Glasgow'S Rare Home Defeat

Glasgow 20, Neath 27Fortress Hughenden fell this evening. Neath's Welsh/Scottish League victory was the first time Glasgow had lost a home league or cup match since April last year.Home advantage counted little. It was the first time Glasgow had played at Hughenden for nearly five months. They were almost as much strangers there as the visitors were.Yet it was a game Glasgow could look on as one that got away. However, their backward glances on a chilly, damp night would catch reasons why they failed, not least their lack of urgency until it was too late.Gone was much of the enthusiastic, persistent rugby of the first half of the season. Glasgow could not generate the game by which they qualified of the Celtic League's knock-out stages, climbed to the top of the Welsh/Scottish League, and also saw off Cardiff and Northampton in the Heineken Cup.Richie Dixon, Glasgow's head coach, said afterwards he had seen signs of "old" game. It was an acceptable claim with undeniable substance. Tommy Hayes and Glenn Metcalfe threatened occasionally on the break, and Jon Stuart made much of his rare appearance in the starting line-up.However, the bonding thread was missing to pull together Glasgow's phases of enterprise. Continuity was rare until late on, and, by then, Neath led 27-15 - two tries to nil. Jon Petrie's try for Glasgow was too late.Neath, with the stiff breeze on their backs, called the early shots, drawing out crucial tackles by Hayes and Donnie Macfadyen. Twice Neath's impetus had been prompted by the latter's opposite number, Brett Sinkinson, and the visitors" pressure yielded three penalty goals for Lee Jarvis.Hayes did not have a shot at goal until 26 minutes had gone, after Jason White had exploited a loose Neath pass. The stand-off missed that one, but soon afterwards he kicked a couple of penalty goals. Nathan Ross and White were prime movers in making ground before the first score, and it was then the turn of a couple of backs, Andy Henderson and Metcalfe, to set up the position of the fly half's second goal.In first-half injury Jarvis and Hayes swapped penalty goals so that Neath led 12-9 at the interval. The stand-offs repeated that sequence early in the second half. But Neath then profited with a try when Glasgow failed to secure the restart kick after their fly half's third goal. The visitors swung right and then left before Dean Dewdney escaped a double-tackle for Gareth Llewellyn to score in the corner. Jarvis failed with the conversion.Another Macfadyen tackle denied Dave Tiueti on the break over the Glasgow 10-metre line, and after Andy Nicol had been obstructed, the scrum half chasing his own hack ahead, Hayes cut the visitors" lead to 20-15 just before the hour.Hayes, however, had another miss after good lead-up by Petrie and Metcalfe to close to the Neath 22, and soon afterwards the visitors stretched their lead to 12 points with a try by Nathan Bonner-Evans from Patrick Horgan's quickly tapped close-range free kick. Glasgow seemed mesmerised - they were penalised at a scrummage where the Neath front row stood up, and Horgan took the kick beside the referee instead of behind the mark.That spurred Glasgow into their best phases of continuity of the match, and when Hayes struck a penalty downwind into the right corner Ross plucked the throw-in for Petrie to score. Hayes missed the conversion, and the best Glasgow could then hope for was a draw. They were denied even that.Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Alan Bulloch, Jon Stuart, Andy Henderson, Rory Kerr; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch, Gordon McIlwham, Nathan Ross, Jason White, Gordon Simpson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitute - Lee Harrison for McIlwham (58 minutes).Scorers: Try, Petrie; penalty goal, Hayes (5).Neath - Gareth Morris; Kevin James, Dave Tiueti, James Storey, Dean Dewdney; Lee Jarvis, Patrick Horgan; Duncan Jones, Barry Williams, Andrew Millward, Steve Martin, Gareth Llewellyn (captain), Richard Francis, Brett Sinkinson, Nathan Bonner-Evans. Substitute - Alan Bateman for Morris (73).Scorers: Tries, Bonner-Evans, Llewellyn; conversion, Jarvis; penalty goals, Jarvis (5).Referee - Iain Ramage (Berwick).Attendance - 2421.Glasgow 20, Neath 27Fortress Hughenden fell this evening. Neath's Welsh/Scottish League victory was the first time Glasgow had lost a home league or cup match since April last year.Home advantage counted little. It was the first time Glasgow had played at Hughenden for nearly five months. They were almost as much strangers there as the visitors were.Yet it was a game Glasgow could look on as one that got away. However, their backward glances on a chilly, damp night would catch reasons why they failed, not least their lack of urgency until it was too late.Gone was much of the enthusiastic, persistent rugby of the first half of the season. Glasgow could not generate the game by which they qualified of the Celtic League's knock-out stages, climbed to the top of the Welsh/Scottish League, and also saw off Cardiff and Northampton in the Heineken Cup.Richie Dixon, Glasgow's head coach, said afterwards he had seen signs of "old" game. It was an acceptable claim with undeniable substance. Tommy Hayes and Glenn Metcalfe threatened occasionally on the break, and Jon Stuart made much of his rare appearance in the starting line-up.However, the bonding thread was missing to pull together Glasgow's phases of enterprise. Continuity was rare until late on, and, by then, Neath led 27-15 - two tries to nil. Jon Petrie's try for Glasgow was too late.Neath, with the stiff breeze on their backs, called the early shots, drawing out crucial tackles by Hayes and Donnie Macfadyen. Twice Neath's impetus had been prompted by the latter's opposite number, Brett Sinkinson, and the visitors" pressure yielded three penalty goals for Lee Jarvis.Hayes did not have a shot at goal until 26 minutes had gone, after Jason White had exploited a loose Neath pass. The stand-off missed that one, but soon afterwards he kicked a couple of penalty goals. Nathan Ross and White were prime movers in making ground before the first score, and it was then the turn of a couple of backs, Andy Henderson and Metcalfe, to set up the position of the fly half's second goal.In first-half injury Jarvis and Hayes swapped penalty goals so that Neath led 12-9 at the interval. The stand-offs repeated that sequence early in the second half. But Neath then profited with a try when Glasgow failed to secure the restart kick after their fly half's third goal. The visitors swung right and then left before Dean Dewdney escaped a double-tackle for Gareth Llewellyn to score in the corner. Jarvis failed with the conversion.Another Macfadyen tackle denied Dave Tiueti on the break over the Glasgow 10-metre line, and after Andy Nicol had been obstructed, the scrum half chasing his own hack ahead, Hayes cut the visitors" lead to 20-15 just before the hour.Hayes, however, had another miss after good lead-up by Petrie and Metcalfe to close to the Neath 22, and soon afterwards the visitors stretched their lead to 12 points with a try by Nathan Bonner-Evans from Patrick Horgan's quickly tapped close-range free kick. Glasgow seemed mesmerised - they were penalised at a scrummage where the Neath front row stood up, and Horgan took the kick beside the referee instead of behind the mark.That spurred Glasgow into their best phases of continuity of the match, and when Hayes struck a penalty downwind into the right corner Ross plucked the throw-in for Petrie to score. Hayes missed the conversion, and the best Glasgow could then hope for was a draw. They were denied even that.Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Alan Bulloch, Jon Stuart, Andy Henderson, Rory Kerr; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gordon Bulloch, Gordon McIlwham, Nathan Ross, Jason White, Gordon Simpson, Donnie Macfadyen, Jon Petrie. Substitute - Lee Harrison for McIlwham (58 minutes).Scorers: Try, Petrie; penalty goal, Hayes (5).Neath - Gareth Morris; Kevin James, Dave Tiueti, James Storey, Dean Dewdney; Lee Jarvis, Patrick Horgan; Duncan Jones, Barry Williams, Andrew Millward, Steve Martin, Gareth Llewellyn (captain), Richard Francis, Brett Sinkinson, Nathan Bonner-Evans. Substitute - Alan Bateman for Morris (73).Scorers: Tries, Bonner-Evans, Llewellyn; conversion, Jarvis; penalty goals, Jarvis (5).Referee - Iain Ramage (Berwick).Attendance - 2421.