Hillhead Jordanhill v GHK 31 August 2019

GHK got their competitive season off and running with a short run along Great Western Road to Hughenden to take on west end neighbours Hillhead Jordanhill in the preliminary round of the National League Cup.

Thankfully the morning downpours abated in time to allow the game to be played in excellent conditions. The only influential element was a strong breeze that gave the hosts a first half advantage. During that period GHK enjoyed the edge in territory and possession, but the hosts hung in there and capitalised on a couple of opportunities to lead 14-12 until captain Cammy Hughes powered over to give GHK a half time lead of 19-12.

There was a very healthy turn out in terms of spectators and the crowd was well entertained as both sides looked to play a running, expansive game. Occasionally GHK were guilty of trying to force the offload when going through a few more phases would have been the more productive option. The last of GHK’s three further scores came about when they did just that and stretched the home defence that had already been depleted by a couple of yellow cards.

The final score  of 38-14 in favour of GHK was probably just about right in terms of being a reflection of how the eighty minutes panned out. GHK dominated possession but perhaps understandably were a bit ring rusty. There was much that was good but no doubt the coaching team will have noted a few areas requiring attention before National Two League action commences. The term ‘mixed bag’ was lobbed in to the pitch side conversation and that is probably spot on.

Referee Calum Worsley managed the game well, allowing proceedings to flow and even coped with an outbreak of ‘handbags’ as the game petered out. Good luck for the rest of the season Calum.

There were a few notable performances from GHK.  Up front Neil Callendar and Hugh Parker carried well. Jack Cuthbert and Murray Godsman were impressive behind the scrum. Half backs Ben Frame and James MacKinnon were tidy. Feargus Haston impressed when he came on in the second half.

There is much to be encouraged about and it is always good to win a knock out tie. However, League business gets underway next week with a visit to Hamilton who dropped down from National One at the end of last season. It will most certainly be a challenging start. However, on their last competitive visit to Laigh Bent, GHK should probably have beaten the hosts. There are grounds for optimism just so long as there are more good things in that ‘mixed bag’.

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