GHK v Falkirk 14 September 2019

Following on from last week’s encouraging performance away to Hamilton, GHK welcomed Falkirk to OA for the first home league action of the season. There were a couple of changes to the GHK line up, but the return of the mercurial Danny Campbell increased further the options behind the scrum.

Both sides were involved in close encounters last week against sides that might be expected to be pushing for honours in the top half of the league. The outcome of today’s match could reveal quite a bit about the credentials of both GHK and Falkirk.

A fresh breeze seemed to be favouring GHK as they received the kick off attacking the OA pavilion end. GHK started brightly with both Ben Hutton and the aforementioned Danny Campbell going close before Walter Gilbert crossed for the first try of the day.

After the restart Falkirk launched their first sortie in to GHK territory and only some robust defence kept the visitors at bay. However, the Blues remained camped in the home twenty two and they were rewarded with a try from scrum half Harry Russell.

Aided by the breeze GHK got back in to good position and a quick tap saw Angus Lindsay forcing his way over to stretch the home lead. Nick Hurn added a third score that was mirrored by Falkirk’s second try. The boot of Jack Cuthbert added another three to the GHK tally and a twelve point advantage, given the helpful breeze, looked to be just about par for the course. However, like last week, GHK conceded late in the first period with the Blues crossing after a period of pressure deep in the GHK twenty two.    Half time GHK 22 Falkirk 17

Turning to face the swirling wind, GHK took the fight to Falkirk and, with the half time instructions still ringing fresh in their ears, GHK made a break up the right wing. With support outside, number nine Ben Frame went on his own and made it to the line. A very welcome early boost to the home cause.

Back came Falkirk, but the GHK defence was pretty resolute with every player being prepared to make that tackle. The home game plan was aided by some fine clearing kicks by both Jack Cuthbert and Eddie Waller. The GHK number ten was becoming more influential.

What looked like a promising attacking situation for GHK was brought to an end by some robust Falkirk defence and the kick and chase nearly resulted with a score at the other end. That was a warning that Falkirk were still very much a threat and in this game. However, just on the hour mark, a GHK break up the left wing, sparked by Danny Campbell, was taken on by some neat footwork by Gavin McKirdy and closed out by Ben Hutton.

It looked as though the win was safe, but GHK added to their points total with further scores from Danny Campbell, who was put in to space by a very tidy Eddie Waller break, and then stand off Waller himself went over after another fine sequence of attacking play.

With five minutes to go Callum Woolard made his competitive debut fitting in very comfortably in to the front row. A proud moment for the recent school leaver. A vital and well merited bonus point win had been achieved with possibly a bit in reserve.

Final score GHK 44  Falkirk 17.

Seven tries to three was probably a fair reflection especially given GHK’s dominance in the second period when the conditions didn’t really appear to hamper the home side’s efforts at all. GHK, for the main part, managed to score at important points in the match when Falkirk were hanging in there.

Many fine performances from the GHK squad. The starting front row set the platform. Craig Rintoul was very busy and made many important tackles. The returning Danny Campbell looked sharp and wingers Ben Hutton and Gavin McKirdy did a job in both defence and attack. It is a close call for player of the day the favoured candidates were Nick Hurn and Eddie Waller. I cannot split them so these two share the gold star. Well done guys – exceptional individual performances in a very fine team effort.

Next week away to Stewart’s Melville – 3.00 kick off.

By then our President and fellow traveller Mr Gray will have departed on his World Cup tour to Japan. Good luck Ronnie and Henry. We hope that you witness Scottish victories.

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