Author: Bernie Mitchell

Iain Cameron 1925-2019

An Appreciation

This short appreciation of Iain’s life can only make passing mention(s) of his many achievements : a quiet and reserved family man, an outstanding rugby player with Jordanhill College School FP’s and later administrator at SRU level, a primary school headteacher in Helensburgh and latterly as a dedicated supporter and Vice President of Hillhead Jordanhill RFC . But perhaps Iain’s major accolade was the recognition paid by the French government of his role in Normandy in 1944 when he was awarded the Legion d’ Honneur by the French consul in 2016.

Iain Cameron, was a machine gunner in the Royal West Surrey regiment, within the 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats). During the D Day landings the regiment was held back by storms in the Channel and landed at Arromanche on 12th June 1944. Iain was injured near Lisieux within a few weeks of arriving in France and was hospitalised near there. At this point his family back in Glasgow received a telegram to say that he was missing in action, but later discovered he was in a field hospital.

On his recovery he was sent to rejoin his unit, by then fighting their way through Belgium.The 7th Armoured Division was involved in the liberation of Ghent in September 1944. Iain was again badly injured near Eindhoven during this campaign, he carried the scars of the shrapnel wounds in his back and shoulder. He was invalided back to England and latterly to a convalescent home in Scotland. By the time he had recovered from this injury, the war was drawing to a close and he was (fortunately for his family!) given a desk job with the army until the war ended.

Iain was born on 12th January 1925 and attended Jordanhill School in the 1930s, before being evacuated to Cally School near Gatehouse of Fleet. After the war he played rugby for Glasgow University, London Scottish and Jordanhill FPs and was instrumental in setting up the FP club premises and grounds at Kilmardinny.

His funeral takes place at the Glasgow Crematorium on Tuesday the 11th June at 15.15.

Acknowledgements to Jordanhill School and Iain’s family to reproduce some of the above.

No shiny start to 2019

Newton Stewart 53 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 7 points

AS FIRST FOOTS in the rural fastness of Bladnoch in Galloway, Hills made little impression on a lively Newton Stewart side in this rearranged National League 3 league game. A half time deficit of twenty four points was exacerbated by a further concession of scores in the second period of play with the visitors conceding nine tries in total in the game. The solitary counter for Hills came from a well worked miss move involving stand off Ewen Brown and centre, Rory Harte, which resulted in Brown scoring and then converting his own try. That took the score to 36 points to 7 in favour of the ‘Sons’. Any hope of a resurgence for the Hills was dashed however, and Newton returned to their fast counter attacking game in the loose to which the visitors had no answer.

Hills play in general matched the grey, cold day in Galloway with only a few bright spots. The scrummage was sound and in fact pushed the Newton pack around, but little could be made of what go forward ball was delivered. Scott McMillan played well as an emergency centre and Craig Colvin tackled well at the back, while Chris Crome was whole hearted in his efforts. Collectively, however, Hills chose the first start in 2019 to produce a well below par performance.

It is to be hoped that there will be a huge turnaround collectively for the next league game against GORDONIANS in ABERDEEN when they visit Counteswells on SATURDAY 12th JANUARY.

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Ash RajasooriyaWing  0000
13Rory HarteCentre  0000
12Scott McMillanCentre  0000
11Tiam SahaireWing  0000
10Euan BrownFly-half  0000
9Andy BlairScrum-half  0000
1Ross JacksonLoosehead prop  0000
2Harry PerstonHooker  0000
3Daryll ElvinTighthead prop  0000
4Blair McKenzie 16Lock  0000
5Alec CameronLock  0000
6Bill KennyFlanker  0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8  0000
7James AchesonFlanker  0000
16Chris Crome 4Lock  0000

Report & Picture: BBM

Honours Even for 2XV at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill 2XV 19 points Hamilton 3XV 19 points

This was a fine advert for West Reserve league 1 rugby with both sides showing a willingness to play running rugby on the very firm surface of the Great Western Road pitch at Hughenden. Hills were given a stirring lead both in the line out and in open play by captain and second rower, Toby Mitchell. who ran himself into the ground for his side’s cause. The home scrum was also dominant throughout, but the Hamilton defence was effective in keeping the Hills attackers at bay for almost all of the first half until Mitchell burst through on a fine line from within the twenty two to score at the posts. Stand off Hugo Gesta converted, but the visitors hit back just before half time with an unconverted try to leave Hills two points to the good at the interval.

