Hillhead/Jordanhill 10 pts GHK 24 pts
In the first round of matches against GHK, “Hills“ were trounced by sixty four points to twenty one at Old Anniesland, but in the return leg of the West End Derby, the home team were deservedly ahead at half time and fell away only in the last five minutes of what had been a much improved show up till then.
There was then much to applaud in this fine “Hills” performance : left winger Jimmy Griffith’s finishing skills which brought two fine first half tries – it should have been three but for an erroneous knock on award – full back Rory Harte’s immaculate fielding of the high ball in blustery conditions; hooker Harry Perston’s four strikes against the head in a very solid scrummaging pack; Blair Mackenzie’s scrummaging both at tight head and then in the second row; Owen Gemmell’s abrasive captaincy and display in the loose; and the whole teams spirted showing throughout and also their field discipline given some uneven refereeing decisions.
Yet the final analysis saw “Hills” fall just short. Their half time lead of ten points to five – the first occasion in season 2016-2017 they have been ahead after the first period of play – had been only marginally eroded by an early GHK score in the second period. The play, which had few periods of continuity due to frequent blasts of the whistle, raged from end to end and “Hills“ were marginally the favourites on pressure in the final quarter. But the quicksilver GHK backs and their mercurial 10, Mike Martin, saw to it that the “win bonuses” would be theirs with a two try burst in the closing five minutes which utterly deflated the “Hills” players and their band of supporters who had been hoping this game would provide their first win. “If only”, one of the most important phrases in the English language, might be used about the touchline work of the “Hills” line-out which was not dependable, some of the midfield handling might have been crisper and the “Hills” goal kicking. But that is nit picking about a game, when at last the players and coaches collectively gave themselves and their Club’s supporters something to feel slightly better about.
So the search for the elusive first victory of the 2016-2017 league campaign moves onto Peebles on the 18th February with a 15.00 KO. Bus leaves Hughenden at 12.00 . All spectators and support welcome.
“Hills” 1st XV – Rory Harte, Jimmy Griffith, Scott Busby, Scott Halliday, (Jamie Maddox), Dan Williams, Darren Knox, Ross Thomson, Ryan Williamson, (George Stephenson), Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie, (Callum Kettles), Chris Tulloch, Alec Cameron, Owen Gemmell (C), Ryan Reilly, (Conor Duignan) and Harry Cordner. All subs used.
Bernie ‘The Bunnet’ Mitchell