WHEN the going gets tough the tough get going, and that is how GHK upset the odds and sent their neighbours back over the Anniesland fence battered, baffled, and bewildered.

Not even a Parliamentary lobbyist would have put money on GHK at half-time. They had been outplayed, trailed 7-6, and were facing a stiff breeze. The odds took on monumental proportions within minutes when they went further behind and were reduced to 14 men when Wayne Brill treated Steve Begley as a punchbag. Hardly the circumstances to generate confidence among GHK supporters who had yet to see their side post a home win. O ye of little faith.

The sight of their big New Zealand lock trudging back to the pavilion merely lit the touchpaper for the fireworks as the Accies challenge withered under a Braveheart barrage led by the Wallace brothers, Murray and Fergus. Three opportunist tries in a blistering 18 minutes was no more than GHK deserved in turning what looked almost certain defeat into victory.

Accies can only ponder how they allowed the derby prize to slip from their grasp, but their pack must shoulder much of the blame in failing to counter and match the workrate of the GHK back row trio of the Wallaces and veteran coach Walter Malcolm. Scotland need look no further than Murray Wallace to find a replacement in the World Cup Sevens squad for the unfortunate Brian Renwick.

There was some consolation for Accies' director of coaching Kevin Greene who, as coach of the Glasgow side about to embark on its European venture, had 17 of his district squad on view, although three failed to finish the match.

In the first half, tension and frequent off-the-ball incidents saw both sides warned to cool it and play rugby by referee Ray Megson. Most of the fluent play had come from Accies, while GHK were dependent on the mighty boot of George Breckenridge. His two penalties kept GHK in touch after Gordon MacKay rampaged through for the opening try.

When the Accies' No.8, again standing off in midfield, gave Callum MacGregor the chance of a break which led to Jeremy Hart's try capitalising on Breckenridge's attempted interception, the long-awaited Accies triumph looked a formality. Brill's dismissal appeared to make it a certainty.

But before they could deliver the coup de grace, GHK had the scoreboard working overtime. Within seven minutes that 14-6 deficit had become a 20-14 lead. After running two quick penalties a John MacLeod chip over the disorganised Accies defence let Breckenridge in, and then a Cammy Little chip found Andrew Strawbridge and Danny Ablett floundering as Ally Common strode in to touch down.

GHK were rampant and it took a try-saving tackle by Glenn Metcalfe to thwart Geoff Hawkes after the Wallace brothers broke loose. But there was no stopping the home side with Murray Wallace gifted a try at the rear of a goal-line lineout off Accies' throw-in before Harry Bassi's blindside break allowed prop Euan Logan to sidestep past Metcalfe for another.

Last gasp tries from Strawbridge and MacGregor merely put a better complexion on Accies' blushes.

SCORERS: GHK - Breckenridge 1t, 2c, 2p. Common 1t. Logan 1t. M Wallace 1t. MacLeod 1p, 1c. Glasgow Accies - MacGregor 1t, 3c. Strawbridge 1t. Hart 1t. MacKay 1t.

GHK - Breckenridge; Caldwell, Common, Bassi, Hawkes; MacLeod, Little, Logan, Docherty, MacIlwham, Brill, Wilson, F Wallace, Malcolm, M Wallace. Replacements - Barrett for Caldwell (40min), Blackie for Docherty (62).

Glasgow Academicals - Strawbridge; Metcalfe, Bell, Hart, Ablett; MacGregor, Simmers, Perrie, Porte, Doran, Afuakwah, Begley, Stewart, MacKay, Richmond. Replacements - Brown for Stewart (63).

Referee - R Megson (Edinburgh Wanderers).