Hills piled further ahead in the second half with two further tries, one converted by Gesta. For the first of these, full back Daniel Hespe broke well from deep in his own half, but was pulled down some thirty metres short of the try line. Quick re- possession from the breakdown and fine fingertip passing from the French midfield trio put hooker Callum Kettles into space some five metres out and he plunged over for his score. Hills second score in the half was down to very good continuity rugby from backs and forwards which put open side flanker, Berthomé in the clear some ten metres out and there was no stopping him.

With a fourteen point cushion and play just in the final quarter, Hills relaxed and the stuffy Hamilton side began to win more fifty/fifty ball to press hard in the Hills twenty two. After seventy five minutes, their pack drove hard for the line and scored with the conversion a formality. Hills could not take the play out of their own twenty two, and with the final move of the game, the Hamilton scrum half ran laterally taking the rush defence with him and then reverse passed to his intruding full back who crashed over to score. The visitors’ scrum half piloted the conversion home and fulltime honours were even. Great game for the players, spectators and referee, Neil Wood.

Hills 2nd XV – Daniel Hespe, Callum Weir, Hugo Defienne (Sean Smith), Alban de Chaillé, Anoosha Rajasooriya, Hugo Gesta, Andy Blair (Alex Gibbons), Martyn Low (Michael Sinclair), Euan Ramage (Callum Kettles), Daryll “Kitschoff” Elvin, Toby Mitchell (C), Loïs Legendre, Chris Crome, Chris Brooks (Matthew Pettigrew), Firmin Berthomé. Subs All used

Report & Picture: BBM

Hills Take Five Points from Reduced St. Boswell

Hillhead Jordanhill 52 points St Boswells 24 points

On a fine late autumnal day for running rugby, Hills did sufficient in a blistering first half of running rugby to take the game away from a numerically understrength St. Boswells side.

The visitors started with one short and were then reduced to thirteen after twenty minutes, when one of their second rowers had to leave the field injured. After some forty two minutes, the referee adjudged that Jimmy Griffith, the home right winger, had committed an offence meriting his dismissal, and then after sixty five minutes the visitors lost another player to injury, finishing the game with only twelve on the park. The considerable dislocations in play did nothing for Hills concentration levels in the second half.

Brightest for the Hills in the first half were the irrepressible Rory Harte, playing in the outside centre channel and showing the benefits of a change of pace to score two fine tries, while Jimmy Griffith, when given space on the right wing, blasted over for three tries. Improving second rower, Charlie Smillie, scored from close range with Euan Brown adding a penalty and two conversions. Hills were certainly well worthy of their half time lead of thirty seven points to seven with flanker David Vallance and inside centre, Jonny Hamilton-Potter, both running powerfully when the opportunities arose.

The second period was noteworthy for a display of typical Border grit from the visitors who rallied against the odds to score three fine tries and secure a valuable try bonus point. Hills rather closed down for parts of the second half, but came back to life with some good break out play from their replacement back subs, Alban de Chaillé (2 tries) and Hugo Gesta (one try), who both ran purposefully from midfield to score against a fractured defence.

Hills play next away to Maybole against Carrick on Saturday the 1st December with a 14.00 KO. There is NO game this coming Saturday, the 24th November, as it is the second round of the cup from which Hills were eliminated in the first round.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (C) , Jimmy Griffith, Rory Harte, Jonathon Hamilton-Potter (Hugo Gesta) , Ciaran Callaghan (Alban de Chaille), Euan Brown , Alex Gibbons , Ross Jackson, Harry Perston, Daryll “Kitschoff” Elvin (Blair Mackenzie), Chris Warnock , Charlie Smillie, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan (Preston McGoldrick) and David Vallance Subs All use

