GHA 28 Peebles 13
GHA continued their unbeaten start to the season with a hard fought bonus point win over a stuffy Peebles side at Braidholm on Saturday to make it four wins from four in the League.
GHA elected to kick two early penalties, both of which came back off the uprights to keep the game scoreless early on however, it was third time lucky for GHA’s kicker Peter Jericevich who opened the scoring from a penalty on 10 minutes, just to the right of the posts.
This was just reward for GHA’s early endeavour and it was soon followed by a well worked try for left wing Euan Greer who finished strongly in the left hand corner after a neat inside pass from GHA’s 18 year old fly half Andrew Goudie put Max MacFarlane, his 18 year old compatriot at inside centre, clear.
Peebles hit back with a penalty after some sloppy play from the home side from the proceeding kick off however the momentum was very much with GHA at this time and they were soon back on the offensive. After sustained pressure on the Peebles line, Hooker James Malcolm crashed over for the score, Jericevich converted to give GHA a 15 to 3 lead. This lead was extended to 18 to 3 when Jericevich slotted another penalty.
Peebles finished the half strongly and put the GHA line under considerable pressure however some outstanding goal line defence prevented any further points being added in the opening 40.
Peebles came out strongly in the second half and some well worked phase play saw them come within inches of their first try however once again GHA managed to hold them out, albeit they lost Andrew Gilman to the sin bin in the process for failing to roll away quick enough in a ruck. Peebles made it count when they scored from a rolling maul from the resultant line out. Conversion was missed.
GHA’s second half performance lacked a bit of the zeal of the opening 40 and Peebles grew in confidence as the second half wore on. However, GHA effectively put the game to bed on the 50-minute mark when an excellent kick and chase led to a turnover on the Peebles 22.
Niall Cassie raced clear and a cut with Andrew Goudie allowed the GHA fly half to score in the left hand corner.
GHA then extended their lead 10 minutes later when from another turnover, Goudie spotted space in behind and a well weighted grubber allowed Niall Cassie to score to push the score out to 28 to 8 and secure the 4 try bonus point for GHA.
Peebles finished the game strongly and GHA suffered another sin binning, this time to Number 8 Grant MacDonald for allegedly not retreating 10 metres on a tap penalty.
Once again, Peebles capitalised from the subsequent period of play when their second row crashed over from close range.