Author: Loïs Legendre

Hilljills Triumph in Murrayfield Cup Final

Hilljills 26-23 Wandies

The final game in the BT Womens Premier League in January had seen these two Clubs pitted against each other on the back pitch at Murrayfield and , on that occasion, “Wandies” had triumphed in a hard fought game by eighteen points to twelve. Fast forward to April and the BT finals on the main pitch at Murrayfield, and the same two Clubs contested the final of the Sarah Beaney Cup with Hills Ladies the victors this time, edging their close rivals by three goals and one try to two goals and three penalty goals.

Classically it was a game of “two halves” with the Glasgow visitors, after a very shaky opening spell in which their rivals raced to a ten points lead in seventeen minutes, settling down with their two main strike runners, their centre pairing Abi Evans and Hannah Smith, proving far too elusive, quick witted and strong for a very porous Edinburgh defence. Hannah Smith ran in the first try from some fifty metres on a mazy route and the second was a touch down from Abi Evans who sprinted clear from some forty metres. Stand off Ally Cook converted both but just failed
with her third kick following another burst of pace and touch down from Abi Evans. Murrayfield chipped away at Hills with another Lisa Martin penalty, but the first half concluded with the sad sight of winger Sarah Smith being stretchered off with a head injury ; and the scoreboard showing the match finely poised at nineteen points to thirteen in favour of the HillJills.

The second forty minutes was altogether a much dourer affair than the first with Wandies dominating territorially and also enjoying the greater share of possession, but finding the Hills defence impregnable. It took Murrayfield some twenty five minutes to break through far out to the right and this time Sarah Nelson kicked the conversion, taking Murrayfield one point ahead.

The margin was increased to four when Lisa Martin, revisiting recent Broadwood Stadium heroics, kicked a penalty goal from some thirty two metres. But Hilljills did not panic with stand off Ally Cook being far from traumatised and showing fine footballing skills to take the game back into the Edinburgh half. Eventually Hills went through some phased plays to create sufficient space for Hannah Smith to dash through the Wandies ranks once more to score to the side of the posts. Ally Cook converted pushing her team some three points ahead with just over three minutes left to play. The final honours were left to Man of the Match , Hannah Smith to boot the ball out of the playing area and bring up no side. The celebrations were then unconfined with players, replacements and coaches, Dean Kelbrick and Graeme Blackhall, all joining in.

This was a fine effort from all the HillJills squad; it would have been all too easy for them to have crumbled after the opening onslaught, but they stuck to it well and emerged worthy winners . It is always invidious to pick out individuals in what was a cohesive team performance but Jade Konkel, who has enjoyed better days with her hands, was an exocet in attack sometimes taking four defenders to halt her ; Mairi McDonald was sharp throughout at scrum half providing an excellent service and Louise McMillan captained the side well and proved a more than useful source of line out ball.

WELL DONE HILLS LADIES AND COACHING STAFF.

Report by : Bernie “the Bunnet” Mitchell
Read also:
SRU Match Report
Article in the Herald Scotland
Article in The Scotman

Hills Reserve Teams Achieve Bonus Point Victories

A strong set of results at the weekend saw both Hills 2XV and 2A’s take bonus point victories to set up an exciting end to the season, with both teams competing for a fourth place finish.
Hill’s 2XV win 26-54 away to Hamilton 3XV

After opening the match with a try from their very first possession, Hills 2’s couldn’t manage to build on this fiery start. Despite dominating in the scrum and operating a functional line out, the score tipped into Hamilton’s favour as they exploited the space out wide with some slick passing. Hills went into halftime trailing, although the game was close, with two tries apiece.

The early part of the second half remained close, until in the 50th minute Hamilton breached the Hills’ defence with two back to back tries, extending their lead. However, with Hills superior fitness starting to show, Jimmy “The Rocket” Griffith scored a fine solo try to help catalyse the rest of his teammates into action. A further six unanswered tries followed, securing the Hill’s 2XV a deserved bonus point win.

Hillhead Jordanhill 2XV: Adam Plunkett, Harry Singh, Callum Kettles, Loïs Legendre, Christopher Warnock, Michael Sinclair, Jason Smith, David Webster, Matt Murray, David Paterson(C), Jimmy Griffith, James Reekie, Christopher Crome, Matt Rea, Miguel Jimenez Pimentel, Charlie Duncan, Lewis Costello and Grant Payne.

Hill’s 2AXV win 45-31 at home to Dalziel 2XV

At Hughenden, the 2A’s found their way around a strong Dalziel 2’s pack. An excellent result, particularly as Dalziel had beaten Hills soundly in their first league encounter of the season.

Remaining fixtures

The 2XV is working to secure fourth place in West Reserve League 1. There are two fixtures remaining, both at home,  with Carrick 2XV on 1st April and GHK 2XV on 8th April. After some disappointing early results, the 2XV have shown great strength and skill to finish the season in a much more commanding fashion than they started.

