar were well cast as the Heartbreakers.
Four tries without response sounds grim. It was hard to watch. Two of those scores were of an interception variety, and whilst they were not exactly ‘gimmees’, GHK were not helping themselves and Biggar happily capitalised on the home assists.
The normally dependable line out was mis-firing. The half was spent on the back foot.
Twenty nine unanswered points was pretty brutal. From somewhere, with the last play of the game, GHK rallied and managed to create a position wide left where Rory Taylor forced his way over for a fourth bonus point score.
Final Score GHK 28 Biggar 36
First things first – the news of Jamie Cook is good with his injury being of a ‘stinger’ shoulder blow. Rest up Jamie and we look forward to seeing you again when you are A1.
A game of two halves. GHK Jekyll and Hyde. A hard one to get your head round. So good early on and, well, let’s be kind, not so good for the rest. Biggar had a lot to do with this. A very well drilled outfit with everything thought out. Tackle and clear out drills created space for powerful runners in mid field and at close quarter. When ground was gained they moved it around and changed the area of attack. Simple but very effective. A good side.
That GHK ran them close after such a disappointing second period would tend to suggest that we are not too far off the mark. However, a bit of work to do as an inability to defend and maybe even build on a lead will only bring further problems.
Another fine performance by Hugo Anderson who likes a tackle. Cammy Hughes was to the fore in all GHK offensive efforts. Mark Smyth put in a serious shift in the loose as well as his duties up front. Messrs Urn and Anks (as our second row apparently wish to be known) tried to generate some forward momentum against combative opponents. Debutant Fraser Christie put in a tireless eighty minutes being prominent in attack and defence. For that his reward is our player of the day. Congratulations Fraser.
The league games keep coming and they do not get any easier as next week sees GHK head to Hamilton who overcame the hitherto undefeated Dumfries to claim top spot in BT National Two. Kick off 3.00 at Laigh Bent. Get along and support the team.