Category: All Club News

A Glorious Day for Minis Rugby

We welcomed not just spectacular sunshine and GHK to Hughenden on Sunday 11 November but also a good
contingent of Warriors players courtesy of HJRFC sponsors McCrea Financial Services. Despite Remembrance Sunday parades which had depleted both clubs, GHK brought strong squads from P2-3 upwards for a 1000 start in the bright sunshine.

The squads were then treated to some top notch coaching tips from the professional players – amazing how much more they listen to someone from the Warriors than Mums and Dads! Everyone got well and truly stuck in and at least one of the Warriors ended up on his back in the mud. Massive thanks to Leila, Ratu and Samuela for joining us and very special thanks to legendary Dougie Hall for the P6-7 tackling and scrum coaching!

After a well-observed minute’s silence, we got down to the serious part of the day, the games. Great to play under blue skies at this time of the year and each team gave a good account of itself some with more success than others but always in a very friendly environment (at least among the coaches) with all hostilities brought to an end by the final whistle. Special kudos to Italian international back row Samuela Vunisa for refereeing his first ever match without ever needing the TMO.

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed yummy pasta from on site restaurant Cafe Source Too along with cupcakes and sport bottles again courtesy of McCrea Financial Services.

Let’s hope we have some more days like that before the weather closes in!

Text by Alisdair Matheson
Pictures © Craig Watson / www.craigwatson.co.uk / @CraigWatsonpix

Mini Rugby Madness and Glasgow Warriors at Hughenden

HJRFC and McCrea FS are delighted to confirm that Glasgow Warriors players will be at Hughenden this Sunday!
As sponsors of Hillhead Jordanhill Minis, McCreas are delighted to support the Hills Minis vs GHK match on Sunday 12th November, 10.00am to 12.30pm, and host parents to a breakfast roll and a cuppa.
If you haven’t done so already, please confirm you will be with us with your young ruggers, either through the Hills Minis Teamer system or at minis-rugby@hjrfc.com
We very much look forward to welcoming you to a marvellous morning of Mini Madness this Sunday!

Hills 2XV Take Down Dalziel Counterparts

On a sunny autumnal day, Hills 2nd XV dazzled Dalziel to come away with a 62 – 5 bonus point win. This win comes on the back of two disappointing losses but is the result of persistence in training. Frustrations have been evident in coaches Dougie and Stuart who see the potential in all reserve players, but finally hard work on handling drills has paid off.

The conditions were perfect at Jordanhill High School and for a number of the team this was a return to an old haunt. The match provided great entertainment with 10 tries consisting of a Hat-trick from Bourrel and first Hills tries for Smillie and Thompson. Similar targets set by the 1st XV were used for the 2nd XV and certainly the number of phases and number of attacks crossing the gain line were much higher than in recent weeks. The management of backs by Donaldson along with the changing angles and finding of gaps by centres Franklin and Mayes troubled Dalziel from start to finish.

Scoring started very early in the game with a first line break and collective finish. It was then the first Hills score for Smillie from a No.8 pick from a scrum close to Dalziel’s line, quick ball started the second phase to a waiting Donaldson who quickly passed onto Smillie who cut a great angle to break through the line to get between the uprights. The third try was touched down after a great forwards line out and release by Donaldson at 10 to Franklin who broke the attempted tackles from Dalziel centres. Hills fourth was Bourel’s first of the afternoon, an overthrown lineout gathered by Gillie, offloaded to Bourrel to crash through a challenging defence. Hills confidence was shining through, the forwards were punishing a soft Dalziel pack in the scrum as well contending well at every line out. Hills fifth try was very much a team try, the phase started within the Hills 22, good hands and running saw Franklin make a break running from to their 22 before facing a one on one with Dalziel fullback, a loose pass was made to Johnston who stretched out to catch above his head before gathering securely and headed straight for the line to touch down. Dalziel did manage to score one try as they capitalised on Hills not securing fringes while defending a maul after a lineout, Dalziel’s large pack was consuming defenders and their number 12 broke off on the blindside for a speedy sprint to the line. Mayes and Bourrel both crossed the line for tries six and seven before substitute Plunkett made it eight by stretching out to touch the ball right on the line. Try nine came after a lineout was picked up by McGoldrick to link with Franklin to off load to Thompson to cross the line. The final try was to be scored by Bourel to make it his hat-trick for the game.

