Gogo's Open with Well Deserved Win
Big Tam's charges show the way in Caley 1
The scene was set for a battle of epic proportions in a warm and sunny Dunfermline as last season’s title challengers Gordonians met the recently relegated Dunfermline who have been tipped for promotion this season.
Gordonians arrived in Dunfermline with an air of anticipation and excitement as the hard work over the previous 2 and a half months was to be tested at the very first hurdle against an extremely powerful and well versed Dunfermline side. The warm up was performed with sufficient rigour and intensity to suggest that the squad was indeed ready to start this season with a bang.
Big Tam led the team with a few words before kick-off and with those words resonating in their ears, Gordonians took to the field ready to do battle. The “lesser” Walker brother, Harry, was to draw first blood with the opening kick-off of the season……unfortunately for him and the Gogo’s his kick didn’t make it the full 10 metres and it led to the opening scrum. Gordonians fronted up well to a somewhat sizeable Dunfermline pack and that set the tone for the rest of the fixture.
After the opening exchanges between the sides where both tested each other to get a feel for the patterns of the match, the game sprung into life around the 20minute mark with Co-Vice Captain Richard Murdoch causing havoc at the breakdown ably backed up by his back row pals in Cammy Hogg and tackle machine Daryl Neill. The Dunfermline scrum half fed the fly half and as he went to pass on to one of his powerful forward runners in midfield, Ricky Roo swooped and intercepted the ball and ran fully 60 metres outstripping the floundering Dunfermline back 3 showing pace that would rival our own speed merchants, De Oh and Bell. Mark Marchbank, resuming his playing career after yet another spell in the physio room last season, kicked the extras.
That score proved pivotal as Gordonians stepped up the pressure and tempo of the match, hitting breakdowns and tackling like their lives depended on it leading to a tremendous steal at the breakdown allowing the gazelle like backs to take full advantage and Danny Osugo showing a clean pair of heels to the entire Dunfermline backline (with a little show boating included – which he was subsequently punished for) to score near the posts. Marchbank unfortunately returning with his toblerone toes as the conversion was missed, 12-0.
Gordonians continued to terrorise the Dunfermline pack and backline alike with venomous tackling and thievery at the breakdown that the artful dodger would have been proud of. This tempo and pressure continued to mount on the Dunfermline side, but the overzealous other Co-Vice Captain, Asia, was penalised for not rolling away in a prop-esque manner which Dunfermline duly converted to make the scores 12-3.
As half time neared and Gordonians continued to apply pressure, a good interchange between a large number of the Gogo’s through the centre of the Dunfermline defence allowed Ricky Roo to get on the end of the move for his 2nd try of the afternoon. Unfortunately the conversion was missed.
The teams turned around and Gordonians started the 2nd half the way they had finished the 1st with serious pressure on the quickly tiring Dunfermline side and it paid dividends when a good turnover resulted in more brilliant interplay allowing the evergreen Graeme Imrie in to score. Marchbank added the extras. 24-3.
Gordonians kept up this pressure for the next 15minutes of the second half seeing 2 potential scores in the corner chalked off for a foot in touch. Both opportunities the result of some powerful forward play and slick back moves.
Finally one of the slick moves paid dividends with some brilliant interplay between backs and forwards alike allowing Cammy Howard to score in the corner on his debut (Lambrini hands were imposed post-match). The conversion was missed. 29-3.
Unfortunately Gordonians had a lapse in concentration allowing Dunfermline to build momentum towards the Gogo’s line which finished with a try which was converted to make the scores 29-10.
That score seemed to bring a sign of life back into the Gordonian step and after some good phase play and some intelligent kicking, Gordonians found themselves with a lineout just inside the Dunfermline 22 and as such proceeded to form an near perfect rolling maul (only missed out on being perfect as one Dunfermline player made it clean through the middle of the maul) that was comprehensively finished off by the captain himself, Tom Williams. Unfortunately the conversion was missed.
Somewhat disappointingly, the concentration lapse happened again with a dropped kick-off by he who shall not be named….Hackett…..that led to Dunfermline getting themselves back into the Gordonian 22 and after some handbags (Hoggy will say it was more than handbags) and a lineout, Dunfermline themselves worked a good driving maul which led to a score which was not converted.
There was to be no further scoring in the match as Gordonians rounded off the match in the ascendency with the 5 points secured and a marker put down for the remainder of the season.
The performance was brilliant with some areas to work on, but with that attitude, drive and tempo the season is shaping up to be a good one.
Man of the Match: Richard “Ricky Roo” Murdoch
Dick of the Day: The hell skite………
Match Report by Matthew Brechin