Glasgow'S Strong Firhill Finale

Glasgow 31, Northampton 27Firhill for thrills! Exciting, aggressive rugby in the last quarter lifted Glasgow to a heartening victory over Northampton in the Heineken Cup match at the Partick Thistle ground this evening. It was the result Glasgow needed as it kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the tournament quarter-finals.Glasgow were seven points adrift after an hour on a cold evening, though ideal for rugby, but tries inside five minutes by Rory Kerr and Roland Reid turned the game. Even though Northampton briefly regained the lead those two scores had given Glasgow the urge for victory. Two penalty goals by James McLaren then settled the contest.Kerr also scored a first-half try, but the man-of-the-match award went to Jason White. It was not only an official honour but also well deserved. White, as has become his wont, was outstanding in lineout and loose. Such was his penchant for nicking Northampton throw-ins that it was incredible when the visitors - late in the first half - opted to kick a penalty into the corner instead going for goal.White's first statement of intent was early in the first half, when he appeared close beside Tommy Hayes on the break. But the forward's most telling support was in the prelude to Kerr's second try after Andy Henderson had stolen Northampton possession in midfield. White and Reid were the keys in the link that released Kerr to cut Northampton back to 20-18.Glasgow's victory was all the more worthy when their only game in the four weeks since their Celtic League semi-final defeat in Dublin had been a dismal loss at Caerphilly. Moreover, their preparations in the past two weeks had been hampered by frozen surfaces on their training grounds. Indeed, in the first quarter, despite threatening breaks by Hayes and Michael Bartlett, Glasgow looked decidedly rusty.In that time Paul Grayson kicked a couple of penalty goals for Northampton. Hayes missed one before he succeeded with a penalty goal in 18 minutes, but Glasgow were caught napping nine minutes later by an old ploy that has come back into vogue - almost now overused. Grayson kicked flat across the field, and Ben Cohen, lying so wide that he could almost have been in the stand, gratefully gathered in space for a try.Grayson missed the conversion from the left touchline. Even so, the visitors" lead had stretched to 11-3, but that try seemed to ignite Glasgow. Almost immediately, a lineout drive from Steve Griffiths's catch created the scope for Glenn Metcalfe to intrude at pace and send Kerr in. Hayes converted, cutting the visitors" lead to 11-10.A Kerr break then would surely have procured a try if he had passed to Bartlett instead of hanging on, but Metcalfe again punctured the opposition defence as the prelude to a score, this time a second penalty goal by Hayes. Glasgow thus led 13-11 at the interval.Gordon Simpson was almost over the Northampton line early in the second half. Not only was he denied but also he damaged ligaments in the effort, being replaced by Gareth Flockhart, and it was Northampton who clawed their way ahead with three Grayson goals, two penalties bracketing a drop.It was then that Glasgow created Kerr's second try. Hayes missed the conversion from close to the posts, but that try both lifted the Glasgow effort and swelled the crowd's vocal support. The reward was an even tastier try. Bartlett escaped on a long run up the right touchline into the Northampton 22, McLaren set up a favourable ruck in front of the posts, and though Metcalfe was denied only inches from the goal-line Reid was up in support to dive over. McLaren, taking over as goal-kicker, converted for a 25-20 lead.Northampton's reply was swift, only three minutes later. As the finale to a series of demanding, driving mauls, Andrew Blowers was heaved over. In the build-up to that score Matt Dawson damaged ankle ligaments, and the scrum half had to be carried off.Grayson added the conversion for 27-25 to Northampton. By then, however, the flow was much more in Glasgow's favour, and McLaren regained the lead with a penalty goal nine minutes from the end of regulation time. He made sure in injury time with his second penalty goal, a couple of minutes before he was sin-binned for a high tackle.Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Michael Bartlett, James McLaren, Andy Henderson, Rory Kerr; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch, Gordon McIlwham, Steve Griffiths, Jason White, Roland Reid, Gordon Simpson, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Gareth Flockhart for Simpson (43 minutes), Lee Harrison for McIlwham (73), Nathan Ross for Griffiths (73).Scorers: Tries, Kerr (2), Reid; conversions, Hayes, McLaren; penalty goals, Hayes (2), McLaren (2).Northampton - Nick Beal; Craig Moir, Peter Jorgensen, Mark Tucker, Ben Cohen; Paul Grayson, Matt Dawson; Kelvin Todd, Steve Brotherstone, Mattie Stewart, Jon Phillips, Olivier Brouzet, Andy Rennick, Budge Pountney (captain), Andrew Blowers. Substitutes - John Leslie for Tucker (48), Grant Seely for Rennick (50), Rob Hunter for Brouzet (60), Dominic Malone for Dawson (68), Chris Budgen for Todd (72).Scorers: Tries, Blowers, Cohen; conversion, Grayson; penalty goals, Grayson (4); drop goal, Grayson.Referee - Joel Dume (France).Attendance - 3426.Glasgow 31, Northampton 27Firhill for thrills! Exciting, aggressive rugby in the last quarter lifted Glasgow to a heartening victory over Northampton in the Heineken Cup match at the Partick Thistle ground this evening. It was the result Glasgow needed as it kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the tournament quarter-finals.Glasgow were seven points adrift after an hour on a cold evening, though ideal for rugby, but tries inside five minutes by Rory Kerr and Roland Reid turned the game. Even though Northampton briefly regained the lead those two scores had given Glasgow the urge for victory. Two penalty goals by James McLaren then settled the contest.Kerr also scored a first-half try, but the man-of-the-match award went to Jason White. It was not only an official honour but also well deserved. White, as has become his wont, was outstanding in lineout and loose. Such was his penchant for nicking Northampton throw-ins that it was incredible when the visitors - late in the first half - opted to kick a penalty into the corner instead going for goal.White's first statement of intent was early in the first half, when he appeared close beside Tommy Hayes on the break. But the forward's most telling support was in the prelude to Kerr's second try after Andy Henderson had stolen Northampton possession in midfield. White and Reid were the keys in the link that released Kerr to cut Northampton back to 20-18.Glasgow's victory was all the more worthy when their only game in the four weeks since their Celtic League semi-final defeat in Dublin had been a dismal loss at Caerphilly. Moreover, their preparations in the past two weeks had been hampered by frozen surfaces on their training grounds. Indeed, in the first quarter, despite threatening breaks by Hayes and Michael Bartlett, Glasgow looked decidedly rusty.In that time Paul Grayson kicked a couple of penalty goals for Northampton. Hayes missed one before he succeeded with a penalty goal in 18 minutes, but Glasgow were caught napping nine minutes later by an old ploy that has come back into vogue - almost now overused. Grayson kicked flat across the field, and Ben Cohen, lying so wide that he could almost have been in the stand, gratefully gathered in space for a try.Grayson missed the conversion from the left touchline. Even so, the visitors" lead had stretched to 11-3, but that try seemed to ignite Glasgow. Almost immediately, a lineout drive from Steve Griffiths's catch created the scope for Glenn Metcalfe to intrude at pace and send Kerr in. Hayes converted, cutting the visitors" lead to 11-10.A Kerr break then would surely have procured a try if he had passed to Bartlett instead of hanging on, but Metcalfe again punctured the opposition defence as the prelude to a score, this time a second penalty goal by Hayes. Glasgow thus led 13-11 at the interval.Gordon Simpson was almost over the Northampton line early in the second half. Not only was he denied but also he damaged ligaments in the effort, being replaced by Gareth Flockhart, and it was Northampton who clawed their way ahead with three Grayson goals, two penalties bracketing a drop.It was then that Glasgow created Kerr's second try. Hayes missed the conversion from close to the posts, but that try both lifted the Glasgow effort and swelled the crowd's vocal support. The reward was an even tastier try. Bartlett escaped on a long run up the right touchline into the Northampton 22, McLaren set up a favourable ruck in front of the posts, and though Metcalfe was denied only inches from the goal-line Reid was up in support to dive over. McLaren, taking over as goal-kicker, converted for a 25-20 lead.Northampton's reply was swift, only three minutes later. As the finale to a series of demanding, driving mauls, Andrew Blowers was heaved over. In the build-up to that score Matt Dawson damaged ankle ligaments, and the scrum half had to be carried off.Grayson added the conversion for 27-25 to Northampton. By then, however, the flow was much more in Glasgow's favour, and McLaren regained the lead with a penalty goal nine minutes from the end of regulation time. He made sure in injury time with his second penalty goal, a couple of minutes before he was sin-binned for a high tackle.Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Michael Bartlett, James McLaren, Andy Henderson, Rory Kerr; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch, Gordon McIlwham, Steve Griffiths, Jason White, Roland Reid, Gordon Simpson, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Gareth Flockhart for Simpson (43 minutes), Lee Harrison for McIlwham (73), Nathan Ross for Griffiths (73).Scorers: Tries, Kerr (2), Reid; conversions, Hayes, McLaren; penalty goals, Hayes (2), McLaren (2).Northampton - Nick Beal; Craig Moir, Peter Jorgensen, Mark Tucker, Ben Cohen; Paul Grayson, Matt Dawson; Kelvin Todd, Steve Brotherstone, Mattie Stewart, Jon Phillips, Olivier Brouzet, Andy Rennick, Budge Pountney (captain), Andrew Blowers. Substitutes - John Leslie for Tucker (48), Grant Seely for Rennick (50), Rob Hunter for Brouzet (60), Dominic Malone for Dawson (68), Chris Budgen for Todd (72).Scorers: Tries, Blowers, Cohen; conversion, Grayson; penalty goals, Grayson (4); drop goal, Grayson.Referee - Joel Dume (France).Attendance - 3426.