Hills certainly played their game and at a speed that Dalziel could not keep up with. However, Hills were their own worst enemy at times giving away over 15 penalties, most of which were for coming in from the side and being offside. The defence was strong with many double tackles stopping Dalziel in their tracks. Handling and communication had improved greatly from recent weeks and with displays like this, there is no reason why Hills 2nd XV can’t climb the league table. There will be a well-earned break in matches but the squad will return to play away to Hamilton 3rd XV on Saturday 2nd December 2017.

Hills 2nd XV: Dale Coghill; Callum Kettles; Blair MacKenzie; Loïs Legendre; Charlie Smillie; Fraser Gillie; Steven Kay; Hélian Bourrel; Gaëtan Boyer; Tom Donaldson; Conor Thompson; Jamie Franklin; Ruaridh Mayes; Blair Johnston; Graham Davidson; Adam Plunkett; Preston McGoldrick; Tom Primrose; Johnny Kinniburgh.

Report & Picture by Martin Malone

CloudCover Joins HJRFC Sponsors Team

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC were delighted to welcome Lance and Alasdair Gauld from Cloud Cover IT last Saturday for the unveiling of their pitch side advertising hoarding board. The company representatives got the opportunity to share the pre-game brunch and strike a pose with the victorious players of a tough game.

Cloud Cover IT are specialised in providing scalable solutions tailored to the needs of their clients’ businesses including Cloud products and IT infrastructure. We invite you to look at the detail of their services.

CoudCoverIT on Facebook / Twitter

Incoming: HJRFC Halloween Party

Everyone is welcome to the notorious Hills Halloween party!

This year again the stakes are high for who will take the top cash prize for best costume! Games & tunes will be flowing, promising action & smooth moves! All this topped up by some nice Yill Hoose Bar special & spooky promos… 19:30 Start!

£5 Adv. Tickets will be available from: Martin Malone, Kirsty Reid, Ryan Williamson or £7 at the door

Jade chez les Ch’ti – Part 1

2 months into being here in France and I am loving it. It is like a family away from home, although of course I miss my Hillhead-Jordanhill family which will always hold a place close to my heart.

The first training session, I got a shock. The nauseous fatigue during and post session, the language barrier and the whole new experience was a shock to the system but one I knew that I was happy to welcome with both arms. The team are all very helpful on and off the field always available to help and give that extra helping hand when it comes to learning more French and the game project.

The season has commenced and we have made it 2 wins from 2 but that was certainly not without a fight. Sheer fight, war and determination right until the 80th minute with only harder games to come. I love how passionate and emotional the team are – it is right up my street and for those who know me, will know my love for the cheesy motivational quotes. Something there are plenty of here, albeit in a different language. From improving as a player and making life long friends, I wanted to say a huge thank you to Hillhead-Jordanhill club, coaches and players for everything over the last 5 years and everything that has come with being apart of the team.

Jade

Twitter: @JadeKonkel / @LMRCV_F
LMRCV Website
LMRCV Facebook Page

HillJills’ Relentless Display

Hillhead/Jordanhill 64 Murrayfield Wanderers 5

For anyone not attending the game at Hughenden on Sunday 8th of October, the final score would indicate a one-sided game. The reality, however, for the sizeable crowd who were entertained for the full eighty minutes was of a Wandies side who ran, tackled hard and never gave up but were ultimately overwhelmed by the Hilljills squad who all played as if their lives depended on defeating their long time domestic rivals from Edinburgh. For the record, the Hilljills scored ten tries with seven converted with Wandies touching down in the first half.