Report & Picture: BBM

Injuries Mar Hills Home Win

Hillhead Jordanhill 9 points Murrayfield Wanderers 3 points (game abandoned after 74 minutes, Hillhead/Jordanhill win)

This was a gutsy performance from the Hills in a floodlit game, played in atrocious conditions of heavy wind driven rain. Visitors Murrayfield Wanderers had all the momentum in the first quarter playing up the slope towards the clubhouse, but all they had to show for their ascendancy was a short range penalty which cannoned off one of the uprights and was cleared swiftly. From that point, Hills came more into the game, helped by a much improved performance on the touchline from line out jumpers, Charlie Smillie and Chris Warnock. They should have scored a try following a thunderous break from his own twenty two by Jonny Hamilton-Potter, but the opportunity was lost close to the visitors’ try line. Rory Harte, however, allowed his side to have a six point lead at the interval, thanks to two well struck penalty goals.

The pattern of play continued in the second period with Hills having the bulk of territory and possession, but just being unable, on such a foul night, to play sufficient quality wet weather rugby to get across the line. Replacement prop, Ross Jackson, ran well for some fifty metres, but his breakout did not produce a clear try scoring opportunity. The scoring in the second half was restricted to an exchange of penalty goals between the respective kickers, Rory Harte and Alex Godsmark.

The game did, however, produce two long stoppages of play in separate incidents for medical attention to two front row players. Fortunately the Murrayfield Wanderer was eventually able to walk from the field, albeit slowly, to the comfort of the stand. Ross Fergusson, the Hills tight head prop, was less fortunate and had to be stretchered off and taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Everyone, players and supporters, were mightily relieved to learn that the problem was related to serious soft tissue damage and Ross was able to leave hospital on Saturday morning.

Hills play next at home on Saturday the 17th November with a 13.45 KO against St.Boswells from the Borders.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (Euan Brown), Jimmy Griffith (Craig Colvin), Damien Genocchio, James Hamilton-Potter, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Alex Gibbons, Ross Fergusson, Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin (Ross Jackson), Chris Warnock, Charlie Smillie, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan and David Vallance. Subs Toby Mitchell

Report and Picture: BBM
Hills Kicks video (below) courtesy of M.Malone, embedded in the supporters crowd

 

No Points at Pickie Park

Orkney 31 points Hillhead Jordanhill 22 points

The turbulence experienced by the Hills party of twenty four, nineteen players and five team management, as they took to the leaden skies above Glasgow in their Loganair scheduled service to Kirkwall on Saturday morning was nothing compared to the battering the forward pack took some three hours later on terra firma at Pickaquoy Park.

Given the prevailing zephyrs, Hills had won the important toss and had chosen to play with the wind at their backs. But the first five minutes were a chastening experience for the Hills, as their pack was rammed backwards in the first three scrums , thereby destroying any momentum they had hoped to gain. The home XV quickly held the upper hand, and made the visitors pay with a well worked move which led to a try close to the posts which was easily converted . Instead of playing the game in the Orkney half, Hills were constantly on the back foot engaged in desperate defence in which captain, Dan Williams, excelled. It was only towards the last ten minutes of the first half that the Hills were able to put any pressure on Orkney. First of all, Euan Brown kicked a thunderous penalty from all of fifty metres. Then Ciaran Callaghan finished very well in the left hand corner on the first occasion Hills managed to recycle quickly with the final pass being exquisitely floated over the centres’ heads by stand off Rory Harte. Hills were ahead eight points to seven at the end of the first half, but the margin was wafer thin considering Orkney now had the best of the conditions.

Sure enough the second half featured waves of attacks from Orkney with Hills striving hard at all times to get out their half. Orkney scored four tries, but charitably they recognised two of these were “own goals” gifted through uncharacteristic errors in the Hills rear-guard. The visitors two second half tries were due to the fine footballing skills of Damien Genocchio and Rory Harte, the former picking up loose ball in midfield and making the line on his own, brushing off several would be tacklers on his way. The try was one only Rory Harte could score. A meandering run out of his own twenty two from a quickly taken tap penalty produced numerous side steps and feints to the effect not one home player could put a hand on him on his way to the line. But there really was little else to cheer the Hills in the second half. The technical area resembled a small scale A. and E. ward. Second rower, John McLellan, was stretched out with a badly sprained ankle ; Scott McMIllan had a badly bruised knee ; Ryan Williamson was coming round slowly after a head knock ; and Ross Fergusson was cooling his heels in the sin bin. Such was the dislocation that scrums became uncontested and Dan Williams was asked to play in three different positions : inside centre, scrum half and then No 8. The Club Physio, Aoife O’Shea, did remarkably well to manage all the injured players.

Hills next league game is at home Friday night, the 9th November, when Murrayfield Wanderers are the visitors for a floodlight game, kick-off 19.45.

Hills 1st XV – Euan Brown, Craig Colvin (Jamie Maddox) , Damien Genocchio , Dan Williams (C) (James Hamilton-Potter) , Ciaran Callaghan , Rory Harte , Andy Blair (Dan Williams) , Ryan Williamson (Ross Fergusson) , Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin , John McLellan (Bill Kenny) , Charlie Smillie, Euan Ramage (Preston McGoldrick) Bill Kenny (Dan Williams) Scott McMillan . Subs all used

Report & Picture: BBM

Tough Times on the North 500

Caithness 57 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

The first leg of the North 500, the latest “must do” on Trip Advisor, saw the Hills bus the 110 miles from Inverness to Thurso where Caithness play on a fine late Autumn morning, having stayed overnight in the capital of the Highlands. The drive itself is wonderful, spanning the Beauly Firth, Cromarty Firth and then the Beauly Firth. Thereafter, the A9 road hugs the coast, passing the holiday villages of Golpsie, Brora and Helmsdale before ascending to the flow country of Caithness where the vistas are magnificent across to the Sutherland Munros. Thurso was reached after some 2 hours 15 minutes of a drive which reinforced perceptions of what a wonderful country Scotland is. The visit to the North will be taken only once this season by Hillhead Jordanhill, but Caithness, their hosts, are well used to the journey, travelling to the Central Belt some eleven times to fulfil their national League commitments.

The fact this report should open with an overview of part of the trip to Thurso where Caithness RFC play indicates that it will stay longer in the memory than the game which followed. On their well appointed ground with a team of well nourished backs and forwards, Caithness were ruthless in their execution of the basics, particularly in the contact areas, where Hills struggled all afternoon with their hosts physicality. The first half saw Caithness run through the phases with ease scoring four tries against Hills, but the visitors playing against a stiff breeze did have their chances. Euan Brown intercepted some ten metres from his own line and scampered ina lung bursting run some seventy metres unopposed, till he was chopped only five metres short of the Caithness line. The hosts offended at the breakdown, losing a player to the sin bin in the process, but Hills could make nothing of their numerical advantage. Second rower, Chris Warnock, rightly named Hills man of the match made some serious yards in midfield, but the recycling could make nothing of the “Green fence” in front of them. Ciaran Callaghan threatened briefly on the left flank, but a knock on close to the line ended that promise.

Turning round twenty six points adrift, it was essential Hills settled quickly, but the momentum that Caithness generated in the first forty minutes was difficult to defuse, and the visitors subsided further to two more tries. Finally after fifty five minutes Hills started playing in the Caithness twenty two and two tries followed. Tight head prop Blair Mackenzie was driven over from close range and then Bill Kenny, whose work ethic is always to be commended, scored. The second try came from a rarity in the modern game, a tight head strike by hooker Harry Perston. Euan Brown converted both and there was a faint hope this spurt would lift the Hills, but instead Caithness found their “second wind” to run in another three tries, punishing the visitors for their failures to hold onto the ball. The final victory margin of nine tries to only two served only to emphasise the disparity between the two teams.

