GHK v HAMILTON BULLS 17 February 2018
A sizeable travelling support may have been taken aback as GHK raced in to an early lead with two tries from Danny Campbell and Nick Hurn, the second score coming after a smart break by that man Campbell and Robin Coates. GHK had started as if it was they who were chasing promotion.
If those early scores were a wake up call then clearly the alarm bells rang loud and long in the Bulls’ ranks as they replied with twenty nine unanswered points before the half time break. Whilst Hamilton certainly did move through the gears and shook off that sluggish start, a few of the scoring wounds were self inflicted by GHK.
Not for the first time this season GHK were quickly out of the blocks but had failed to build/consolidate on a really positive start. Such had been the nature of the first half turn around even the most optimistic OA follower would have struggled to make much of a case for a home revival. Indeed, the first ten minutes of the second period were of the scrappy variety, but then, remarkably, as soon as GHK ventured in to the area of the Hamilton twenty two, the pendulum began to swing again.
Hugh Parker was driven over from a line out that commenced a good twenty metres out. The forwards were joined by a number of extras from the backs as the line was breached. Having worked once, GHK repeated the dose five minutes later and Feargus Haston claimed the score this time. Again it looked as though about a dozen GHK players had joined in the substantial driving maul.
As the last quarter was reached it was the home side that was very much on top playing with new spirit and drive. Hamilton did not appear to be handling the pressure particularly well. With confidence rising in the GHK ranks it was no great surprise when replacement Mel Scott completed a sweeping right to left move going over in classic winger style. A pressure conversion was nailed by Danny Campbell and quite remarkably with ten minutes to go it was tied at twenty nine all.
Last week Hamilton claimed victory against Biggar scoring the clinching try with the last play of the game. This time around they managed to re-gather their composure and found an edge up front in those last few moments. A couple of enforced changes meant that GHK had some unfamiliar combinations on display as the game closed out. Hamilton managed to stretch the patched up GHK defence one last time and centre Craig Inglis crossed for the decisive clinching score. It was tough on GHK.
From the restart GHK tried to get back in to the Hamilton twenty two, and had they done so, who knows? However it was not to be and referee George Pounder blew for no side on a remarkable seventy five point encounter.
Congratulations to Hamilton and good luck to President Iain Leggate and his crew for the promotion battles that lie ahead. For GHK it was another case of what might have been. Two more bonus points were some reward for a fine effort. No side in BT National League Two has claimed more bonus points than GHK. That tends to suggest that, when it comes to try scoring and being in contention, the GHK squad is doing a lot of things right. If only a couple of those close run things had been converted in to victories ?? Fine margins and all that.
Another hard call for player of the day with many fine performances. Hugo Anderson was involved in much that was good. Replacement Mel Scott looked lively. Nick Hurn and Angus Lindsay tackled and drove forward with purpose. Cammy Hughes was a major force to be reckoned with in defence and attack, so he gets a gold star in his jotter. Well done to our Wales supporting half back.
Next weekend is a Six Nations break and a chance for some bruised bodies to recover.
March 3rd away to Howe of Fife who happen to be chasing GHK. A first away victory of the season would put us clear of the men from Cupar. So if you fancy a day out?