The early injury to stand-off, Sarah Smith, might have upset some sides but it seemed to galvanise Louise McMillan and her squad who wasted no time in running at the opposition, offloading and always seeking to use the ball in the wider channels. Coaches Thomas Davidson, Morgan Martin and Tonci Buzov must have been delighted to see how well the ball was passed and this incessant pressure ultimately produced gaps in the visitors’ defence which were quickly exploited by the ruthless Hilljills. First half tries came from Nicole Pike, Louise McMillan, Abi Evans and Amanda Moore with full back Amanda converting two. Wandies scored their only try in a rare break out in this half. Six further tries were recorded in the second forty minutes with Louise McMillan adding a further four (five in total-outstanding), her sister Siobhan with one and Abi Evans crossing for her second. Five of these were converted.

In what was a wonderful team performance it would be invidious to pick out any individuals for special mention but it would be remiss not to mention one or two of the home squad. Discretion might persuade the report not to use the term “veteran” but returning scrum half Rachael Whyte on her contribution to the squad reminded all watching of her distribution skills; second rower Jenny Johnston set up go forward ball to very good effect and tight head prop, Heather Lockhart, displayed all the skills which her long career in the women’s game have honed. Birthday girl Aimee Watson did everything but score a try such was her determination to be involved in everything that was good about her side’s performance.

Hilljills now remain unbeaten after their first six league games. A wonderful afternoon of women’s rugby completing a great weekend for the club with 4 wins from 4 for the men’s and women’s senior teams over the weekend.

Hillhead/Jordanhill 64 Murrayfield Wanderers 5
Scorers: Tries-Louise McMillan 5, Abi Evans 2, Nicole Pike, Siobhan McMillan and Amanda Moore
Conversions-Amanda Moore 7

Hillhead/Jordanhill Squad: Siobhan McMillan, Lindsey Smith, Heather Lockhart, Georgie Keys, Jemmy Johnston, Hannah Telling. Kirsty McConnell, Louise McMillan (c), Rachael Whyte, Sarah Smith, Nicole Pike, Abi Evans, Andrea Gaffney, Aimee Watson, Amanda Moore, Marta Estelles Chaparro, Stella Kyalikunda, Fiona Dorman, Emma Barlow, Hannah McHugh.

More photographs by the excellent @craigwatsonpix HERE

The remaining fixture in Premier League Round 1 before the split is away against Ayr on Sunday 22nd October.

Hills Dim the Northern Lights

Gordonians 27 points Hillhead/Jordanhill 31 points

This was a tremendous advert for National League 3 rugby, played on the well manicured open spaces of Countesswells in Aberdeen. It could be described fairly as a classic game of two halves, with Hills, initially playing with the breeze, racing to a twenty-four to ten points margin at halftime, and then defending desperately in the final quarter, as Gordonians fought their way back from a thirty-one points to ten score line after fifty minutes to take it to the wire at no side in this enervating watch. The four points margin of Hills success came down to one fact : Rory Harte, who enjoyed a commanding game for Hills in the pivot slot, kicked all his conversions while Gordonian’s left sided goal kicker failed narrowly from the extreme left side pitch positions where his forwards had heaved themselves over the line.

Both sides expressed their attacking intent from the start with the ball being moved into the open field, and it took a tremendous tackle from Hills no 8, Ryan Reilly, to present the visitors with their first opportunity. The ball, dislodged from the tackle, was scooped up by Rory Harte who hared for the try line some eighty metres distant, and just made it to touch down between the posts. The conversion from in front of the posts just staggered across the crossbar, but the stand off’s second kick, a penalty from thirty metres out, was more convincing and Hills were up and running, the tiredness of their bus journey behind them. Left winger, Ciaran Callaghan, finished well from fifteen metres – his fourth National League try in three games – and Rory Harte benefitted from some unusual Aberdonian generosity when he was passed the ball by a Gordonian in open space. The quick thinking stand-off required no further invitation, and he raced in unopposed to touch down for his second try of the game. Both these tries were converted, and Hills had a healthy half time lead.

