Last Saturday was tough to take, but here is a reason to rejoice: TARTAN TOUCH resumes at Hughenden this Friday 6.30pm!
Very casual, really fun, open to all level, new bees to Rugby warriors
All details: Tartan Touch
5.45pm Sarah Beaney Cup – Hillhead Jordanhill RFC v Watsonian FC
WE ARE DELIGHTED to have reached the final and the fact that this is the 5th consecutive final for the girls shows the incredible efforts that they have put in to maintain such a high standard for so long.
It was a great confidence boost to be going into the final with the impressive performance in the penultimate round against Ayr RFC. We have a really close and tight-knit squad, that is ready to relish the challenge that is ahead! We really feel like we’re ready to perform at BT Murrayfield and are up for the final challenge of facing Watsonians FC this Saturday!
This season has had many different highs throughout it. One of the obvious highs was the girls retaining the women’s premiership league title. However, there has been some lows through the season as well as it has been a year that has been tormented by injuries. In total we have over 25 different injuries happen through the year for major injuries in the likes of Siobhan McMillan and Sophie Anderson to have smaller injuries that have players out for just a couple games. This however does make what we have achieved this year even greater. As we haven’t had it easy and the girls have had to really work hard for everything they have got this year as well. With obviously loosing quite a few seniors players last year due to them finishing up there time playing there wasn’t as many leaders within the group as I previous years. However, this gave some girls a real opportunity and chance to rise up to the challenge and we have no got a team with a real cohesion and a group of different leaders all in their own way.
The international girls have accomplished so much this year both with Scotland 15’s, 7’s and hills. What they have achieved is down to the extensive hard work they have all individually put in behind the scenes. They have always had a great attitude as well when returning back to hills after being away with Scotland. An example of this was when Hannah Smith was not even home 24 hours from Hong and played in the cup quarter final against Stirling. It was great to see Sophie Anderson get her first cap as well this year, even though we haven’t seen her in hills colours she has been an incredible support and has carried herself in such a positive light throughout her injury which am sure has rubbed off on some of the other girls when they have short term injuries. Louise our captain as well has been a truly leader of this team on and off the field. She always carries herself with great distinction and has great respect for every player within the team, and thus earns her the respect of everyone else. Louise is another that did have an injury set this year but she showed great character to get herself for again for the Honk Kong 7’s. Abi Evans has worked tirelessly behind the scenes and that is now showing in the international stage. With scoring for the Scotland 15’s on a few occasion as well as having a few brilliant performances out on Hong Kong at the 7’s. Siobhan McMillan has been another player that has been ruled out of playing for a while due to injury. However, Siobhan has an incredible attitude and which is fuelled by at brilliant hunger and desire to become better. She always demands the best out of the girls and herself when she plays and this is a brilliant attribute to have as a player.
In this side of the year we have had a few of the younger girls starting to come up and joining the senior ladies not just in training but in games as well. Of the young girls that has just started coming to senior ladies training is Eve Thomson. Eve was another girl that suffered a unfortunate injury last year, but she is now recovered and back to playing. Eve has a brilliant attitude towards by throwing herself straight into everything. Another under 18 that has stepped up this year is young Aimee Johnstone. Aimee has played a huge part within our cup campaign this year. She has really been a great example for all the younger girls within the club. She carries herself amazingly in every training and match and is truly some with a mature head on young shoulders. Another mention must go out of young Carla Mcdonald who is younger sister of Mairi Mcdonald. Carla has been one of the most regular attendees to the senior ladies training even though she is still and under 15. For someone so young to have the confidence to fit in shows how amazing this young ladies character is. I truly believe Carla has taken huge steps of improving as a player this year due to being exposed to a lot more rugby that is of a higher quality and at a faster pace. She is now starting to also show some great leadership skills within her younger age groups.
As group we are now all really looking forward to the final. We have all worked incredibly hard to get to where we are and we are determined not to take the foot of the pedal now. We have got two weeks of training ahead and we going to make the most of it. The ladies are excited to showoff what they are capable of on the big day.
|15||Lucy Mills||Full Back||0||0||0||0|
|1||Rachael Kerr||Loosehead prop||0||0||0||0|
|3||Heather Lockhart||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|8||Louise McMillan||No. 8||0||0||0||0|
Ayr Ladies 0 points | Hillhead Jordanhill Ladies 70 points
UNLIKE THEIR QUARTER FINAL CUP TIE against Stirling County where they started slowly, Hills Ladies were on the front foot from the kick off in the semi final tie of the Sarah Beaney Cup at Millbrae. Despite playing against a bitingly cold east wind in the first half, Hills Ladies dominated most of the first and second phase possession and little was seen of the their hosts in attack. Ayr held out bravely for most of the first quarter, but when Hills’ scrum half Mhairi McDonald darted through from fifteen metres out to score, it seemed likely that the hosts would struggle to contain their visitors. That was proved with further first half scores being recorded by Emma Barlow with a trademark powerful run down the left flank, then Phillipene Mias from close range and just before the end of the first half from the tireless Hannah Telling. Mhairi McDonald converted one to leave the score at Hills twenty two points ahead.