The bus journey home of some 280 miles, punctuated by a pit stop in Pitlochry, allowed time and opportunity to anaesthetise the senses, and blank out the memory of the game. Hills now have to lift themselves several notches to be able to offer resistance to opponents Ardrossan Accies in the ninth game of the 2018/2019 NL 3 season on Saturday the 27th October; kick off at Hughenden is 15.00.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Graham Davidson (Alban de Chaillé), Damien Genocchio, Dan Williams (C), Ciaran Callaghan (Jamie Maddox), Euan Brown, Andy Blair, Ryan Williamson, Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie (Daryll Elvin), Bill Kenny, Chris Warnock, James Acheson, Conor Ferguson, Preston McGoldrick (Scott McMillan). Subs All used

Nervous Win at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill 20 points Perthshire 13 points

It was a relieved group of players, coaches and supporters when the excellent exchange referee, Callum Paterson, blew for time up at Hughenden with Hills winning a close game against Perthshire by one goal, two tries and a penalty goal to two tries and one penalty goal. Thus Hills autumn of rugby discontent with three successive pointless defeats was brought to a welcome conclusion.

The first quarter was all Hills, but with little finishing patience in the visitor’s danger areas until left winger, Ciaran Callaghan, broke up the middle of the field and offloaded well to James Acheson. The second rower made a fine break into the Perthshire twenty two from where quick recycling and well directed passing put right winger, Graham Davidson, clear to run round behind the posts to score. Stand off, Euan Brown, added the conversion, but Perthshire were quick to respond with a penalty goal. The momentum, however, remained with the Hills, and James Acheson was again prominent in broken play when his break deep into the Perthshire twenty two produced a follow up try for hooker Harry Perston. A twelve three margin after forty minutes in favour of the Hills was a fair reflection of the flow of the game.

But the half time margin was soon reduced when a speculative kick ahead from Perthshire caught the Hills defence asleep and allowed the follow up to slide in for an opportunistic try The visitors were now back in the game, but some disciplined defence from Hills raised the siege. It took a sublime piece of skill from Rory Harte to add to the score. From a midfield position, the fullback noted the visitors were thin at the back and Euan Brown was unmarked on the right wing. A delicately weighted chip over the flat defence and kind bounce allowed Euan Brown to pick up and run in unopposed from thirty metres. The conversion was missed but Rory Harte made no mistake with a penalty kick for goal which took his side to twenty to eight points ahead with some ten minutes left.

Hills then spent the remainder of the game in defence. A try was conceded taking Perthshire into losing bonus point territory, but the Hills held out to win a penalty which Rory Harte kicked gleefully into touch to finish the game. Hills  will be hoping this change of fortune can be continued for their long away trip to play Caithness in Thurso on Saturday the 20th with a 14.00 KO.

Hills 1st XV – Rory Harte (Alban Chaille), Graham Davidson, Damien Genocchio , Rory Harte, Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown (Rory Harte), Dan Williams (C), Ryan Williamson , Harry Perston, Ross Fergusson (Blair Mackenzie), Bill Kenny (John McLellan), James Acheson, David Vallance, Conor Ferguson, Preston McGoldrick (Euan Ramage)

Report & Picture: BBM

Hills Go Down at Burnbrae

West of Scotland 50 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

On a wonderful afternoon for running rugby at Burnbrae, West took full advantage of a well below par showing from the visitors to record a comprehensive victory and move to the top of the NL3 table some 25% of the way through the playing season. Hills, for their part, now sink to a lowly ninth place and will require to begin picking up points very soon to ensure a dog fight against relegation does not over take them. The momentum which had been generated in their last home game against Gordonians was sadly absent.

Matters were ominous from the first set scrummage when the Hills with a make shift front row were rammed back yards, but the Hills forwards stuck at it, and competed both at the set piece and line outs; but the West pack had a more cohesive look about them the whole of the eighty minutes. Mistakes – missed tackles and failing to deal with an opportunist kick ahead – also cost Hills dearly. Yet fine breaks into the West twenty two by improving second rower, Charlie Smillie, and James “The Come back Kid” Reekie should both have led to scores, but the opportunities were sadly lost.

