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But disaster struck four minutes later when Smith missed a cross and Bowman almost fell on to the ball, somehow squeezing it through Coughlin's grasp for the scrappiest of scrappy goals.
September 7 will always be a special day for Northern Ireland and ever more so after Lafferty bundled home the scrappiest, most ecstatic finish of his career to give his side a first away success in four long years.
I realize that the headgear on a pronghorn can't compare to the scrappiest raghorn bull elk or even a two-year-old mule deer, but there is far more to hunting than the procurement of antlers and horns.
Chrysler, the company with the oldest product offering, worst financial shape, and the scrappiest management, led by Lee Iacocca, eventually did away with the chassis in favor of an integrated unibody construction on all its cars.
But Coach Mike Woodson has taken one of the scrappiest -- and oldest -- groups of players in the league and created a monster.
They scored a second - the scrappiest goal so far this season that featured two flaps at a loose ball on the ground by the keeper, plus an ankle-high attempted header by defender Ibanez, floored and flapping like a beached whale, before calm Scott McDonald dug it out and stabbed it home - but then conceded a crucial second leveller very quickly.
I would have taken 3-0 or 6-3 to Wales in the scruffiest, scrappiest game imaginable, rather than yet another heroic Welsh defeat.
The scrappiest spell of the game was reserved for the closing stages, with Rovers rarely looking troubled against a shot-shy Preston attack.
On a day when Huddersfield struggled to fire from start to finish, the visiting scrum half was a shining light in the scrappiest of contests.
Smith has summoned some impressive results from his team since taking over in early January but their performances of late have been mostly scrappy - and this was the scrappiest yet.
In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds sterling up for grabs, attracting some of the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick.