GHK v Falkirk
GHK 17 Falkirk 34
That was the final score, yet it had all started so promisingly for the home side. Attacking the pavilion end of OA, GHK played some of their most composed, positive rugby of the season in those early stages. Falkirk barely had a touch of the ball in this spell as they chased and scrambled as they were moved around by the GHK attacking efforts. Prompted by the half back partnership of Danny Campbell and Kyle Henderson it looked good for GHK and the reward came on nine minutes with a great score by Erwann Le Balc’h in the left corner. The try was scored after several phases of play and contributions by the majority of the side.
Moments later, Falkirk’s first visit to the GHK half resulted in a scrum to GHK. The ball was won by the home forwards, but a fumble saw Falkirk break quickly down the blind side and a try in the right corner was the outcome. It seemed a bit harsh on GHK. Undaunted by that ill fortune, GHK continued to be positive and looked the more likely. With Fraser Christie and Hugh Parker leading from the front there was a more than decent platform provided and again it was via some fine finishing by that man Le Balc’h that GHK claimed try number two. A kick through was collected by the winger who again made it to the corner with nothing to spare. Ten points to seven to GHK with just under twenty minutes gone. On the balance of the play GHK probably deserved to be further ahead.
Not to be outdone by the GHK winger, the Falkirk right winger Ramsey got his second try after a sustained period of pressure by the visitors. The momentum was starting to swing ever so slightly. The remainder of the half was very keenly contested, but Falkirk probably had the edge in this spell in terms of territory. A somewhat odd award of a penalty for ‘crossing’ saw GHK kicked deep in to their own twenty two. The line was well defended from the ensuing lineout and scrums. Lewis Brock was then penalised at a ruck when it did look as though the ball was sitting out, well clear of the bodies on the ground and inviting someone to lay hands on it and Lewis did just that. Anyway, a penalty it was and you’d have expected the Falkirk nine to convert a relatively straightforward opportunity. It was snatched wide and perhaps justice done.
There were a few more close things as the half came to a close. It looked as though referee Clark’s timepiece was going in reverse as the forty minutes became fifty. It was eventually concluded with Falkirk having a two point advantage. Very much game on….or so you’d think.
GHK’s sluggish start to the second half saw them virtually out of the game in the first fourteen minutes. Whereas the first period had been so keenly contested, this inexplicable slump saw Falkirk claim three tries all of the ‘didn’t have to work that hard for’ variety. It is hard to fathom what happened in that spell. It did not look as if Falkirk had moved up through a couple of gears. GHK all of a sudden just seemed a yard short and that was all it took. It was pretty well game over. Falkirk had their bonus point and the win was in the bag.
GHK stuck to it and try scorer Le Balc’h pulled of a couple of try saving tackles. However, the visitors were coasting and it was no great surprise when they got their sixth try. The disappointing feature was that it was scored by second row Gregor Dodd who commenced his try scoring burst just inside the GHK half and who side stepped a number of would be tacklers en route to the line. Well and truly out of sight.
The last hurrah was down to GHK with Matt Chan, now on the left wing covering for the injured Le Balc’h going over. Kyle Henderson added a fine conversion. The restart saw GHK try one last time for the bonus point try but it was not to be. GHK 17 Falkirk 34, but you knew that anyway.
It was always likely to be a hard game but GHK started so well and for a while looked very likely to be right in it at the end. However, that opening spell in the second half took the game away from GHK and there was no real chance of recovery thereafter. Good performances again from Hugh Parker, Kyle Henderson and of course Erwann Le Balc’h. There was also an encouraging debut from the bench by Glen Sutherland. Any addition to the front row resources is welcome indeed. However, for a very positive eighty minutes, GHK’s player of the day is Fraser Christie. Well done Mr C.
Next week away to Whitecraigs who find themselves one place above GHK in the league and who have cultivated a wee cushion in terms of points accrued. It would be good to close that gap. Get along and support the boys. That win is coming.