Author: HillheadJordanhillRFC

Hills Win A Game Of Two Halves…. Just!

Hillhead Jordanhill 23 points Ardrossan Accies 20 points

It was the last minute of an engrossing contest when the referee penalised Ardrossan, who were deep inside the “Hills” half of the field. Rory Harte, who up to this point had enjoyed an immaculate game at stand-off for the “Hills”, arrowed his kick some fifty metres down the line to set his side up for a last tilt at the visitors. The home lineout, however, had been misfiring all game, but Chris Warnock, at the line out tail, rose majestically to win the ball. Dan Williams, Hills scrum half and captain, set his line away and, at the ensuing breakdown, Ardrossan offended, and “Hills” had a penalty to win from some thirty metres out. The outwardly calmest man on the field and ground, Rory Harte, stepped up and slotted the kick. The referee blew immediately for full time and “Hills” had won the game.

Rory Harte steps up to slot over the winning penalty.

This National 3 league game was a classic one of “two halves “. The hosts dominated the first half comfortably to stand twenty points to ten ahead at the interval, but the visitors from North Ayrshire had the “Hills” in a fierce arm lock for most of the second half until Rory Harte had the final say. Ardrossan had settled quickly and their energetic stand off, Steven Lewis, put their first points on the board with a well struck penalty. The game and its flow was brilliantly stage managed by the power plays of the respective stand off halves, whose respective styles showcased all the talents of the king of positions. Harte was all dancing with graceful feet movement and side steps and a kick from hand worthy of a professional player, whereas his rival, Lewis, was all strategic vision with wonderful passing skills. “Hills” soon recovered from the early setback to score tries from Andy Blair at scrum half and Damien Genocchio in the thirteen channel. Second rower, Chris Warnock, was prominent in the lead up work for both of these scores, and then Rory Harte added a penalty goal. Ardrossan threatened briefly with a fine movement down their wide channel on the left flank which led to a score at the posts which was converted. “Hills” fought back and, as he has done so often, Rory Harte found space with a deft chip over the visitor’s defence to allow right winger Graham Davidson to pick up and dodge through a splintered rear-guard to score. Harte added the goal points with a fine kick from the right hand side of the posts, and “Hills” were looking solid with a half time score of twenty to ten points.

Tense times for the Hills coaches.

Kicking downhill and for the first five minutes of the second half, “Hills” were still in command, and they should have added to their score with a fine sweeping left to right movement in the Ardrossan danger area but the chance was lost. This seemed to energise the visitors but deflate the hosts. Ardrossan began to win the breakdowns and had all the touchline possession. The scrums became uncontested when the visitors had front row problems and this depowered the “Hills” for whom new boy Darryl Elvin, had a fine debut on the loose head side. With prompting from Lewis allied to his own finishing skills, Ardrossan scored two tries both of which were unconverted and had the momentum. But “Hills” dug deep and finally weathered the storm to march the game back into the Ardrossan half and the eventual dramatic denouement.

The winning team!

“Hills” for their next game, Saturday the 3rd November, travel to play Orkney. Thanks to ongoing fund raising and some subsides from the SRU, the squad will fly to Kirkwall on the 08.30 Saturday morning flight and return late afternoon to Glasgow on the 16.00 scheduled service. For anyone on holiday in Orkney, the KO is 11.30.

Words | Bernie Mitchell

Pictures | Hamish Adamson & Stuart Irvine

Hills 2XV Continue Their Unbeaten Run

In what was to be the toughest match of their season so far the Hills 2’s took on West of Scotland 2XV, a healthy rivalry to put it mildly. West were clipping at our heels in second place in the West Reserve League 1, so it was an important fixture.

The tone of the match was set early on to be a tight game but Hills scored an early try by Nathan McCann putting us up to 7-0. Discipline in the ruck was not the Hills forte however and our penalty count against finally resulted in a successful penalty kick for West.

Hills were denied what should have been a penalty try after a high tackle prevented from crossing the line. Alas the referee didn’t give it and the match went on.

After putting pressure on their line for a good while, our hearts sank as West intercepted the ball and sprinted down the line to score. A galling moment for players and spectators alike.

7-10 at half time, the top table clash was holding its promises, and it was far from over.

Hills starting the second half gunning down the slope and converting pressure through James Maddox crossing the line for our second try. The tension increased further as West replied with a try of their own. With the score line at 12-15 going into the final ten minutes it was unsure what way the match was going to go.

