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Home > News > Alex Gordon reports on 10 try thriller
Your News Alex Gordon reports on 10 try thriller

Glasgow Hawks 38 Gala 38

"A tie is like kissing your sister." - Eddie Erdelatz, Head Football Coach, U.S. Naval Academy.

Far be it for me to suggest that in some way, incest, is a good thing, but if a drawn game like this one is anything to go by, then kissing your sister is a much underestimated activity.

For the 4th match in a row, Hawks came out with all guns blazing and were deep into Galas 22 with the visitors knocked on their backsides. Hawks made a statement of intent when they opted to take a scrum when awarded a penalty five metres out. The forwards were stopped short of the line and it fell to Haddon McPherson to pass the ball down the narrow side at the pavilion end. The ball came sharply to Ross Miller, who performed some impromptu juggling before the ball was gathered by James Gormley who deftly avoided touch to go over for the opening try. Glasgow Warriors stand-off, Scott Wight, missed with a very difficult touchline conversion attempt. (5-0)

Hawks were in the offensive straight from the kick-off as they gathered the ball and put it wide, a brief ruck saw Wight spot a big gap behind the Gala backs and he kicked the ball through for Ally MacLay to chase. Unfortunately, there was a little too much on the ball and it went through the back of the in-goal.

Hawks defence was solid throughout the first quarter forcing Gala to play any rugby in their own half and Gala only entered the Hawks 22 once during this period. Hawks constant menace was rewarded when MacLay burst through the Gala cover to go over for the second try, Wight converted. (12-0)

Straight from the kick-off the home side conceded a penalty just inside the home ten metre line, centre Ewan Scott stepped up to open the visitors scoring. (12-3)

Gala were immediately on the back foot as the home side launched another attack straight from the re-start. The ball was turned over quickly and Hawks smashed through the Gala cover, the ball came to Finlay Gillies and the hooker run in for the score, which Wight goaled. With 15 minutes to half-time Hawks were well in control. (19-3)

Once again, Hawks conceded a penalty immediately after the kick off, but as Scott stroked the ball over there didnt seem to be anything for the home support to be concerned about. (19-6)

Further indiscipline on the half-hour saw Scott narrow the gap to 10 points and as clinical as Hawks had been going forward some poor discipline, especially after kick-offs, had allowed Gala to stay in touch. (19-9)

If the door had been left ajar by Hawks penalty count it was kicked open by referee, James Matthew, as he issued Steven Findlay a yellow card in 32 minutes. A ruck had formed in the middle of the park and as Findlay tried to crawl away from the tackle area Gala scrum half George Graham fell over him. To onlookers it seemed that Findlay had accidentally interfered with the Gala attack, but to the referee it was deliberate and so the prop was off for 10 minutes.

Gala were stirred by Hawks loss, they camped down in the home half. The defence held out wide as Gala tried to take the home side on with the ball out wide. MacLay and David Milne put in some bone shuddering hits. With two minutes until half-time the Braw Lads were awarded a try on the Hawks 5-metre. The ball spun right and Graham Speirs seemed to be through for the score when Milne hauled him down. Gala were patient going through a further 6 phases, recycling on the line visiting prop Ewan McQuillan bull-dozed over from very short range, with Scotts conversion the gap down to three points at half-time. (19-16)

Whatever Gala coach George Graham said to his side during the break,it appeared to work. Gala kicked off and immediately put Hawks under pressure. Up quickly they forced a turnover and started to spread the ball wide, the second phase ball saw Andy McLean jink inside the cover breaking through the home defence with a straightforward run in. The game had turned in Galas favour (19-23)

Gala exploited their advantage within moments of the kick-off. Gathering the ball, they put together a passage of play that saw them threaten to score again. Hawks were struggling to contain the Gala onslaught. There was a feeling of inevitability when they secured their third try with a short range try from second-row Opeta Palepoi. Hawks received a slight reprieve when Scott missed the extras on offer, but the Glasgow men having held a 13 point advantage now found themselves 9 points behind. (19-28)

It was at this point Galas Gary Graham was sent to the naughty step for a 10 minute break. Hawks were quick to take advantage of this loss. Hawks appeared to be over for the score in 50 minutes but were ruled to have been held up over the line. From the subsequent scrum Ross Miller marked his return from injury with a try which also earned a try bonus. (24-28)

Before the hour, numbers were restored and Hawks struggled to contain the continuing Gala assault. Gala wing Grant Sommerville presented a threat as he came off of his wing a couple of time with angled runs at pace. But it was work around the fringes which Gala were able to exploit and just after the hour replacement prop, Chris Weir, went over again from close range on the line. Scott put the ball over and now both sides had try bonuses. (24-35)

Gala continued to apply pressure on Hawks and a penalty 20 metres out allowed Scott to extend the lead to 14 points after 68 minutes. By opting for the penalty, it seemed that Gala thought the contest was over. (38-24)

Entering the last ten minutes it seemed that the Glasgow side had learned a lesson on game control. Since going 19-3 ahead in the first half they had managed a solitary score in reply to Galas 35 point onslaught. But this side has displayed character in every game this season. They continued to drive into the Gala half, with levels of fitness that has been commented on by other coaches, the home side fought their way up to the try line. Gala were struggling to cope under pressure, it fell to Jon Welsh to jump over from close range and with Wight adding two points Hawks had secured the losing bonus. (31-38)

As supporters wondered if the home side could hang on, but the team had more ambition. Again they worked their way back up the field. The clock was slowly counting down when quite improbably McPherson darted over from a scrum for the try which then allowed Wight to tie the scores. (38-38)

It then fell to Gala to cling on desperately because Hawks werent prepared to settle for the draw. The last action had the home side over the line, however crucially the referee made the biggest decision of the match as he ruled that the touchdown had been preceded by a second movement following the tackle.

When the whistle blew a second saying of coach Eddie Erdlatz came to mind, When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

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