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Saturday, 09 October 2010

Heriots 20 Glasgow Hawks 22

A converted injury-time try gave Glasgow Hawks victory over Heriots in Scottish Premier 1 at Goldenacre this afternoon.

The score, from openside flanker Bart Karalus, converted by stand-off Andy White, secured Hawks a bonus point and second place in the Premier 1 table and the visitors probably deserved it on the strength of a rather more dynamic offering overall than their hosts.

Heriots had constructed a very healthy 20-5 lead five minutes into the second-half but with captain Graham Wilson having an uncharacteristic off-day with the boot he missed four penalties in total- they needed their pack to up their effort, especially in the final quarter.

Instead it was Hawks who upped the ante. Over the piece Heriots made far too many attempts to go through phases at close-quarters without any particular venom, which presented a rather predictable examination for the Hawks defence, one in which they were not found wanting.

Hawks substitute David Milne would certainly be pleased at Karaluss belated heroics, given that he failed to give the pass to Eric Milligan with a try beckoning in the first-half but with Rory McKay, Ross Miller and Grant Strang giving the sort of go-forward that backs crave and Robbie Hair always looking to counter from full-back, Hawks persistence was rewarded.

Wilson had given Heriots a 3-0 lead with an offside penalty. In Hawks riposte Milnes blinkers and CJ Osazuwas saving tackle on Kerr Gossman kept them pointless before Miller, once of Garnock, bulldozed over from a close-range scrum for their opening try.

Max Learmonth escaped the clutches of Milne when a Heriots back move had appeared to go awry to straighten and career under the posts for the hosts first try. Wilsons conversion and a penalty for an illegal tackle by Karalus which saw him yellow-carded took Heriots to a 13-5 half-time lead.

Glenn Bryce was required to derail Milne in a choice Hawks counter-attack on the restart and then an episode from which you thought Heriots might have taken note. No aimless pick and go on this occasion as Jamie Syme gave a quite brilliant improvised pass on to which Osazuwa stormed at pace and raced 30 metres for a fine try. Wilson converted.

The remainder of the match saw the Hawks pack dominate, yet Heriots eschewed chances too, the second of Wilsons penalty misses of the half a particular pity for Struan Dewar whose athleticism (largely dormant) had won the chance.

Adrian Smith rounded off a driving maul from a close-range lineout for Hawks second try, Miller claimed his brace on the hour and then there was Karaluss score following the sin-binning of Heriots substitute prop Wullie Blacklock who had exhausted referee James Matthews patience with persistent infringements in his own 22.

White, who had also had some shaky moments with the boot, kept his cool to land the match-winning conversion.

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