Soon though, Hills was again bringing the game in West 22’s, and a Northern Irish wrecking ball in the form of Adam Eakin powered from 15m out over the line to take the score the match, with West players hanging off him as he went.

The final minutes of the game were electric, West throwing all their last effort into an empowered Hills defence which would break…
Hills 2XV 19-15 West 2XV final score, raising fists for the hosts.

Notable performances included flanker Tom Primrose who was an ever present force on the pitch, Fergus Denton for a clearance kick more questionable than Tiam’s choice in post match attire. Men of the Match went to the French dream team pairing of Alban and Hugo in the back line who consistently bring it up a notch and are forever reliable. Shout out to the their French entourage that just about doubled the spectators.

So will the Multicoloured Men from Hughenden continue their dominance over the West Reserve 1 league? Absolutely #TwosDontLose

Report by Will McLean

The Hilljills matchday squad proudly sporting their new playing kit

HillJills Battle Hard for Victory on the Road

Stirling County Women 28 – Hillhead Jordanhill Women 48

Aird Jardine, assisted by Rory Harte, travelled with their squad to Stirling County’s picturesque grounds, Bridehaugh.

Prior to the match Stirling were sat level with Hills having won all four of their opening matches, and as such the game was always going to be fierce test. True to their form, Stirling opened the scoring by crossing the whitewash in the first five minutes. The flow of the game soon changed and Hills began to assert their dominance, with physicality from the forwards and dynamic runs from the backs. Stirling weren’t completely out of the picture, scoring two tries to Hills’ four by the end of the first half.

HJ on the attack
HJ on the attack

Heather Lockhart really came into her stride during the second half, her trustworthy hands and big tackles saw her awarded Aird’s player of the match. The McMillan sisters, Louise (Captain) and Siobhan brought their A-game with clinical big hits, strong carries and troubled Stirling in the rucks. Centre duo, Hannah Smith and Abi Evans ran some greatly effective lines that had the Stirling defence working overtime, earning themselves a lion’s share of the tries. Mairi McDonald had a flawless game at Scrum Half, supplying the ball with clinical precision. Starting wings, Emma Barlow and Lucy Mills enjoyed their day, recording a try each – Emma continuing her impressive form having made the transition from Hockey to Rugby last season. Emma’s second half replacement, Juliet Ross also made an impression as a safe pair of hands and held the defensive line well. Lucy and Juliet have both recently made the seamless transition from age-grade rugby to senior rugby in the Scottish Premiership, with their performances justifying their place in the 1st XV squad.

Hills secure the set-piece
Hills secure the set-piece

Stand-Off, Phillipene Mias is new to the club, joining us from FC Grenoble Rugby. She’s made her name a top priority for Aird’s selection process, demonstrating this by controlling play with a calm and cool head, key attributes of a great 10. Later in the game Aimee Watson made some great tackles, hitting Stirling’s attack low and hard. Full back Amanda Jane had solid game managing the back 3 with experience and efficiency. Forwards, Hannah Telling and Kirsty McConnell brought their usual energy to pack, quick off the line in defence they ensured that Stirling were under constant pressure, hampering their attempts at progress. Stella Kyalikunda, Fiona Dorman, Kirsty Reid and Rachel Kerr all played their part in the success with their work rate and resolve. In summary, a great team effort all round by Hills!

Tries: Abi Evans (5), Hannah Smith, Lucy Mills, Emma Barlow
Conversions: Amanda Jane (4)

Hills Call to Next Generation Players

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC, Jordanhill School and other West End schools have forged a strong link and will play as Hills. All pupils keen for more Rugby are welcome.

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC are seeking to develop players, boys and girls, from U13 to U18 for season 2018-19 and beyond. Hills rugby is in addition to any rugby provided through schools and Hills continue to provide mini rugby on Sunday mornings.

We would like to invite students from local schools including: Hillhead High, Gaelic, Hyndland, Cleveden, St Thomas Aquinas, Knightswood, and John Paul Schools to join. Students outside of those schools are also encouraged to join Hills, where all will have the opportunity to train midweek and play rugby at the weekend. The training and matches should be seen as an addition to rugby currently offered in school.

Schedule

Boys across U13-U18 will play under the Hills banner in the Barbarian Conference in season 2018-19 . Boys will play every Saturday morning. Hills already run successful Girls U15 and U18 rugby in the Mirage Conference, an U14 Girls team will be added with the support of Jordanhill School.

