IT WAS a good day for golf ... or cricket or croquet. But rugby still had to be the business on Saturday as GHA visited Dundee, and for 40 minutes the Braidholm team were in a game of lively rugby at Mayfield.
In the second half, however, Dundee sprung to life, and by the end they had run in seven tries to GHA’s two.
Yet Niall Cassie, the one-time captain, was back in the red, white and green to end around 24 months in which he had had only one game of rugby.
Less than 20 minutes had been played when Scott Lang was injured, and Cassie had to enter the fray as stand-in stand-off in a revamped back division.
He had been on the field for only a few minutes when he took advantage of the sin-binning of Alan Brown, Dundee’s captain. It was in front of the posts just and few metres out, and it was Cassie who pounced for a try.
Thereafter he was prominent in GHA’s efforts, whether in long phases of defence or rare moments of enterprise and threat.
Murray Houston’s conversion levelled the scores at 7-7, and a penalty goal by the scrum half four minutes later put GHA ahead. Suddenly, hopes were ignited than the struggling start to the season might be ending.
In first-half added time, however, Paul Harkins was yellow-carded, and Nick Alston kicked the penalty goal.
So the interval score was 10-10, and no sooner had Harkins returned than Jack White took his place in the sin-bin.
Short-handed for 20 minutes, GHA conceded the three tries that earned Dundee a bonus point.
Dundee had two more tries in the bag before, with barely 10 minutes left, GHA found their way over the home goal-line for only the second time.
Again the source was a tapped penalty, this one by Andy Henderson about 20 metres out, and Jack Plumridge’s sharp break opened the way for Robbie Glen to plough over.
Houston converted for 17-41, but Dundee still had time for one more score.
It was a second try for Richie McIver, who was closing the second half as he had opened in a scrummage pushover.
For the record, Dundee’s other scorers were Chris Cumming, Stephen Longwell, Brown, Matt O’Sullivan, and Jack Stewart. Bryce Hosie converted Cumming’s opening try, and Alston kicked four second-half conversions.
But the scoreline would have been worse for GHA if Dundee had not failed with four penalties and two conversions.