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Match against Whitecraigs (28-Dec-2012)

Date: Friday, 28th December 2012
Kickoff time: 19:45
Against: Whitecraigs
Team: Hawks 1st XV
Location: Home
Competition: Cup-Shield-Bowl-Plate
Final score: 31 - 0 (won)

The 28th of December is a peculiar date in the Scottish calendar. It is neither turkey nor steak pie, plum pudding nor dumpling, ruby port nor malt whisky and so it was that waifs and strays were cast up at Old Anniesland to watch this peculiar tie in Hawks' Scottish Cup group a derby match against Whitecraigs.
It is of course unfair to ask this young Hawks side to make amends for the failure of last seasons' team which was knocked out of the cup by a Whitecraigs side on it's way to their Prem 3 Championship win, but there was much talk of that tie prior to kick off.
It didn't take Hawks long to get into their stride. Craigs had kicked off only to have Hawks immediately return the ball putting the guests from the Southside under pressure. Frantic tackling could not stop Hawks from putting the ball wide to find prop come winger, John Lohoar, wide on the right diving over for the opening score. With Andy White missing a difficult kick it was 5-0 to Hawks in under 3 minutes. (5-0)
Another Whitecraigs kick-off was countered again and Hawks were playing all the rugby in their opponents half, more often than not in the '22'. Stufffy defence by the visitors always looked as if it would break under sustained pressure and it did for a 2nd time in 9 minutes. A penalty, right in front of the posts, was declined by Hawks' skipper, Ross Miller, who opted for the scrum. A couple of sets and collapses saw a further penalty awarded in the same place, this time Miller took a quick tap, passing the ball wide to the right allowing centre Bradley Harper to go over in the same corner for the second try. (10-0)
The visitors were clearly rattled, the kick-off failed to make 10 metres and Hawks had a scrum at centre, whilst putting Whitecraigs under pressure Hawks were unable to capitalise. The visitors were able then to use this brief respite to gather themselves and put the home side under pressure. Almost camping out in the home '22', Craigs seemed to have a chance of pulling themselves back into the game when awarded a penalty 10 metres out in front of the posts. However, an infringement spotted by the stand side assistant saw the visiting number 8 receive a chat and the penalty reversed in Hawks favour.
Clearing their lines didn't clear the threat as Whitecraigs continued to apply pressure. Just before the 20 minute mark, scrum-half Paddy Bowyer, was invited to take a compulsary 10 minute break, for what appeared to be consistent infringement by Hawks at the breakdown. Whitecraigs should have been able to capitalise on their numerical advantage but their error count rose and a penalty for holding the ball in the tackle, when it wasn't neccesary, gave Hawks the chance to clear the lines. There was a definite feeling that the visiting side had blown their chance doing little to threaten 14 man Hawks.
With numbers restored, half-time was approaching when Bowyer made amends for his yellow card with a deft break in the Craigs '22', running out of space he was able to offload to lock Peter Redmayne who went in under the posts for Hawks 3rd, with White adding the extras, Hawks had a comfortable 17 point lead going in at half-time. (17-0)
The second half saw Hawks trying to throttle their opponents. Playing at a high tempo as the rain started to drive across the park. Only Hawks errors prevented them capitalising a matter compounded by some indifferent refereeing particuilarly at the breakdown.
Hawks cause suffered a blow in the 46th minute when Stephen Findlay was sent off. There was a degree of confusion as referee, Martin Hose, initially flashed a yellow card but as Findlay was walking off the red card came out. All of this came after the intervention of the stand-side assistant and although it was unclear why a sending off was merited, improper use of the boots seemed to be the reason.
As often happens dropping to 14 men stirred Hawks to raise their game and prevent Craigs taking advantage of their numbers. From this point on the home side never seemed under pressure and the visitors would have been disappointed in the manner in which they vanished in the latter stages. The bonus try was almost ineveitable, when with just over an hour gone, replacement hooker Callum Kerr went under the posts for the 4th try and White stepped up to convert. (24-0)
The controversy hadn't ended when, within minutes of the 4th try, a brief skirmish broke out. It had seemingly fizzled out with the intervention of the referee. But the matter hadn't ended for the visiting hooker who "hand-bagged" a Hawks player before turning on his heel and walking up the tunnel. The crowd looked to the referee, to see what card had been administered, but all they saw was Mr Hose apparently calling on the player to come back. Seemingly ignored the referee carried on apparently allowing the petulance to go unremarked. As Craigs continued with 15 men it appeared that neither yellow nor red card had been displayed.
After this confusion, rugby was allowed to start up again and Hawks wound up proceedings with a 5th and final try in 78 minutes as Chris Barnes went over and White converted. They now matched the points total from the away tie (31-0)
Hawks now stand 5 out of 5 in the cup, closing 2012 on a high and a peculiar note on this peculiar date.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Benjamin Franklin

Team list for this match
Andy White
Brodie Clark
Callum Kerr
Chris Barnes
David Milne
Grant Strang
Haddon Mcpherson
Jack Macfarlane
John Lohar
Kris Boyle
Paddy Boyer
Peter Redmayne
Sean Yacoubian
Steven Findlay
Tom Steven

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