season ends in flurry of tries as home team wins


MAT VALLANCE @ Braidholm

The 2021-22 The Tennent’s Premiership season ended with a successful nine tries in sunny Braidholm. Neither of these teams will be involved in the season-ending play-offs, but they signed taking enough from the game to offer encouragement for next season.

This point was brought up by Neil Cook of Jed, who said: “It wasn’t the result we were looking for, but thanks to GHA who worked it out for us. I’m disappointed we didn’t get a bonus point, but realistically our season ended in December. We know we lack depth, but we have some good guys here. It’s been a tough season, between injuries and Covid, but now we’re going to have fun at seven and look to rebuild for next season.

Opposite number Trevor Carmichael was understandably delighted with his side’s six-try win. He said: “I thought we had some control in the first half but with the Young you can never relax and Jed showed the shirt pride you expect from a Borders team. It’s been a long season, but hopefully we can find a bit more consistency next season when some of our younger players will be better for it.

The home side got off to the best start and took the lead in just two minutes, winger Benoit Jouary landing on a clever cross shot from Andrew Goudie, with Adam Scott adding the extras. GHA continued to dominate and extended their lead within seven minutes, Jouary hit the ground again after good three-quarter management, Luca Bandelli putting his co-winger over the top. This essay has not been converted.

Jed regrouped, however, and after an attacking lineout they passed, but couldn’t get the ball down. They also lost Robbie Yourston, who was injured in the build-up. However, they kept their foot on GHA’s neck and on another line the Young brothers combined wisely, Lewis breaking the win line to put Gregor to the post and leave Finlay Scott with a simple conversion.

The visitors continued to hold a territorial advantage, until Max MacFarlane made a terrific solo break from inside his own half, to put Goudie in for his side’s third try, converted by Scott.

With six minutes left in the first half, GHA sealed the bonus point, crippling a five-yard lineout forward for hooker Archie Falconer to get the touchdown.

But Jed’s response was almost immediate, with Lewis Young picking up the ruck ball at the ten-yard line and finding a huge gap to clear on his way to the try line. Again Finlay Scott added the extras to complete the first half score.

Jed really could have made it a game five minutes into the second half when Robbie Shirra-Gibb cleared, but the young Bardelli showed remarkable pace to come back and delay him enough for Jouary to help smother him the threat.

And it was GHA who scored next, on a real shot against the head during a scrum. GHA attacked and Charlie Lonergan galloped, with Scott converting.

The game then twisted as the benches came on and on 67 minutes one of the ‘finishers’ finished the scoring when Jed’s Paulo Alves Ferreira exploded for his 11th try of the season: ‘Total yards made for these 11 tries – 12, commented the scorer afterwards.

The visitors finished strong but were even denied a try bonus point when, in the final minute, they drove to the line only to lose the ball forward on the final dive.

Teams –

GHA: A Scott; L Bardelli, C Lonergan, M MacFarlane, B Jouary; A Goudie, G Baird; B Boom, A Falconer, M Fox, S Callaghan, J McCarthy (captain), M Ryan, D Ewing, J Bruce. Subs used: T Brogan, S Carmichael, W Graham, S Simpson, J Peacock.

Jed Forest: G Young; Hayes K, Marshall R, Yourston R, Shirra-Gibb R; L Young, N Stingl; G Paxton, F Campbell, T Jeffrey, C Skeldon, A Sweenie, D Wardrop, F Scott, B McNeill. Subs: T Cromarty, P Alves Ferreira, K Scott, E Lauder, L Elder.

Arbitrator: Ben Blain.

Scorers –

GHA: Trials: Jouary 2, Goudie, Falconer, A Scott, Lonergan. Cons: A Scott 4.

Jed Forest: Essays: G Young, L Young, Alves Ferreira. Cons: F Scott 3.

Scoring sequence (GHA first): 5-0, 7-0, 12-0, 12-5, 12-7, 17-7, 19-7, 24-7, 24-12, 24-14, 29-14, 31-14 halves , 36-14, 38-14, 38-19, 38-21.

Man of the match: Young GHA back Luca Bardelli receives the call. He impressed in attack and had assists on both of fellow winger Benoit Jouary’s tries but, mainly for his comeback when he gave robber Robbie Shirra-Gibb a head start in a run at foot, but came back to halt his progress and save a certain try.

Subject of discussion: At the end of March, firm ground, a sunny day, and it’s the end of serious 15-a-side rugby for these two teams, why? Our season structure needs to be reviewed.

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