We are excited about what we can achieve and hopefully you can support us in being successful.

Any question can be directed to boys-rugby@hjrfc.com or girls-rugby@hjrfc.com

Hills Women Appoint Fresh Coaching Team

Hills Women are delighted to announce the appointment of Aird Jardine as Head Coach for Women’s Rugby for Season 2018/19.  Aird joins us from Biggar RFC where he was the Women’s Head Coach, Under 18 Girls Coach, Under 16 Boys Coach and Coach at the Biggar Academy.

Aird will be responsible for providing and co-ordinating bi-weekly training sessions for the Women on Wednesdays and Thursday nights at 6:45 for 7pm, player profiling and match analysis. He will also be responsible for the provision of the Hills Junior Girl’s Academy.

Tonci Buzov, the Women’s Strength and Conditioning and Assistant Coach for Season 2017/18, will be retaining his role.  Tonci, a capped Croatian International and Head Coach of the Croatian International Mens squad, will also have the responsibility of mentoring our Forwards pack.  He will provide weekly strength and conditioning sessions on Monday nights throughout the playing season.

Hills Women are currently recruiting for a third coach.  Applications are initially only being accepted from internal candidates – watch this space for more information!

Hills Women train Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6:45 for 7pm. All level of ability is welcome – including those who have never picked up a ball before. Please bring suitable footwear for the hard surface (not trainers) and your own water bottle.

Boat Racing – for Real

On a glorious Saturday in early June, Captain Kitchener lead a Hills squad to the annual Bobath Dragon boat. Clear blue skies and a gentle breeze blowing across Loch Lomond made it a perfect day for the occasion.

Hills got off to a flying start, winning the first race of the day by a comfortable margin of at least one boat length, lead by the inspiring roar of Fiona’s voice and drumming to keep us all in sync.

Unfortunately the second race didn’t go so well, under advice from the Coxen we moved some team members around to even up the weight distribution. This, combined with getting a bit out of sync with each other and attempting to go too fast before we were at a steady pace lead to several clashed paddles, a 2nd place finish and a time several seconds off the original run.

The 3rd race was an enjoyable one for the spectators, we got off to a great start and everything was neck and neck between all three boats when we got hit by a wave which when combined with the unsecure seat for our drummer, lead to near-capsize situation and a (wo)man overboard!

After a brief moment of hesitation, the crew nobly decided to carry on as there was still everything to play for. The Coxen however had other ideas and ordered us to stop and to reverse back until the safety boat could pick up our stranded crew member. We knew all was well when we were affectionately referred to as “you b*#£erds” as Fiona bobbed her way to shore.

After claiming an “equipment malfunction” the event organisers generously let us complete a solo timed run to qualify for the final by achieving one of the 3 fastest times. We lined up with our eyes on the prize and everyone gave 110% as we managed to produce our best time of the day, shaving 3 seconds to our previous PB. Unfortunately we missed out on the final by a precise 0.14 seconds; so close, yet so far. We could hold our heads high knowing that the finalists were seasoned contenders, we gave them a good run for their money.

Over £1,000 has been raised already for this great cause thanks to Kitch and donations are still kindly received as his Just Giving page is open for a while longer. We all concurred that we should put in a team next year as it was a great day out for a fantastic cause.

Reporting by Andrew Park

New Hillhead Jordanhill Women’s Head Coach Required

Hillhead Jordanhill Women, the current BT Premier League and Sarah Beaney Cup champions, wish to appoint a dynamic Head Coach to coach alongside and co-ordinate a coaching team.

What are we looking for?

If you are ambitious, driven, and a good team player who wishes to take their coaching skills to the next level then we would like to hear from you.

The applicant can have either a backs or forwards specialism. You will be willing to combine your skills and knowledge with the rest of the coaching team to maximise the strengths of that team. You will possess or be aspiring towards a UKCC Level 3 award.

You can view and download the job description here. Applications for this position are invited and to be submitted to Fiona Dorman at fiona.dorman@live.co.uk by 18 May 2018 at 5 pm. Interviews will be week beginning 28 May 2018.

Back to school for Hills’ coaches

Coaches from the minis section and also senior players from the Men’s 1XV, 2XV and 2As made up more than half the participants on a recent UKCC Level 1 course at Hughenden. Over the course of two evening sessions and a full day session, this was one of the SRU’s largest ever early years coaching courses. 