Hills were bigger and stronger, and the tiring Ayr Ladies experienced considerable difficulty in their first time tackling, particularly when Louise McMillan and Flic Syfert were ball carrying at speed. Distribution from the eventual breakdowns was very effective with both Hills half backs, Mhari McDonald and Phillipene Mias, being exemplary in their passing and continuity play. Tries came at regular intervals in the second forty minutes with Abi Evans touching down twice and Lucy Mills, Hannah Telling, Amy Watkins, captain Louise McMillan, Jemma Forsyth and Hannah McHugh all adding to the score with tries. With the wind now at her back, scrum half Mhairi McDonald added a further four conversions.
Hills victory margin of seventy points was well deserved and was built on a solid all round team performance with each member of the squad of twenty one ladies making an effective contribution. This win takes the Hills to the Cup Final at BT Murrayfield on Saturday the 27th April with a 17.15 KO when they will play Watsonians. Ticketing details will be posted on all social media sites when available.
Head Coach Aird Jardine now has the unenviable task of selecting the starting fifteen for the final. With Hannah Smith hopefully returning to fitness, competition for places will be fierce. Certainly given the occasion and the fact Watsons play in a similar way to Hills always seeking to move the ball at every opportunity, a full squad of players will be required for what promises to be an outstanding final. 6 Nations referee Holly Davidson will be in charge and that also adds to the occasion.
|15||Lucy Mills||Full Back||1||0||0||0|
|14||Emma Barlow 20||Wing||1||0||0||0|
|1||Heather Lockhart||Loosehead prop||0||0||0||0|
|2||Francesca Wood 16||Hooker||0||0||0||0|
|3||Aimee Johnston 17||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|4||Flic Syfret 18||Lock||0||0||0||0|
|7||Hannah Telling 19||Flanker||2||0||0||0|
|8||Louise McMillan||No. 8||1||0||0||0|
|16||Stella Kyalikunda 2||Hooker||0||0||0||0|
|17||Rachael Kerr 3||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|18||Jenny Johnston 4||Lock||0||0||0||0|
|19||Erin Davie 7||Flanker||0||0||0||0|
|20||Abi Evans 14||Wing||2||0||0||0|
Nominations are requested for those wishing to be officiate in leading roles in the Committee. In particular nominations are being sought for the positions of President, Treasurer and Secretary. Nominations should be sent to the Club Secretary, Hunter Kirkpatrick by email to email@example.com no later than Tuesday 30th April.
Hillhead Jordanhill Ladies 54 points | Stirling County Ladies 22 points
IT WAS AN INAUSPICIOUS START by Hills in this Sarah Beaney Quarter Final cup tie at Hughenden. After some twelve minutes of play, Stirling County were already seventeen points up and showing considerable enterprise in their running and handling skills to score three tries. Hills, for their part, looked nervous and sluggish and made many uncharacteristic errors. Head Coach Aird Jardine reacted accordingly and brought on three bench replacements, one of whom was the returning Hannah Smith from the International 7’s in Hong Kong. The remainder of the first half saw Hills inching their way back slowly into the game against the well organised and lively visitors. Hills scored three tries in the second quarter of the game with Stella Kyalikunda, the feisty Dani Cormier and the pugnacious Emma Barlow each touching down.
With Hills now playing down the slope in the second half, the score began to rise inexorably for the home side with tries from Hannah Smith (two), Emma Barlow and Jemma Forsyth, one of which was converted by Mairi McDonald. More tries came from Amy Watkins, Lucy Mills and finally Mairi McDonald. The last score from the Hills’ elfin scrum half showcased some wonderful rugby skills: a fast pick up from the base of the scrum, a break into open field and dummy with a swerve to score between the posts. For good measure, Mairi converted her own try. Stirling were mostly on the back foot for most of the second half, but they did recover temporarily to record a good try. Hills ran out deserved winners by fifty four points to twenty two, but they were made to work hard for their victory. Hills’ forwards were well served by the tireless Hannah Telling at open side wing forward and props, the experienced veteran Heather Lockhart and youngster Aimee Johnston who scrummaged powerfully and carried effectively in the loose.
