Lasswade v GHK 17 November 2018

On a perfect day for rugby GHK looked to make it back to back wins on the road following the success of their last away day at Whitecraigs. Hosts Lasswade have had a challenging season and up until seven days ago were winless. Their victory over Preston Lodge last week would undoubtedly have raised the Midlothian spirits, but surely GHK could repeat the comfortable victory achieved over Lasswade on the opening day of the league programme.

Well, long before the referee called a halt to proceedings, Lasswade had established a healthy lead over the Glasgow guests and the small band of GHK supporters knew only too well that travel sickness feeling that had descended upon them.

Four minutes in to the second half Lasswade score their third try which was a thing of great simplicity. A scrum five metres out and a centre running a bit of an angle saw him over. Lasswade did the simple things very well. GHK contributed to the hosts’ easy ride with some sloppy defence in the first  half conceding two tries when there was no threat immediately apparent on either occasion.

When GHK did succeed in gaining a foothold in the home twenty two, a misfiring lineout (normally a source of quality ball for the Glasgow side) saw a couple of tasty attacking positions come to nought. It was one of those days. A rather flat performance and if something could go wrong for GHK it normally did.

It was in that middle period of the second half when GHK did enjoy some decent possession and were nearly in on a couple of occasions. However, that all too familiar slackness allowed the home side to claim their bonus point try with another score for right winger Lamont just before the hour mark. Visitors’ thoughts were already turning to Murrayfield looking for a rugby highlight or two.

As ever GHK kept going, and when they utilised a less expansive game and took a leaf out of the Lasswade close driving book, they made decent progress and put pressure on the hosts as was evidenced by the rising penalty count. The GHK efforts were rewarded with a try from Danny Campbell which he himself converted. From the restart Erwin le Balc’h broke several tackles and fed Hugh Parker whose familiar athletic stride hoovered up the yards. The covering winger was the last man standing in defence and he succeeded in downing the GHK man, though only just. As Darcy looked to link with the support he was rather harshly penalised for playing the ball off the ground. The chance was gone.

A nasty ankle injury to a Lasswade player delayed the final whistle, but the end of proceedings was called by the referee shortly thereafter as the temperature dropped and the shadows lengthened at Hawthornden.

Final score  Lasswade 29 GHK 7

Congratulations to Lasswade President Billy Knowles, his team and club members. The form shown in the last week will undoubtedly ensure that further victories will be enjoyed before the season is out.

For GHK, the energy and urgency that reportedly were so evident against the Accies, were missing today. The disciplined and effective efforts of the home xv had the edge from the start and by the time GHK had worked out what might be a successful strategy, the damage was done. GHK now find themselves in a real dogfight at the wrong end of the league. Results elsewhere would suggest that there is little to separate the bottom four of five. When GHK do have their best game heads on they are a match for, and indeed can better, most sides. However, many more performances like today’s will prolong the problems for GHK. Maybe next week’s ‘Saturday off’will be the tonic we need. That and a few serious shifts on the training field.

GHK player of the day – yet again the aggressive and driving force that is Fraser Christie. Never a backward step. Well done.

Next game  GHK v Preston Lodge, 1 December, Old Anniesland.



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