Meanwhile, the 2A’s are also looking to secure fourth place, in West Reserve League 2. East Kilbride 2XV will host the Hills 2A’s on 1st April, before a two-week break, after which the 2A’s season will end with a Glasgow derby at Allan Glens on 15th April.

By Loïs Legendre & Hamish Adamson

Tough Shift Up North

Aberdeenshire 63 – 12 Hillhead/Jordanhill

Despite the one sided nature of the final scoreline, there were periods in this game when the Hills dominated territorially, but, as has occurred all too frequently this season, the pressure has not resulted in points for the board. After Aberdeenshire had raced into an early fourteen points to nil advantage, Hills camped in the home twenty two for some fifteen minutes, but to no avail, despite the frequent brave charges of captain Owen Gemmell and second rower, Callum Stove, for the line. “Shoe ins” of kicks at the posts were ignored for glorious but ultimately failed attempts to cross the line. Against a side of Aberdeenshire’s quality, one small mistake can be punished unerringly, and a dropped ball during a Hills attack allowed the home team to lift the siege and race to the far end to score. The only remaining bright note for the small visiting support from the first half was stand off, Rory Harte’s ability to fashion a try from a smart kick, chase and pick up to crash over the line. The half time score of 35-5 reflected the home side’s ability to play efficient, high tempo continuity rugby and ruthlessly put away the opposition.

The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first period: Hills trying desperately hard with good line breaks from Scott Halliday, Jake Hayden and Owen Gemmell, but not having the skills in continuity play to hurt the home team. The Hills score, when it did come, was a penalty try, the referee deeming the defenders did not roll away from a tackle area and thereby impeded the attackers. Praise must go to the home side for their effectiveness in open field play and also their goal kicker who, from a variety of kicking positions, seemingly effortlessly slotted nine out of nine conversions. A perfect day for him, but another disappointing one for the Hills.

There is now a gap of a fortnight till Saturday the 25th March when Hills play their penultimate National league game against old rivals, the West of Scotland, at Hughenden with a 15.00 hours KO.

Hills 1st XV – Andy Bolster, Graham Davidson, Jake Hayden, Scott Halliday, Ryan Reilly, Rory Harte, Matt Murray, Blair Mackenzie, Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Kenny Harper (Harry Perston), Chris Tulloch (Alec Cameron), Callum Stove (Owen Gemmell), Owen Gemmell(C) (Fraser Gow) Harry Cordner, Alec Cameron (Jonny Kinniburgh) All subs used.

Report & Featured Picture by Bernie Mitchell

Hills 2XV Just Do Enough to Overcome

Hills 2XV 13 – 8 Glasgow Accies 2XV

This 2nd XV derby match under the Hughenden lights attracted a goodish crowd on a cold evening to watch a game which was fast and furious : both sides played at a high tempo and both were equally furious with the match referee. But despite the whistle bashing, the entertainment was good, and, in truth, the match could have gone either way, as both sides were fairly evenly matched.

Hills scrummaged well with Struan Maidment on the loose head impressive throughout and the back row of Jamie McLaren, Josh Douglas and Alex Armstrong was devastating in the broken play. But Accies moved the ball more fluently and were always dangerous when opening out.

Hills took an early three point lead through a penalty goal struck by veteran stand off, David Paterson, but the visitors soon equalised and thereafter the game stagnated into a midfield arm wrestle with neither side able to seize any opportunity. A stray kick out off defence, very well fielded by Matt Murray led directly to the host opening score. The ball was moved quickly to Euan Harrington who drew the Accies defence well to put David Vallance clear on the left wing to finish expertly. The half time score, 8-3, was just about right.

Hills now had the benefit of the wind, but it was Accies who stormed back into the match and, after a series of close range drives, scored well to the left of the posts, but the conversion was missed. This reverse galvanised the home team, who used the wind through the towering kicks of Euan Harrington to gain ground in the visitors half. The Accies defence held out well, until the bulk of Jonny “Captain Pugwash” Urquhart proved unstoppable from five metres out. That took the Hills one score ahead. Until the final whistle both sides had chances, but the level of handling on either side could not cope with the defensive pressures and Hills ran out eventual winners.

Hills 2nd XV coach, Stuart Irvine, noted : “I’m really proud how the team dug in to win, they weren’t afraid to get stuck in and balled hard. The conditions were terrible but we used them to our advantage in the 2nd half. Things to work on in training and hopefully we can play smarter and improve some decision making. That should ensure the team keeps winning.”

Hills 2XV: Miguel Pimentez, Matt Murray, Chris Crome, Euan Harrington, David Vallance, David Paterson, Conor Duignan(C), Struan Maidment, Harry Singh, Jonny Urquhart, David Webster, Graeme Milloy, Jamie McLaren, Josh Douglas, Alex Armstrong. Subs all used Darryl Elvin, Fionn Whyte, Jonathan McCook, Toby Joshua

Pictures by Hamish Adamson
Report by Bernie Mitchell

Hilljills and Mini-Hilljills in Action

Hills ladies and junior girls (U18s and U15s) were all in action yesterday, Sunday 5th March.