Hills now have an away semi-final tie at Millbrae against Ayr on SUNDAY the 14th April, 14.00 KO. Captain Hannah McHugh will require to organise her team to play on the front foot and get in their stride quickly from the first whistle if they are to have any hope of reaching another cup final on Silver Saturday at BT Murrayfield on the 27th April 2019.
|1||Heather Lockhart||Loosehead prop||0||0||0||0|
|3||Aimee Johnston||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|5||Kendall King 17||Lock||0||0||0||0|
|6||Erin Davie 16||Flanker||0||0||0||0|
|8||Jemma Forsyth||No. 8||1||0||0||0|
|14||Emma Barlow 19||Wing||2||0||0||0|
|15||Lucy Mills 18||Full Back||1||0||0||0|
|16||Dani Cormier 6||-||1||0||0||0|
|17||Flic Syfret 5||-||0||0||0||0|
|18||Hannah Smith 20||Backs||0||0||0||0|
|19||Ainsley Beaton 14||-||0||0||0||0|
|20||Rieni Muldoon 18||-||0||0||0||0|
Ardrossan Academicals 42 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points
AT THE END OF THE FIRST QUARTER of their final league game of the 2018/2019 season at Ardrossan’s Memorial Field, Hills seemed to be comfortable at fourteen points all with their Ayrshire rivals. They had opened the scoring through a close range drive from Chris Warnock, Hills’ best player on the day by the proverbial Irish country mile, and a second score added by Rory Harte with a characteristic Strictly Come Dancing-style soft-shoe shuffle which dazzled the home defence. Harte converted both but his second conversion brought an abrupt end to Hills efforts in troubling the scoreboard. In the second quarter of the game, Ardrossan simply blew Hills away with some wonderful forwards and backs interpassing which left the visitors shell shocked and unable, apart from a brief Jimmy Griffith charge, to stop the home sides incessant attacks. Certainly Hills contributed to their own downfall with some woeful work on the touch lines which led directly to two of the hosts three tries. At half time, Ardrossan had moved to a commanding try bonus position of thirty five points to fourteen ahead with all five of their tries being converted by their fly-half Lewis.
The second half showed a small-but-welcome improvement in Hills’ fortunes with their defence tightening up and performing more coherently to restrict Ardrossan to only one further score. Scott Halliday ran well in the centre and back row sub James Acheson had two good runs in broken play which should have led to Hills being able to peg back their hosts, but the necessary support was not available. Hills were frustrated all afternoon in dealing with Ardrossan’s rush defence and their hosts certainly protected their first phase ball much better than their opponents did.
After well deserved home victories against Caithness and Orkney, the defeats at Murrayfield and Ardrossan meant that the end of season building of momentum was less than hoped going into season 2019/2020. That being said, those strong home performances saved Hills’ national league status for 2019/2020.
In the age of Curriculum for Excellence, an end of term report card might read “Tried hard, but can do better”.
Warmest thanks must now go to all the players, coaching and medical staff, committee members and supporters who have worked so hard throughout the season. We look forward to seeing you all again in season 2019/2020!
|15||Ciaran Callaghan||Wing, Full Back||0||0||0||0|
|14||James Griffith 18||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|13||James Hamilton-Potter 19||Centre||0||0||0||0|
|11||Ash Rajasooriya 13||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|1||Harry Perston||Loosehead prop||0||0||0||0|
|3||Blair McKenzie 16||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|6||Chris Crome 17||Flanker||0||0||0||0|
|8||Conor Ferguson||No. 8||0||0||0||0|
|16||Daryll Elvin 3||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|17||James Acheson 6||Flanker||0||0||0||0|
|18||James Maddox 14||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|19||Callum Weir 13||Centre||0||0||0||0|
Hillhead Jordanhill 31 points | Orkney 12 points
ON A FINE SPRING MORNING, watched by a sizeable crowd of former players attending the 30th anniversary lunch, Hills end of season revival continued in their defeat of a spirited Orkney side by three goals and two tries to one goal and one try. Hills excelled in the first half with their willingness to play an open game, playing up the slope to the clubhouse end. Although Orkney enjoyed scrum domination in the first forty minutes, they were unable to stitch together many periods of continuity play such was the commitment and first time tackling of the Hills midfield and fringe defences. Scrum half Alex Gibbons was the catalyst for Hills first score when he stole Orkney ball at the base of a scrum to initiate a long range attack with the ball being handed well by the three quarters to take play into the Orkney twenty two. Open side Scott McMiillan then drove on, offloading to no. 8 Conor Ferguson who then expertly fed inside for rampaging second row Chris Warnock to crash over the line unopposed. Rory Harte’s conversion rattled the post, but the Hills were up and running. Their second try was not long delayed and Rory Harte was the prime mover here, first of all feeding the insatiable Chris Warnock who made a large dent in the Orkney defensive line. Quick repossession from the ruck allowed Rory space on the blind side to float a long pass to unmarked right winger Ash Rajasooriya to score in the corner. Rory Harte added the goal points with a fine conversion across the face of the posts. Some slack play from the Hills pack in their own half then allowed Orkney into the game and they scored a rather easy try to the left of the posts but missed the conversion. This stung the Hills back into action and several sweeping movements up the slope with Preston “Mighty Atom” McGoldrick, Craig Colvin and the ubiquitous Chris Warnock all influential allowed Scott Halliday sufficient room to squeeze over the in the left hand corner to score. On the balance of play, the half time score of seventeen points to five was fair.