This was extended in the third quarter when open side wing forward, Conor Ferguson, plunged over from close range with Harte again adding his goal points. But from then, the whole momentum of the game changed. Hills were clearly disrupted by injuries – Blair Mackenzie left with leg damage, Captain Owen Gemmell experienced shoulder issues and scrum half Conor Duignan, who had a fine all round game, was concussed. Gordonians wisely played a territorial game based on thunderous clearances from their own half into the Hills twenty two. These disruptions caused Hills to lose their way on the touchline and Gordonians were ruthless in driving the lineout maul which, when stopped, allowed their front row to showcase their pick and drive drills. Trying hard to play the game in the Gordonians half, the Hills just managed to hold on for the final fifteen minutes to record a famous away win. This was a fine performance by the nineteen who travelled, and enjoyed thoroughly by the small group of supporters and much more widely by the Hills diaspora via social media.

Hills now play Perthshire at home on Saturday the 14th with a 15.00 KO. There is the pre-match lunch with tickets via events@hjrfc.com . It is hoped this recent return to form will generate a good support. A close game is in prospect with Perthshire also showing some good form.

Hills 1st XV Scott Busby, Darren Knox (Arnaud Bauchet), Robbie Williamson, Scott Halliday, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Conor Duignan (Darren Knox), Ross Jackson (Blair Mackenzie), Blair Mackenzie (Harry Singh), Mark Barrowman, James Acheson (Chris Warnock), Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson, Ryan Reilly, Owen Gemmell (C) (Scott McMillan) Subs all used.

2XV Take 5 Points from Physical Encounter

Hills 2nd XV emerge victorious with 5 point after physical encounter away to Carrick 2nd XV. In a match that had two red cards and one penalty try it would be fair to say there were some fiery moments. Hills kept there cool and saved all their tries for the second half to win 31 points to 7.

The first half had no scores but plenty of action for the medium sized crowd to enjoy. Carrick brought a physical game plan which was met with equally strong defence. Big tackles close to fringes from Charlie Smillie and captain James Reekie stifled Carrick’s attacking options. With Hills misfiring at lineout time they were unable to build the pressure on the home team. Before the first half was over Chris Kelly was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle. Unfortunately video technology was not available at Rozelle park as the card was very suprising.

The second half saw the second red card being produced. This time Carrick’s number ten was sent off with 35 minutes or rugby left to play. Then Hills decide to step up a gear. The first try scored by the Graham Davidson, running from deep after a quick turnover. The standoff Angus Lauder converted easily and Hills had their tails up. Hills had now fixed the lineout problems and were playing further up the pitch. A penalty kick thirty meters out cooly sloted by the up and coming number ten built the lead again. The second try was another long range effort. This was scored by substitute Rory Wilson who galloped down the wing untouched to dot down under the posts. Seventeen points in front and Hills turned it on again. Pressuring Carrick’s line the ball found its way to Graham Davidson again who lived up to the name “Bambi” and skipped over to score. The infallible Angus Lauder again added the extras.

Discipline became an issue for both teams in the second half. Both not willing to give an inch. Carrick kicked a penalty to touch to attempt to get some foothold back in the game. After a well set driving lineout was taken down two meters from the line the referee had little choice but to award a penalty try.

With time running out and Hills on the last attack of the game there was a feeling the bonus point would be a bridge too far. Back row Loïs Legendre had other ideas! A sneaky pick and go on the oppositions 22 meter line resulted in the flying French man sliding over the line. Angus was handed another easy kick and the game and maximum points went to the boys from Hughenden Road.

Final score Carrick 7 – Hills 31.

2XV Squad: Darryl Elvin, Callum Kettles, Francisco Gomez Acuña, Charlie Smillie, Graeme Milloy, Loïs Legendre, Sam Bancroft, Hélian Bourrel, James Reekie, Angus Lauder, Graham Davidson, Chris Crome, Ruaraidh Mayes, Padraig Cuthbertson, Gaëtan Boyer, Tom Primrose, Chris Kelly, Rory Wilson, Grahame Cannell.

Coaching: Stuart Irvine, assisted by Ryan Williamson
Report: Stuart Irvine

A Braveheart Victory

Sunday morning saw the Hilljills’ heavies throwback their curtains and jump for rugby joy. A howler had blown in from the Atlantic overnight; rain, wind, and plummeting temperatures would be manifesting swamp conditions at Bridgehaugh. Praise be to the rugby gods – it was a game for the big guns! A prop pummelling, tub thumbing, dirt digesting forward fest!

