Dominant Display at Fortress Fullarton
By Gregor Ness
5 points in the bag as GHA prove no match for Marr's power play
Marr Rugby 1st XV match report by Stephen Allam
MARR SECURE VITAL WIN
TENNENTS NATIONAL 1 MARR RUGBY versus GHA RUGBY Saturday 20th OCTOBER
With the weather set to fair, Marr were eager to get back on the winning road, after their narrow defeat away to Selkirk last week.
It was not going to be an easy task, as their opposition was GHA, who were sitting one point ahead of the Troon side.
The match kicked off with Marr playing into a light breeze. It did not long for the first score to come. A long clearance kick was gathered by the GHA fullback John O’Brien who immediately started a counter attack by breaking through a tackle and after running for 30 metres passed to his winger Ben Addison to score an excellent try in the corner.
Marr immediately countered the opening try with one of their own. Marr number 8, Ross Miller burst through the GHA defence and after an infringement for offside, Marr secured a penalty and chose to kick to touch for a 5metre line out. Marr skilfully secured the ball and Mackenzie Pearce found a gap in the GHA defence to scurry over from 5 metres out.
Not long after Marr scored again. Tom Steven used his power to drive through his opposite number only to get tackled 5 metres out. The resulting rolling maul released Marr prop Calvin Henderson to dive over the line from close range.
Marr now looking dominant looked to increase their advantage when Richard Dalgleish chose an excellent line to power through GHA’S mid-field and after a few phases, Richards’s fellow centre Gregor Paxton, showed some great ball handling and pace to sprint over from 15 metres out.
With some fantastic kicking from Liam McLoughlin, gave Marr a well-deserved half time lead 21 points to 5.
The second half kicked off with Marr well aware that GHA still provided a significant threat. The next score was indeed, going to be vital.
GHA were now looking much more dangerous. For the next twenty minutes their forwards controlled the loose play and their back were showing good handling skills , however Marr’s defence showed great determination in making sure that their line would not be breached.
The referee had to step in after 25 minutes of the second half and show two yellow cards to GHA winger Cameron King and Marr winger Tom Steven after they had decided to have a slight disagreement.
With only 12 minutes left on the clock, Marr secured the bonus point and fourth try through veteran hooker Stephen Adair emerged from the bottom of a ruck after some good ball retention from the Marr pack that occurred very close to the GHA line.
GHA scored a deserved consolation try after some good phases and skilled handing from their three quarters.
With the game now coming to a close Marr scored the best try of the match. Captain Conor Bickerstaff chipped the ball over the GHA defence and managed to gather his own kick, sprinted towards the GHA line passed inside to Josh Evans who in turn unselfishly passed to Gregor Paxton to score his second of the match.
The big crowd that had all enjoyed this highly competitive encounter, cheered loudly with Liam McLoughlin who had a perfect kicking record, slotted a 35 metre drop goal to make the final score Marr 38 GHA 12.
Marr now leapfrog GHA in the table and now sit only two points behind league leaders Jed Forest.
Next week Marr face another tough text when they travel to the borders to take on Gala.
Marr Rugby 1st XV man of the match: Ewan Hamilton-Bulger (sponsored by GFS Associates)
Marr Rugby 1st XV scorers
Tries: Mackenzie Pearce; Calvin Henderson; Gregor Paxton (2) and Stephen Adair
Conversions: Liam McLoughlin (5)
Drop kick: Liam McLoughlin