Any hopes that Orkney harboured of narrowing the gap between the sides quickly evaporated at the start of the second half. An intense Hills attack in the visitors’ twenty two with “The Mighty Atom” and Scott McMillan prominent produced some desperate defensive work from Orkney. A clearance kick was charged down by the alert Rory Harte who picked up the loose ball to score and then convert his own try. Hills now had their four try bonus point, but they continued to chase hard for more points. Once again quick distribution stretched the visitors defence but Jonny Hamilton-Potter still had some work to do before he could touch down for his side’s fifth and final try of the game. Rory Harte added goal points to take his side to thirty one points to seven ahead with the game entering the final quarter. Orkney however remained determined to make some mark on the game and finally found some form to put together some pleasing phases of continuity play to pressurise the home defence. Hills did not help their cause with two players being sent to the bin, but although Orkney added a try which they converted, the Hills were out of sight and the game finished with referee Greg Cameron’s whistle blowing up with a score of thirty one points to twelve in their favour.
This was a much happier Hills performance than those served up during the bleak midwinter months when nothing seemed to go right. Now the 1st XV squad and their coaches, Dean Kelbrick and Graham Blackhall, can look forward with some confidence to the final two games of the 2018/2019 season, both away. On the 30th March the 1st XV play Murrayfield Wanderers at Roseburn Gardens while on the 6th April they play at Memorial Field against old rivals, Ardrossan Accies.
|15||Craig Colvin||Full Back||0||0||0||0|
|14||Ash Rajasooriya 19||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|11||James Hamilton-Potter 18||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|10||Rory Harte 11||Fly-half||0||0||0||0|
|2||Preston McGoldrick 16||Hooker||0||0||0||0|
|3||Martyn Low 17||Prop||0||0||0||0|
|16||Harry Perston 2||Hooker||0||0||0||0|
|17||Mylo Connell 3||Prop||0||0||0||0|
|18||Hugo Gesta 10||Fly-half||0||0||0||0|
|19||James Griffith 14||Wing||0||0||0||0|
Hillhead Jordanhill 33 points | Caithness 6 points
IN A MUST-WIN GAME for the home team, Hills responded to poor weather conditions and a stuffy visiting Caithness side to record a fine thirty-three points to six victory and thereby secure five valuable league points in their quest to maintain national league rugby status at Hughenden. The first half found Hills playing up the slope and they were quickly into their stride with captain and full back Craig Colvin showing the way with some excellent broken play running. Bill “The Ballyclare Bruiser” Kenny drove play into the visitors twenty-two where, after three quick recycling activities, Captain Colvin crossed for the opening try with right winger Rory Harte converting.
The dynamic opening, combining hard running with ball in hand and quick repossession from the breakdown, was a prominent feature of Hills play for most of the opening forty minutes and little scope was available to Caithness to counter-attack. When they did, Hills’ first up tackling, particularly around the fringes of the breakdown, was imperious with Alec Cameron the chief defensive enforcer. Scott Halliday added a second close-range try with Rory Harte converting and the mercurial right winger added a third when he ghosted through an all-but-invisible gap in the Caithness defence to score between the posts. The conversion was a formality and Hills were twenty-one points up and seemingly cruising, but Caithness, in a very rare excursion to the Hills’ danger area, opened their score with a well-struck penalty goal on the stroke of half time.
