Glasgow beat Edinburgh to claim top spot
December 27, 2009
Glasgow's Dan Parks celebrates becoming the first player to score 1,000 points in the Celtic League
© PA Photos
Glasgow will go into 2010 as Magners League leaders after beating Edinburgh 25-12 at Firhill.
Glasgow dominated from the third minute when Dan Parks' kick to the corner set up the field position for his first penalty. Chris Paterson equalised a couple of minutes later but in the 10th minute the crowd rose to applaud Parks' second penalty which meant he became the first man to reach 1,000 points in the Magners League.
With all the territory and possession, Glasgow still had to rely on the boot of Parks to keep them in the lead, four first half penalties and a drop goal taking Glasgow in 15-12 ahead. Paterson replied with four penalties for the visitors. With Richie Vernon and Thom Evans held up short and only the video referee denying Jon Welsh a touchdown, Glasgow came close to grabbing the first try. But with David Callam and Scott Newlands putting in the big hits in the Edinburgh defence, Glasgow were unable to go over in the opening 40 minutes and it was not until seven minutes into the second half that the touchdown finally came.
Vernon had terrorised the Edinburgh defence throughout the first half and from a scrum on the 22, the Glasgow number eight spun out of a couple of tackles to grab the game breaking try. Parks slotted the conversion from the touchline then stretched the lead with his fifth successful penalty before the visitors finally came to life.
Pounding the Glasgow line for 10 minutes however brought nothing as John Barclay, Vernon and Kelly Brown kept the Glasgow line intact. A Paterson penalty miss 10 minutes from time summed up the Edinburgh afternoon and there was no way an unimaginative attack was going to unpick a solid Glasgow defence in the final few minutes when they had to run every penalty into an unbreachable wall.
The 31-year-old Sydney-born Parks has averaged 10 points per game over his 99 outings with the Warriors in the Magners League. The vast majority of his points - 911 - have come from the boot - 121 conversions, 208 penalty goals and 15 drop goals, with the balance made up by the 18 tries he touched down between his League debut against Connacht in September 2003 and today's game.
Parks has been a central figure for the Warriors since joining from Eastern Suburbs club in Sydney in the summer of 2003. His ever-reliable boot has seen him finish as top scorer in each of his six years at the club. The Warriors' Player of the Season in 2006-07, when he scored 197 points in the Magners League, he is already the leading points scorer in Glasgow's history, and has now added this Magners League landmark to his records.
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance