GHA hold second place but Dundee go home happy

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GHA retained second place in the BT National League’s first division on Saturday despite a substantial and warning defeat by Dundee at Braidholm.

A spokesman said: “If promotion to the Premiership is to be achieved then GHA will have to revive the try-scoring machine which procured seven bonus points in the 10 previous league matches.”

This time, it was Dundee who picked up the bonus point, the visitors scoring five tries to GHA’s two.

Even so, GHA’s scrummage was sound for much of the contest, the forwards produced forceful mauling and their four youngsters among the outside backs – Euan McKirdy, Andrew Goudie, Nigel Kelly, and Max McFarlane – were willing and confident to try to make the ball work for them. GHA’s best phase was the first quarter, and they would have taken the lead if Peter Jericevich had not missed a penalty after 17 minutes.

In that time, though, they had to survive Dundee’s first assault of heavy pressure on the home goal-line.

Dundee came good with three tries in the 15 minutes before the interval for a 24-7 lead. Harry Millar scored the first 10 of these points with a try, a conversion and a drop goal. He was to convert all of the other tries as well for a haul of 16 points.

Stevie Longwell and Jonny Petty scored Dundee’s other first-half scores, which sandwiched a Rangi Jericevich try from a swift switch from left to right and final linking by the half-backs, Andrew Goudie and Peter Jericevich. The latter converted off the far goal-post from close to the touchline, but he missed another penalty shot in added time before the interval.

Four minutes into the second half, however, Andy Dymock’s interception and unopposed run from more than 60 metres for the bonus-point try put paid to GHA’s hopes. Yet it was more than 25 minutes before George Arnott scored Dundee’s next and final try.

Between those scores GHA had a near miss as well as a second try. Rangi Jericevich was over again in the right corner, though he was denied by a foot in touch on his run-in, and it was left to the forwards’ mauling game to earn the second home try, with Lewis Anderson driven over off a lineout on the left.

- Euan McKirdy; Nigel Kelly, Chris Binnie, Max MacFarlane, Rangi Jericevich; Andrew Goudie, Peter Jericevich; Jamie Leslie, Donald Malcolm (captain), Mike Robertson, Jamie Auld, Adam Barnett, Andrew Boag, Ross Angus, Paul Harkins. Replacements - Lewis Anderson, Michael Fox, Grant MacDonald, Alan Auld, Murray Houston.

Dundee HS FP – Alston; Mat O’Sullivan, Duncan Leese, Tim McKavanagh, Ronan Joy; Harry Millar, Andy Dymock; Stevie Longwell, Darrell Russell, Alan Brown, James Mulligan, Matt Harland, Donald Sangster, Jonny Petty. Mike Stubbs. Replacements - Glen Feighan, James Sloan, George Arnott, Adam Lowry, Blair Cochrane