The third quarter saw Hills lose two players to the bin and subsequently assume a siege mentality to keep the visitors out. Once again Hills defended wilfully, but Caithness kicked another penalty goal and tensions began to mount on the field and among the animated home support. The return to a full complement and a change in the shape of the midfield engineered by deputy coach Douglas Grove restored equilibrium. Rory Harte took over the pivotal role at 10 and Jonny Hamilton-Potter added direction to the HIlls attack. The fourth try relied exclusively on Rory Harte’s field craft. An attacking play took the game into the Caithness twenty two when the stand-off looked up, saw a gap in the visitors cover, chipped ahead into the space and beat the defenders to the touch down. His magnificent conversion, across the face of the wind from the right hand touch line, was an impressive further contribution to his personal triumph. Hills then saw out the rest of the final quarter in some degree of comfort. Caithness were by now visibly tiring, and Hills held on to the ball well. Some excellent box kicking from scrum half Alex Gibbons kept the visitors in their twenty-two and from a series of rucks in which replacement Moncere was prominent, Gibbons scored the teams fifth try in the corner.
This game produced the first four try bonus point for Hills since the 16th November, some seven national league fixtures ago. Hills winter of discontent is, however, far from over. Three games remain and the situation is so tight at the foot of NL3 (three clubs are relegated) that two of these three games carry the same significance as this in being must-win fixtures. Hills next game is against ARDROSSAN ACADEMICALS at Memorial Field, Ardrossan, on the 16th March with a 14.00 KO.
Hills 1st XV
15 Craig Colvin (C)
14 Rory Harte (Ash Rajasooriya)
13 Scott Halliday
12 Damien Gennochio (James Hamilton-Potter)
11 Albain De Chaille (Damien Gennochio)
10 Hugo Gesta (Rory Harte)
9 Alex Gibbons
1 Adam Eakin
2 Harry Perston
3 Martyn Low (Mylo Connell)
4 Alec Cameron (Hy Moncere)
5 Bill Kenny
6 Conor Ferguson
7 Scott McMillan
8 Preston McGoldrick
(Subs all used)
Hillhead Jordanhill 7 points | West of Scotland 61 points
THIS WAS NOT A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE for either the players or supporters of Hillhead Jordanhill RFC. Three Hills players received head knocks forcing their retirement from the game and one of these, right winger Ash Rajasooriya, required hospitalisation. Happily he was discharged at 18.00 on Saturday evening from hospital but, like his two other colleagues, he is now subject to return to play protocols. Even allowing for all the disruptions to the Hills, local visitors West were stronger in most facets of the game with the only area where Hills achieved any parity being on the touchlines, where lock James Acheson and back-row Conor Ferguson retained all their own ball. West seemed to be able to employ higher gears to spread the play and always seemed able to put men into space on the outside channels which Hills could not cope with.
In a very one-sided first half, West raced to a 34 points lead scoring six tries, one a penalty try, before Rory Harte with a wonderful sense of timing intercepted another West attack to race eighty metres unchallenged to score. A half time margin of 34-7 in favour of West was, frustratingly for Hills, a fair refection of the flow of the game.
In the second half, Hills showed much more spirit with second rower Bill Kenny at the heart of most of the attacking plays. Some continuity of phases was put together but the West defence held firm. It was left to James Hamilton-Potter to show the way across the gain line but his two fine breaks fizzled out due to lack of support. Certainly West had to work a bit harder for their second half tries, but only a myopic Hills supporter could deny the visitors their success in finishing sixty one points to seven ahead.
It is to be hoped that there will be a huge turnaround collectively for the next league game against PERTHSHIRE at the NORTH INCH on SATURDAY 26th JANUARY. Hills are now edging uncomfortably close to the basement trap door to Regional Rugby, which a win next week would help the team avoid.
|15||Craig Colvin||Full Back||0||0||0||0|
|14||Ash Rajasooriya 19||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|1||Daryll Elvin 17||Loosehead prop||0||0||0||0|
|2||Preston McGoldrick 16||Hooker||0||0||0||0|
|3||Martyn Low||Tighthead prop||0||0||0||0|
|8||Alec Cameron||No. 8||0||0||0||0|
|7||David Vallance 18||Flanker||0||0||0||0|
|16||Harry Perston 2||Hooker||0||0||0||0|
|17||Adam Eakin 1||Prop||0||0||0||0|
|18||Fergus Denton 7||Flanker||0||0||0||0|
|19||Ciaran Callaghan 14||Wing||0||0||0||0|