St. Boswells 17 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points
There was much to admire in this fine performance from the Hills in their opening competitive fixture of the new 2018/2019 season, yet a first victory against their opposition remains elusive. It was not, however, for want of trying, as Hills consistently, whether down the slope with the breeze in the first half or against in the second, kept the ball alive with energetic passing and enthusiastic running. It was a fine break, and then a lung bursting run out of defence from stand off Rory Harte that led to the opening score . Left winger Ciaran Callaghan continued the move , and, after two rucks, newcomer Callum Weir ran in unopposed between the post to score, Rory Harte adding the goal points. St Boswell’s countered with a try of their own, but Hills dynamic play and solid scrummaging proved difficult for the home side to subdue, and another flowing move with captain Dan Williams prominent resulted in centre Scott Halliday touching down for a try which Rory Harte converted.
A fourteen points to five scoreline after forty minutes certainly did not flatter the Hills, such had been their commitment both in attack and defence, but the going became significantly tougher in the second half, as St. Boswells began to make their extra poundage in the pack count. Yet Bill Kenny in the Hills second row time after time stole opposition ball, and gave a stirring lead in the open with his driving play. But the dynamic of the game changed, even though the home team played the final quarter one man short due to some ill advised attempt at pugilism. Injuries to tight head, Ross Fergusson (ankle) and hooker, Harry Perston (badly cut forehead) disrupted the Hills and Boswells, stung by their perceived injustice at the sending off, raised their game in the final quarter to record two scores and thereby inch ahead at seventeen to fourteen with eight minutes left.
But the Hills valiantly took the game to Boswells with the last few plays of the half. Replacement scrum half, Andy Blair , broke through from sixty yards out, but his dash to the line was halted due to lack of immediate support. Yet there was one last chance for glory when Hills after a series of rucks on the home twenty two, were awarded a penalty. A cross kick to the unmarked Callaghan on the left wing looked like producing a winner, but the referee called it back for offside and with that, Hills hopes of causing an upset were over.
Hills play their first game at home next Saturday, the 8th September, with a 15.00 KO when they host NL 3 newcomers, Carrick , who had an impressive win in their first national league game. A good support from all members and friends would be appreciated by the 1st XV squad and coaching staff.
Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (Dan Williams), Sam Stokes (Craig Colvin) , Scott Halliday, Callum Weir, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Dan Williams (C) (Andy Blair) , Ross Jackson, Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Ross Ferguson (Blair Mackenzie) Ryan Williamson, Bill Kenny, David Vallance, Conor Ferguson, Scott McMillan. Subs Graham Davidson
Text/Picture by our intrepit reporter BBM