A group discussion between Hills’ coaches.

A hugely enjoyable and intensive learning experience for all concerned led by professionals from the SRU. The course educators included Hills’ own Lindsey Smith, current Women’s 1XV and Scotland player, and David “Mini” Mitchell, former Men’s 1XV player and now lecturer.

The Hills’ coaching group after successfully passing the course!

Featuring hands on practical fun activities, it demonstrates Hills’ commitment to getting the coaching right for all our youngsters while providing a fun and safe environment for them to thrive as they start their rugby careers.

Want To Help Out?

If you’re interested in helping out with the Hills Mini section, please get in touch with Ken or Ali on mini-rugby@hjrfc.com. All coaches must have completed the Rugby Ready online course and also completed a PVG check. 

Words: Alisdair Matheson
Pictures: Hamish Adamson & @eck84

HJRFC Sign New Partnership with PSL

We are pleased to announce that we will be working with local supplier PSL Team Sports (Provan Sports Ltd.) who will be supplying us with Canterbury kit and merchandise from Summer onwards. PSL are located in Hillington, Glasgow and have a retail premises where you will be able to try on all kit and merchandise before purchasing.

Members of HJRFC will be entitled to a 10% discount on all non-club merchandise such as; boots, SRU clothing (Scottish Rugby, Glasgow Warriors & Edinburgh Rugby), protection wear and more.

Further details will be made available to members soon. If you have any suggestions or requests for off the field merchandise then please email Grant Payne at merchandise@hjrfc.com.

“It’s great to have a good, local company on our side. The improvements have been seen all around the club with all teams improving on last season. The club have a good foundation for the Men’s teams to progress in the next few years and for the Women to reach new heights of success.”

Owen Gemmell, Men’s 1st XV Captain

Louise McMillan our Women’s 1st XV Co-Captain returned from Italy yesterday with our Women’s Six Nations squad – alongside Sister, Siobhan McMillan and HJRFC team mates, Lindsey Smith & Hannah Smith (not siblings). She had the following to say on the appointment of PSL as our new supplier:

“We are excited to be wearing Canterbury once again. It will be great for the club to play in a fresh look”

Please feel free to browse PSL’s website to view their range of goods, our club shop will be online Summer 2018:

Michael, Hills P7, Takes Captain Barclay to Battle

Ever since I started playing rugby, I always wanted to be there in person to support Scotland in a rugby game. I felt amazing when I was picked as one of the mascots for the Scotland vs. England Rugby game. I felt like the luckiest person on earth. A few days later when the tickets for the game arrived, I was so happy and I was filled with excitement and I was looking forward to the game.

On the day of the event, the mascots were gathered together to rehears and practice running onto the pitch before the game. I was at the front of the line, meaning I would run out first from the tunnel. Upon running out of the tunnel, I noticed how large the stadium was and how many seats there were and it made me feel very excited and proud, but also a tad nervous.

When the actual event started, I was so lucky to hold the Scottish Team Captain — John Barclay’s hand. He said to me, “I really hope that we win the game.” And with enthusiasm I smiled and answered, “Don’t hope, know! Cause I know you’ve already won the game and so should you, I believe in you!” John smiled down at me and said, “Thanks Michael, that really helps.

Before we were even on the pitch, we could hear the roar of the crowd. As we ran on I could hear people banging the side of the tunnel and people screaming with joy and excitement and encouragement to the team. The words ‘Scotland, Scotland.’ were chanted repeatedly by supporters. You could feel the noise waving through you. My fellow mascots kneeled to the right of me as I did too. And the rugby players stood behind us. Princess Anne was there also and she was shaking the hands with the Sottish players. All I could see were people all around me, screaming with passion and anticipation. The mascots stood as the English anthem was sung, before we got to sing the Scottish anthem, which I sung loudly with pride.

After the anthem we were sent back through the tunnel to be collected by our parents before we went to watch the game. Scotland played amazing and won the game 25-13 and the Scottish fans cheered.
Afterwards I got to meet the players and get signatures from some of them, even took a few selfies! All in all, it was a brilliant experience and an outstanding match. I hope to be picked again next year and this was an experience I’ll never forget.

Report by Michael Hildrey (Hills P7)

Pictures courtesy of SNS PIX