Newton Stewart 45 points Hillhead/Jordanhill 3 points
Instead of the taping and line out “blocks” which the “Hills” players had as protection for playing in this National league match transferred from the Bladnock park to the fastness of the Ladies Walk pitch in Stranraer, it would have been no surprise to see them all wearing lifebelts, such was the intensity of the rain which fell unrelentingly for the whole of the game. Even with these buoyancy aids, it is doubtful if they would have assisted “Hills” survival, as Newton Stewart played with a potency and physicality at contact and breakdown which their visitors found hard to match for the whole eighty minutes.
Certainly the narrow pitch suited the “home team’s” more direct approach which relied on the constant battering and softening up of both the fringe and the midfield defence to make progress, while “Hills” attempted to play a wider, faster offload game. Unfortunately, “Hills” forward pack struggled to move their heavier opponents in the set scrum and their line out stuttered for reliability, apart from Bill Kenny’s efforts at No. 2 jumper. Hence the lack of real consistent go forward ball and both overhead and underfoot conditions combined to affect the visitors more than they had reason to anticipate given their recent good form.
“Hills” tried hard, but found the “hard yards” and the Newton Stewart defence difficult to penetrate. Scott Halliday, both in attack and defensive chores, tried manfully, but Rory Harte’s play book of tricks suffered from the wet conditions, his clever grubber kicks foundering in the pools of casual water. He did, however, convert a penalty from forty metres for his side’s only score. Both “Harrys”, Singh and Perston, gave it their best shot(s), but “Hills” trip to the south west will be remembered only for the extreme weather conditions experienced both during the game and the bus journey there and back.
Hopefully better conditions will prevail for the visit of Orkney next Saturday the 28th October. To accommodate the visitors onerous travel arrangements, this game will kick off at 11.00. A brunch will be served in the Clubhouse from 09.45. To book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Hills“ 1st XV: Scott Busby, Arnaud Bauchet, Robbie Williamson, Scott Halliday, Graham Davidson (Ruairidh Mayes), Rory Harte (C), Craig Colvin, Mark Barrowman (Ross Jackson), Harry Singh (Harry Perston), Blair Mackenzie (Ross Fergusson), Helian Bourrel, Bill Kenny, James Reekie , Conor Ferguson, Alex Armstrong. Subs all used.
Bernie “The Bunnet” Mitchell