Hills ladies played Murrayfield Wanderers at home to record a 63-10 win in the semi final of the Premier Development Cup. Player of the match was Kirsty Reid with two tries whilst other Hills scorers were Hannah Smith (4), Mairi McDonald (3), Aimee Watson (1), Hannah Telling (1) and Ally Cook with the conversions.

Hills play the winner of Ayr and Stewartry in the Final which is scheduled for the 19th March.
The game was pictured by Fiona, you will find more of her very good shots here.

Hills squad: Siobhan McMillan, Stella Kyalikunda, Fiona Reardon, Kirsty Openshaw, Jenny Johnston, Kirsty McConnell, Kirsty Reid, Hannah Telling, Sarah Smith, Ally Cook, Lizzie Willis, Hannah Smith, Kirstin Daly, Aimee Watson, Mairi McDonald, Debbie Falconer, Georgie Keys, AnnMarie Franz, Caitlyn Haldane.

Meanwhile at Bridgehaugh, Hills under 18s lost to Stirling County 40-12 in the West League whilst the under 15s played a friendly. Judging by the smiles and the mud, a good day of rugby was had by all!


Featured picture by Lesley Robertson
Above Pictures by Fiona and Jade
Report by Heather

Hills Valiant Efforts Go Unrewarded

Hills 15 – 29 Kelso

There were periods in this game when the Hills competed well with Kelso, the league’s favourites for promotion, but unfortunately the continuity could not be sustained and they ultimately lost by two goals and three tries to one goal, one try and a penalty goal.

Some of the Hills highlights were memorable: hooker Harry Perston’s strike against the head in the first quarter which should have produced the opening try but ended up being run into touch due to an inacurate pass. George Stephenson’s magnificent effort at the heart of a line out driven maul which saw him score with the home pack pushing the visitors over their line. Jamie Maddox’s catch and attack off a restart kick at half way which should have resulted in a try but was recalled due a dubious decision ; Rory Harte’s line kicking which at times was superb and his second half try ; Callum Stove’s all round effort and captain Owen Gemmell’s leadership and abrasive play in the loose.

But Kelso had too much power and physicality for the Hills to contain, and despite a brave second half by our boys, which played out at one try a piece, the margin at half time for Kelso (7-24), was too much for the home team to make up.

The team head up to the Granite city next Saturday, 11 th March with their squad for the third last fixture of the 2016/2017 season to play Aberdeenshire at the Woodside Sports Complex, kick off 14.00.

Hills1st XV: Dan Williams, Jamie Maddox, Scott Busby, Scott Halliday, Graham Davidson (Jake Hayden), Rory Harte, Ross Thomson, Ryan Williamson (Blair Mackenzie), Harry Perston, George Stephenson (Adam Plunkett), Chris Warnock (Ryan Reilly), Callum Stove, Scott Cameron, Owen Gemmell(C), and Harry Cordner All subs used

Excellent featured pictures by Dave Allen @ Kitos Photography
Report by Bernie Mitchell

Kirsty Receives Warriors Tickets

Continuing on the theme of rewarding players for their effort and achievements, Kirsty McConnell work was in the spotlight last week, and is pictured receiving two tickets for Saturday’s Warriors gamer against the Dragons from the club’s head of Rugby, Bernie Mitchell.

Kirsty has a proud family background in the game : her Dad, the “Serge”, was an outstanding back row forward for the Hills and Mum, Christine, was a flying winger for the Hills ladies. Her brother Murray also currently plays professionally for Nottingham.

Kirsty noted : “Yeah, it’s really great to play here at Hills. I get great encouragement particularly when everyone tells me I am a much better player than either my Mum or Dad were”

Scotland Women vs Ireland Women – Tonight 18.35 at Broadwood

On behalf of everyone at Hughenden – sponsors, men, women , and juniors/development squad
players and non playing members and all friends – can we take this opportunity to wish our own
players the best of luck in their game against Ireland this Friday 3rd February.

So best wishes to Hilljill’s finest LINDSEY, LOUISE, JADE, HEATHER and JEMMA

Remember Cumbernauld is not miles away. Let’s try to get there and add our support !!

If you can’t make it, live coverage on BCC Live , on RTE and the 6 Nations YouTube/Facebook page

More insight on Hillhead Jordanhill Women RFC facebook page, and related articles in WorldRugby magazine and in Scrum Magazine

Remember Cumbernauld is not miles away. Let’s try to get there and add our support !!

If you can’t make it, live coverage on BCC Live , on RTE and the 6 Nations YouTube/Facebook page

Also relevant articles in WorldRugby magazine and in Scrum Magazine