At nineteen points down after forty minutes, Hills needed to strike early, but, after only two minutes of the second half, West had their fourth and bonus point try from an interception. Further indignity befell the visitors when they conceded a penalty try at the scrummage and then a sixth try when West moved the ball wide against a splintered defence. Thirty eight points down after fifty five minutes was not quite the scoreline which the Hills might have expected, but there was a brief flurry of resistance which brought two fine tries for the visitors. First of all, Damien Genocchio scorched in from thirty metres out to score an encouraging individual try, and then Jamie Franklin showed some wonderful footwork to offload to substitute back, Jonny Hamilton-Potter, who still had some work to do to shake off two defenders to make it to the line. Euan Brown converted both and suddenly there were signs of a revival. These were quickly extinguished, however, by an efficient West side which showed more patience in retaining possession and variety in attack than their visitors. Two further tries were conceded by the visitors and the Hills were well and truly walloped in this North Glasgow derby.

Hills now entertain Perthshire on the 13th October at Hughenden with a 15.00 KO. It is to be hoped Hills pick up soon as they have now lost three games on the trot.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Jamie Franklin, Damien Genocchio (Jonny Hamilton-Potter), Rory Harte, Jimmy Griffith (Damien Genocchio), Euan Brown, Dan Williams (C), Harry Perston (Michael Sinclair), Preston McGoldrick (Harry Perston), Ross Fergusson, Charlie Smillie, Chris Warnock, James Reekie, Conor Ferguson, Bill Kenny (Euan Ramage)

Report & Picture: BBM

Good Performance but Tough Outcome

Hillhead Jordanhill 17 points – Gordonians 25 points

This defeat was a disappointing outcome for the Hills players, coaches and supporters in that, despite all their efforts exerted in a much improved performance, Gordonians overturned a 17-15 score in the home team’s favour in the final five minutes of this engrossing encounter to run out winners by 25 points to 17, thereby denying Hills a consolation bonus point.

From the start Hills, hitting down the Hughenden slope, looked lively both at scrum and line out where Charlie Smillie proved a reliable provider of ball . The midfield triangle of Euan Brown at stand off, and Rory Harte and Damien Genocchio in the centre were all full of running but the visitors defence stood firm until the 15th minute when the lively Andy Blair at scrum half nipped over from close range to score a fine try which Euan Brown converted. Gordonians, however, were no slouches in attack and they came back strongly at the Hills by finishing well for three tries to take the score at halftime to 15 points to 10 in their favour, Euan Brown having kicked a penalty goal.

The next thirty minutes were full of end to end of end stuff with both XV’s making excellent progress through their big ball carriers. For Hills, Chris Warnock and Alec Cameron excelled in all the unglamorous chores of ball carrying, while Charlie Smillie ran like a demented giraffe any time he received the ball in open play. But it fell to “Goldenballs”, Rory Harte to put the points on the board with a solo move, which involved more spins that “Strictly Come Dancing” provides, to score to the extreme left of the posts. Euan Brown nailed the conversion and Hills were in front with all their supporters nervously studying the time left.


But it was the visitors from Aberdeen who rose to the challenge to protect their unbeaten league record. Their forwards were relentless and remorseless in the closing minutes with eight phases of recycling producing a close range try which their fullback converted, his first successful kick of the game. Immediate breakdown pressure on the restart provided another opportunity for the Gordonians full back Crawford to kick at goal, and he was again accurate, making sure of his side’s victory with a well struck penalty from 35 metres. Gordonians were ecstatic while Hills were deflated but the losers will reflect on a spirited performance which they most take forward to their next game.

Saturday the 6th October finds Hills at Burnbrae with a KO 15.00. “West” have made a fine start to their season but if Hills can build on this performance this derby will be some game.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (c) (Roger Webster), Jamie Franklin (Graham Davidson), Damien Genocchio, Rory Harte, Roger Webster (Jimmy Griffith), Euan Brown, Andy Blair (Craig Colvin), Ross Ferguson, Harry Perston, Paul Howell (Blair Mackenzie), Charlie Smillie, Chris Warnock, David Vallance (Chris Crome), Alec Cameron and Preston MA McGoldrick

Report/Pictures BBM