GHK 15-48 Lasswade: Reds off to worst possible start

Craig Quigley acting as scrum half for Lasswade in their 48-15 defeat to GHK. (picture; Richard Payne)
Craig Quigley acting as scrum half for Lasswade in their 48-15 defeat to GHK. (picture; Richard Payne)

GHK finished seventh in this league last season with just 6 wins to 14 losses. One of those wins, though, was the home fixture early in the season against Lasswade.

On that occasion strong running by the backs with good support lines found too many holes in the Lasswade defence and they ran in five tries to win 40-24. Anyone present at that game was about to watch a re-run.

Still missing some key players, including the captain this week, the visitors were too often outpaced by the GHK backs and too often finessed by a timely pass to a close support runner taking the ball at speed with a ready-made gap.

Pressing in the home 22 from the opening kick-off, a too-predictable pass was picked off by GHK stand-off, MacKinnon, and the interception gave him the head start he needed to run the length and touch down under the posts for Campbell to make it 7-0 with just five minutes gone.

Campbell missed a penalty 5minutes later but on the quarter hour GHK added their second converted try when some slick handling and a well-timed offload gave the burly Smyth a virtually unobstructed ten metres to the line.

Lasswade responded with some overdue fluency and co-ordination and having stretched the left flank of the home defence, the ball was shipped to the other wing and centre Mark Wilson went over in the corner to get his team on the scoreboard.

GHK resumed the dominant position but added only a Campbell penalty to their first half score.

Lasswade had the last word in the first forty when a penalty set up a lineout ten metres out. When the catch and drive stalled, a couple of rucks sustained the pressure until Arnot forced his way over in the corner. With two tries each Campbell’s boot accounted for the 17-10 scoreline.

GHK stretched their lead from the second half kick-off. Trying to run back the restart kick, Lasswade turned the ball over and another deft short pass by Hanks to the well angled Rintoul saw the centre touch down under the posts for a certain 2 points by Campbell. The fourth and bonus point try was claimed by Anderson after Campbell, Taylor and Chan had combined to create the opening for the number 9.

Yet another finesse in the GHK back line gave MacKinnon his second try, converted by Campbell, to as good as seal the game at 38-10 still with 20 minutes to go.

Lasswade raised the prospect of at least a bonus point just two minutes later. A penalty set up a lineout 10 metres out and some robust recycling moved the ball out wide for Thomas to weave his way over.

Lasswade could not crack the home defence and instead conceded the sixth try as GHK swung the ball through hands from a lineout on the left to MacKinnon on the right to touch down too far out for Campbell this time.

Still aiming for that try bonus, Lasswade attempted to pin GHK in their 22 from the restart but then second row, Parker, took matters into his own hands and broke from the 22 to run the rest of the length of the park brushing off several tacklers along the way to add the last five home points to the 48-15 final result.

With the worst result from this opening League Saturday, Lasswade are unaccustomedly in the bottom spot and have some work to do on their defensive structures before they take on Peebles this Saturday at Hawthornden. Kick-off 3pm.