PREMIER GROUP C
LAING SPEIRS reports from Riverside Park
IT WAS a bit more important for GHA to win than Jed-Forest, with the grim prospect of Division Three rugby looming up for the visitors, but they were just a bit light on ideas and physique to overcome both conditions and a strong defensive outfit.
Jed were a bit inconsistent, and had to rise above a sluggish start which showed their lack of competitive games in recent weeks. But their forwards were competitive and controlled, even if the scrums were a bit of a problem and GHA had the better of the lineout.
Further out, the Blues showed some lively touches with the Youngs – Lewis and Gregor – on the wings anxious to rise above the heavy pitch and the constant rain.
The experience of Chris Laidlaw and Ross Goodfellow saw Jed through, their kicking overall being much more controlled, accurate and effective.
GHA had two teenagers in the side, making their competitive debuts, and Jed showed more maturity overall without ever taking control.
Each side had periods where they looked like proving that rugby in the rain is still an attractive proposition, and occasionally some positive handling showed up.
But Jed knew when to make their strength tell, and they did it before and just after the interval.
Ross Goodfellow scored both tries, breaking through after his forwards had taken the sting out of the Glasgow defence.
Neither conversion attempt worked, and the game had the unique feature of no penalty kicks at goal, even if Jed gave away far too many penalties for their own good.
GHA lost control early on by overkicking when well placed and playing downwind, with a near thing when their lively winger Rangi Jerecevich was nearly in.
But when Jed woke up to the fact that they were in a serious game Glasgow were forced back and Goodfellow finished a move that had started with a strong run from Lewis Young.
The home tackling was strong enough to see off any threats, and right after the turnaround Goodfellow added his second try following a succession of forward drives. GHA couldn’t quite get the extra impetus that would have broken through, and while they desperately sought a late score and a losing bonus point they ended with a blank card.
They finished the day at the bottom of Group C, and Jed happily placed at the other end.
Jed-Forest: E. Scott; G. Young, R. Hogg, G. Hill, L. Young; C. Laidlaw, R. Goodfellow; R. Ferguson, David Grieve, A. Croitoru, P. Hill, N. Cook, S. Laidlaw, M. Weekley, D. Gillespie. Subs: S. Raeburn, G. Ramsay, Donald Grieve, D.Gobby.