West End Derby First Leg to Accies

Hillhead/Jordanhill 15pts Glasgow Academicals 25pts

The minute’s silence to mark the sad passing of former “Accie” and “Hawk” Steve Begley had been dutifully observed by the goodish crowd for this west end derby game before hostilities broke out on the field.

The visitors came at the Hills with such attacking fury that referee Rab McHendry was required to penalise four separate home players in the first five minutes for defensive transgressions. Accies were rewarded for their opening burst with a well struck penalty goal, but then the game settled down to a format which lasted for the rest of the fixture:  Accies with their attacking flair trying to play a high octane game but being compromised ultimately by poorish final handling, while Hills adopted a much more pragmatic approach via limited movement of first phase ball and quick recycling. Their main attacking weapon was left winger, Jimmy Griffith, whose explosive pace and power, was Hills principal attacking force all game. The Hills had the bulk of territorial pressure in the first half and second rower, Bill Kenny, scored a fine try by running in unopposed from the twenty two after dummying everyone including his own team. Rory Harte converted and were looking good for their seven points to three lead but a lapse of concentration on the stroke of half time allowed Accies their way back with an unconverted try to lead by the one point at the interval.

The next score would be critical to the final outcome and it went the way of the visitors who now had an eight point lead. But stirring, driving play from both Hills second rowers, Bill Kenny and Chris “Warlock” Warnock, brought the home team back into it with a good penalty goal from Rory Harte. But injuries to Conor Duignan, a harsh carding of Jimmy Griffith for a technical offence and increasing frailty on the touch line with three attacking line outs lost in the opposition twenty two, all conspired to deflate the Hills. Accies attacked as they had done all game and scored two further tries to lead by twenty five points to ten into the final quarter. Hills had their chances, however, with both wingers, Jimmy Griffith and Graham Davidson, prominent in two fast counter attacking individual moves, but neither could be finished with a try. As it was, Hills spirited play kept them going to the final move of the game when Davidson finished off a fine left to right move with a try.  Accies then left Hughenden with five points from this National league 3 fixture, while Hills have yet to gather in any from their first three games.

Next Saturday the 23rd September finds Hills taking to the M9 for a trip to Inverness to play Highland, KO 15.00. The team bus will leave Hughenden at 10.00 prompt.

Hills 1st XV Squad: Scott Busby, Jamie Maddox (Graham Davidson), Robbie Williamson, James Lowry, Jimmy Griffith, Rory Harte, Conor Duignan (Jamie Maddox), Mark Barrowman (Ross Jackson), Harry Perston, (Blair Mackenzie) Maurice Adams (Ross Jackson), Chris Warnock(C), Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson (Martin Malone), Ryan Reilly and Owen Gemmell.