In the first leg of this pairing, twelve unanswered points in the last 10 minutes turned defeat into a 32-31 Lasswade victory that GHA were keen to avenge. Comparing their four wins from the last five encounters with Lasswade’s run of four defeats, the Glasgow visitors were the better bet on paper but were neutralised by a disciplined and patient home fifteen, which this week played the windy and slippery conditions perfectly with tight, mostly forward, play and fully deserved the 32-point, four-try victory.
In spite of the strong, chill wind directly in their faces, GHA started strongly and threatened the home line for much of the first ten minutes until a raking kicked sent them back to their own 22. From the lineout the hosts were twice held up over the line but persistence paid off enabling Robertson to crash over beside the posts for an easy Wood conversion.
GHA’s response was to keep the ball largely in the forwards and drive patiently into the wind, earning a try from Pinder at the start of the second quarter with Tane Jericevich adding the two.
Using the wind to secure territory, illegal hands in the ruck allowed Wood to offset three of those points a few minutes later
Playing mostly in the visitors 22 with just ten minutes of the half left, Lasswade won their lineout 15 metres out and a controlled rolling maul was stopped just short of the line but close enough for Brown to dive round the side.
Lasswade continued to camp in the GHA half but could not extend their lead.
Just when it looked as if the 15-7 scoreline would carry to half time, GHA broke up yet another attack and Henderson countered from the 22 releasing Tane Jericevich whose pace took him all the way to the corner but he was unable to convert his own try.
!5-12 did not feel very secure as the home side turned into the still stiff wind. This week, though the Midlothian side played percentage rugby. Keeping the ball mostly in the forwards with only occasional short darts by the backs they were in possession and in the GHA 22 for 18 of the first 20 minutes of the second half. The Glasgow defence was equally dogged and Brown eventually had to settle for three points when they failed to release at a tackle.
Lasswade continued their patient game from the restart and were rewarded a few minutes later when a second jinking break by Blackwood made space for Turnbull to break into the opposition 22 and send Robertson on his way for a second try. Just a few short breaks and pick-and-drives later, Robertson completed his hat trick with the team’s first four-try bonus for a wee while.
When given possession, GHA could not make much progress and as time ticked away both frustration and urgency affected their game leading to handling errors and offences including an offside that gave Brown the chance to stretch the home lead still further.
Stoppage time was being played when the Lasswade wall finally cracked allowing Henderson over in the corner. The star centre took exception to a late attempt to prevent him touching down and compounded a bad day for his club by throwing a punch and giving the referee no option but to red card him. The failed conversion was the last action of the game.
From what had been a concerted team effort it was not easy to single out a Lasswade man of the match but Russell Gladstone
’s control of the game at scrum half and some fierce tackling earned him the honour.
Lasswade have recovered their form just in time for the visit this Saturday of Premier 1 Boroughmuir in the Regional mini-league stage of the Cup. Kick-off 2.00pm.