However, it was not to be…

Hillhead/Jordanhill’s 43-10 victory against Stirling County on Sunday was a testament to every player on the pitch. An enigmatic flow of forward and back plays that eventually saw a plethora of tries across a variety of positions.

It was not a simple start. To the contrary the girls faced their most challenging opposition this year as County instantly showed up with some smart plays off their 9- who made it clear we had a game of rugby on our muddy paws. Almost over-hyped by the challenge, Hilljills took a while to embrace the concept that they would have to set up several patient phases then earn the rights to utilise the weapons that be on the wing.

It was not until the 22nd minute that the experienced Lockhart bowled over her victim and bounced to the try line. Her first of the season!

This eased the pressure and within the next ten minutes Smith (of the Sarah variety) snaked up the blind side in a display of her positional fusion. Smith demonstrated she is more than a pivotal link player and whipped up the side-line like a greyhound at the races. County answered back with fury proving they were not going to be victim to a big score line. They provided a well worked try out on their left wing as a result of a penalty. In previous seasons being scored against could be said to be the Achilles of the team. However, Captain McMillan did not lose her Kilbarchan mojo. She gathered her squaddies under the posts and insisted all would be well if we do not panic, retain composure and play our systems.

Consequently, the prize for composure arrived in the sparkling form of Evans who sliced her defensive line with her sevens inspired side step and raced to the line.

Holding onto the win would require effort. The conditions were now swampesque and the underfoot terrain caused players to look as if they were playing in the black boots era of 90s rugby. Rising to the challenge the forwards put in some big carries led by veteran Lindsay Smith who inspired her pack to carry forward at all costs.

Unfortunately, in their haste, Hilljills’ penalty count was creeping alarmingly high: they began to dive into rucks like salmon in the Spey and tacklers were not being released for love nor toffee. At half time, big constructive words from a small constructed man ensured the team were aware this statistic was indeed real. His motivational rhetoric was gospel and he challenged the girls to abolish this weakness.

To which they rose! The first quarter of this half was perhaps the most aesthetic of rugby Hilljills had displayed this season. At times they looked like they were playing on a dry summer’s day.Cook and Smith at 9/10 proved integral: the brains to the brawn. Smith’s vision set up several stunning plays and Cook’s strikingly skilful handling sent the soap bar wide. Within minutes, Evans was through for her second. The team moved with grace and pace up the field. Ironic- as they had started to look disturbingly similar to the Moto Moto Hippos in scenes from animated movie Madagascar. It was not long before McMillan showed her international flair and picked up a bobbling loose ball, shook free of the nuisance defenders and danced her way to the line.

Stirling again retaliated and were met with Braveheart defence and solid tackling across the board. Most notably in this area was Andrea Gaffney. Unusually, Gaffney was featuring in the centre (in place of the injured, effervescent Hannah Smith) and it was not long before she made herself heard. Time after time Gaffney used her speed to get off the line and knock back her opposite number –all.day.long. It was almost frightening to watch and an incredible effort for a position debut. Similar Tongan style hits from Jennifer Johnson were made as part of an organised defence.

The sixty third minute saw Gaffney take the hit for the team and was sent to the bin for ten minutes following a repeated error at the breakdown.

Later than usual, Hilljills began to look their comfortable selves and pulled away in the latter stages to record a good victory. Their flow only tempered by a yellow card to Ally Cook (the first of her career), who was penalised for not rolling away despite being a distance away- perhaps a case of mistaken number identity!

Squad: Siobhan McMillan, Lindsey Smith, Heather Lockhart, Georgie Keys, Jenny Johnston, Kirsty McConnell, Hannah Telling, Louise McMillan(C), Saran Smith, Ally Cook, Aimee Watson, Abi Evans, Andrea Gaffney, Emma Barlow, Amanda Moore, Marta Estelles Chaparro, Fiona Dorman, Hannah McHugh, Lucy Mills

Hills will face Murrayfield Wanderers at home this weekend where they intend to hold fort.

Next match v Murrayfield Wanderers, Sunday 8th Oct 2pm kick off at Hughenden

Report: Kirsty McConnell