Hawks sneak "Gunfight at the OA Corral"
By Alex Gordon, 11th Oct 2014
Try: Stewart 46,
Pen: Horne 29, 67, 80
Try: Couper 5
Con: Glashan 5
Pen: Glashan 11, 26
If ever there was a fight to the death, it was the gunfight at the OA Corral as Hawks shaded the narrowest of wins against an unlucky Edinburgh Accies side. The home team were down by two points well into injury time when George Horne kicked a penalty which secured a very precious 4 points for the West End side.
It was the basement battle as Accies, who have yet to secure a win this season visited Old Anniesland to challenge a Hawks’ side which had slipped down to 9th place last Saturday at Brifgehaugh.
You wouldn’t have known that Accies were struggling at the bottom of the table. An early scrum in the Hawks’ 22 was the perfect platform for Accies to put the ball wide for winger, Mat Coupar, as they opened the match at a pace which Hawks couldn’t match. The try secured wide, it fell to Alex Glashan to put over the conversion and Hawks were left reeling. (0-7)
Hawks had absolutely nothing to counter Accies forward march and found themselves defending deep in their own 22 within minutes of the restart. A penalty to Accies was taken to touch for the lineout, then a second was taken as a scrum. The Hawks’ defence was soild and when a 3rd penalty came their way the visitors opted for the kick at goal. Glashan didn’t miss and Hawks were 2 scores down in 11 minutes. (0-10)
The one way nature of the match continued as the number of unforced errors against Hawks continued to grow. In desperation in defence they were penalised a number of times for going over the ball on the deck.
Another period of sustained pressure had Accies scrumming inside the home 5 metre line and they were putting a real squeeze on Hawks. It was a testament to the packs play that they forced the turn-over and Horne cleared what looked like another try.
Glashan put a third kick over in 26 minutes after Hawks had failed to stay on their feet in a maul. That was a 13 point gap and it was hard to recall Hawks presenting much of a threat. (0-13)
A 29th minutes penalty from George Horne just before the half hour gave Hawks very limited relief from the pressure they were under, but it put them on the score board. (3-13)
The joy was short lived as a minute later Andy Kirkland received an extremely harsh Yellow Card for use of the feet. It looked innocuous enough, although the referee possibly had a better view of where the prone player’s head was.
With 10 minutes to go, there was a fear that that this could open the flood gates, but Hawks rallied and whilst they offered a limited threat they easily frustrated Accies in the run up to half-time.
Whatever was in the half time energy drinks, it did a job. Accies kicked off and Andrew Davidson gathered the ball and set Hawks up from the kick off. The team worked their phases with a more direct approach which had them deep in the visitors 22. A lineout close to Accies line had Hawks attempting to maul but the pack was stopped short, the ball was recycled by Paddy Boyer who flipped a pass to Grant Stewart who served up 5 points from short range. Horne missed a very difficult conversion but Hawks were back in the game. (8-13)
The second half was 6 minutes old and it was game on.
Hawks battered away at Accies and whilst the visitors were competing they were getting slower to every ball and Hawks appeared to have the advantage in terms of fitness. Still the try line remained elusive. The side could see the winning line in 65 minutes Davidson made a break through a tackle and took the pack with him deep into the Accies half.
Similarly, Warrior, Tyrone Holmes took a ball against the throw from the back of the lineout just in his own half but somehow Accies scrambled backed.
With 69 minutes on the clock Horne slotted over a second penalty and it was a two point game. (11-13)
Now any score for Hawks could win it. Hawks got back on the offensive, a penalty just inside the half saw Boyer take a sharp tap running the ball 20 metres, again a desperate Accies defence scrambled back to make the tackle. There was a chill in the house as Accies, hearing Marley’s chains and the ghost of narrow losses past started to rattle through their heads.
Hawks had the ball in Accies, whilst nothing looked like Hawks were going to score there was still the aroma of fear from the Edinburgh men. .
Hawks appeared to be preparing to take a drop goal as Horne stood back in the pocket, but that ball was never fast enough, to let him have a pop.
The clock was well past regulation and the teams were playing at the referee’s discretion when Hawks conceded a scrum to Accies. Play this out and the Edinburgh side would have their first win.
The sides packed down and Edinburgh put the ball in, they seemed to have the strike, when the packs popped up.
A neutral might suggest that the scrum should be reset but the Referee thought that Accies were at fault and blew for the penalty.
About 10 metres to the right of the hockey pitch end posts and 18 metres out, Horne placed the ball on the tee, stepped back and launched the match winner. It was 14-13 and the whistle blew for half-time. 4 points to Hawks with a 3rd win in 7 and a ten point gap over Accies.