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Your News Narrow win for GHK
12
NOV

Lenzie v GHK RBS Regional Shield West – Round 2

Viewfield, Lenzie 10 November 2012

Thoughts of league matters were temporarily put to one side as GHK made their way to Lenzie for a Regional Shield round two encounter. The kick off time of one thirty made the travelling party grateful that they did not have far to travel.

GHK, by virtue of a few injuries and a tactical change or two, took the field with a starting side altered significantly from the fifteen who ended the match last week at East Kilbride. There was some doubt during the week as to whether the pitch at Viewfield would be playable. The hosts were justifiably keen to have the fixture on their home patch, but conditions were very heavy and another few hours downpour might indeed have meant that the match was relocated to OA as was being considered in the days leading up to the weekend.

GHK got proceedings under way and were right in to their stride. Despite the gloopy, heavy conditions, the game was taken to the hosts and possession was dominated by the OA boys. Lenzie were struggling for territory and ball. When they did gain possession in their own twenty two, some abrasive tackling and powerful counter-rucking gave ball to GHK. This was swiftly moved to the right where Rory Love was sent clear and ran in for the first score of the day after nine minutes. Finn Carmichael was up against it with the conversion and his effort fell just short. 5- 0 GHK.

From the restart, Lenzie at last managed to spend a bit of time in the visitors’ half without really creating any scoring opportunities. Indeed, GHK looked as though they were in the mood and were themselves asking questions of the home defence with every bit of possession they enjoyed. Lenzie were penalised for a high tackle on Mike Borthwick. From midfield Aubrey Horton kicked to touch about ten metres from the home line. The line out was won, driven forward and after several controlled assaults Mike Aird went over for try two for GHK. Finn Carmichael added the extra points. 12-0 GHK after seventeen minutes. No one could have argued that we were very well worth our lead at this time.

Straight from the kick off, Mike Borthwick combined with Rory Love and took play back in to the home side’s twenty two. The Lenzie defence stood firm and indeed a breakout by their right winger saw him run the length of the field and he was only halted by a fine recovery tackle by Callum Ruxton. The support defence got back in numbers and the first significant threat to the GHK line was repelled by some robust and committed tackling.

GHK forwards and back continued to combine well and looked likely to add to their twelve points. Even though the heavy pitch was cutting up badly, GHK’s handling and support was good and meant that the game was played at a tempo that suited the visitors. In to the closing stages of the half, and an injury to Gordi Reid saw him have to go off to be replaced by Chris Barnes. Robin Coates and Fraser McLeod replaced Adam McLay and Dave Mitchell to bring some fresh legs on to the strength sapping pitch. The last couple of plays of the half saw GHK continue to pressure the home line, but some good scrambling defence saw the half out with no more scoring. A twelve point lead did not flatter GHK at half time.

The second half got started with Lenzie refreshed and resplendent in their clean strips, GHK opting to settle for the camouflage style that had served them well in the first half – think Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. The clean togs seemed to have an instant effect on the hosts as it was they who got in to their stride almost immediately and started to make inroads in to GHK territory. They threatened more in the first three of four minutes of the second half than they had done in the entire first period. Indeed, Lenzie kept this up for the opening ten minutes or so but GHK’s defence was as effective as their attacking play had been earlier so no damage was done.

A break out and chip ahead by Rory Love took play back within ten metres of the home line, however the pressure was relieved when GHK were penalised for not allowing the defender back on his feet. About this time Dave Mitchell came back on replacing Chris Barnes. With about fifteen minutes of the second half gone, Lenzie were awarded a penalty midfield, their stand off failed to find touch but the clearing kick from GHK was charged down and from nothing Lenzie got themselves a score in the left corner. It was an opportunist strike that might have changed the complexion of the contest. Lenzie were now within striking distance and the home crowd and players sensed that they were right back in this game.

However, all credit to GHK, the did not panic and in the main kept Lenzie at distance from the vistors’ line. Indeed, we, GHK that is, continued to carry more of a scoring threat and might have added further to the twelve point tally if a few kickable penalties had been kicked rather than tapped. Finn Carmichael did try his hand at a penalty from about thirty five metres, but again this fell just short. Kicking conditions were particularly challenging underfoot. Pete Ritchie came on for the last quarter and put in his usual fully committed shift which was just what was needed at this stage. The GHK pack stood firm against a Lenzie eight that had upped their game and the backs too were very solid and committed in their defence in the face of some hard running by the hosts.

The last ten minutes was played out in a downpour, but both sides continued to try and play with ball in hand. GHK still looked the likelier to score again, but it was not to be and when a combination of Craig McPhee and Rory Love (Barcelona material they are not) scrambled the ball in to touch the referee blew for no side.

GHK 12 Lenzie 7

A hard fought but deserved victory for GHK for which all players and coaches deserve great credit. Thanks to all at Lenzie for their warm welcome and hospitality both pre and post match. Club rugby now enters a bit of a twighlight zone in terms of competitive matches. GHK’s next league match is against Allan Glen’s at Old Anniesland on December 1, 2012. What shall we do for the next three weeks?

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