GHKRFC v Whitecraigs RFC 09/09/2017
Balgray hosted GHK’s first home league fixture of the season and rather well they did by us. A fine lunch, a great playing surface and a glorious autumn day. All that was left was for the players to serve up an entertaining game, and they did not disappoint either.
Like last week GHK were quickly out of the traps, and so it was again. Initial Whitecraigs resistance stalled the home attacks but eventually a cracking break by the very much in form Rory Taylor put centre buddy Cammy Hughes in by the posts.
Having nudged in front GHK did not clear their lines from the restart and somewhat gifted their guests three points. Encouraged by that, Whitecraigs had a good spell of possession and pressure. Further points were bagged when a smart combination manufactured space out left and hooker Barron touched down by the flag. A classy conversion stretched the lead to three.
GHK got in to a few promising positions and with a little more poise a score may have come. However, it was the very quick thinking of Danny Campbell from a short range tap penalty that saw the number ten over well within conversion range and he duly obliged.
Back came Whitecraigs, encouraged by their boisterous travelling support. The physical southside eight looked to claim an advantage up front. There were moments in the closing stages of the half, especially involving a series of five metre scrums, when it did look as though the line might be breached. However, from one to fifteen GHK dug in and got to the break with their slender advantage intact. Half time 14-10 to GHK
In the first period of the second half GHK seemed to be enjoying and making better use of the wide open spaces of the splendid Balgray pitch. Danny Campbell, now operating at number ten, put half time replacement James Mackinnon clear. The stand off crafted a further break and carried deep in to the Whitecraigs half. Fellow replacement Ruaridh Cameron took it on at pace and gave the scoring pass to Rory Taylor in the right corner. There won’t have been many better tries scored in the country on Saturday that that one. Danny Campbell converted gloriously.
GHK’s star looked to be rising and the free flowing home side drove home their advantage with three more tries in the space of seven minutes. Ruaridh Cameron, Cammy Hughes and that man Campbell again all crossed the line thereby putting the game well out of reach. It was a pretty impressive demolition job.
To their immense credit Whitecraigs came back and worked a good field position. They were rewarded for their endeavour with another score much to the delight of the watching southside crew.
GHK brought the scoring to a close when skipper Hugh Parker took a throw to the front of the line out and drove over from fifteen metres.
Full time GHK45 Whitecraigs 17
GHK will be well satisfied to record a first bonus point victory of the season. They also entertained a sizeable gathering who enjoyed the Balgray experience. Having matched Whitecraigs in the up front arm wrestle, pace, fitness and a sharper cutting edge worked several good positions and a return of seven tries was a fine return indeed.
A very solid team/squad performance with a number of outstanding contributions. Centres Hughes and Taylor made ground and tackles. Danny Campbell bossed three, or was it four, positions behind the scrum. Ruaridh Cameron made an explosive impact and packed a heck of a lot in to his forty minutes as did James Mackinnon whose reading of the game and execution was top notch. The Cooks were again Michelin stars.
The home pack stood up to the challenge and laid the platform for their dangerous backs. The front row secured an advantage and debutant Ben Fordyce more than looked the part. The middle and back rows contested and carried all day.
The players’ decision for man of the match went to the tireless and vocal Ewan Stewart and that will do nicely for me too. The young flanker contributed an all action eighty minutes, never taking a backward step and even finding time for some choice words of encouragement for his colleagues and anyone else within earshot.
Next week the East beckons with a trip to Preston Lodge who have started the season with a win and a loss. Last time around there was only one point in it and the time before that only two. It is likely to be a close run thing again.
There will be a bus and there could well be spaces. Do come along and support the troops. If you are interested in travelling with the team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org