Category: Events@Hughenden

Hills Outgunned in Final Quarter of Pulsating Game

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL 1st XV 5 pts NEWTON STEWART 1st XV 35 pts

On a day stolen from the height of mid-summer, Hills battled bravely against a physically superior and more abrasive Newton Stewart side, but ultimately succumbed by five goals to one try, a margin which slightly flattered the victors. Hills had to rely on all their defensive skills in a fierce opening burst from Newton which found them pinned back in their twenty two for most of the opening quarter. Break outs were limited, and when they occurred, stand-off Rory Harte, was almost always the instigator. Following a longish injury break for attention to second rower, Alex Armstrong, who happily recovered well, Harte took play downfield with a fine crossfield kick which bounced wickedly for the visiting defence. Jimmy Griffith pounced quickly on the loose ball to set up the attacking ruck, and three phases later, fullback Arnaud Bauchet beat the Newton cover out wide to score. This was the last occasion, after twenty eight minutes of the game, that Hills would trouble the scoreboard operator, but their contribution thereafter to what was an enjoyable high tempo game was considerable. Certainly the clash of heads which caused centre Scott Halliday to leave the field with a badly gashed forehead did not assist their efforts, but replacement Michael Jones fitted in well on his 1st XV debut, some 42 years after his father, Gordon first played in a Hillhead jersey.

There were two principal differences between the sides. The visitors, whenever they entered the home twenty two, always seemed to come away with a try whereas the Hills for all their efforts at times over elaborated and were predictable in their approach, unless Harte added a cross kick or change in the point of attack. Additionally, Newton had more damaging broken play runners with the ball in hand than Hills, and it was the cumulative effect of continuous tackling and defensive chores at the breakdown that eventually sapped the resolve of the Hills in the final quarter when they had little left to offer. Yet for all their relative physical inferiority, the Hills set scrum was solid all afternoon, and occasionally caused some degree of discomfort on the visitors put in.

Season 2017/18 concluded then with a home defeat but the Hills, their coaching team, players and supporters can take some comfort from the fact that after three very poor seasons in the leagues some degree of stability has now been achieved which gives hope for a renaissance in 2018/19.

Hills 1st XV: Arnaud Bauchet, Jamie Maddox (Graham Davidson), Scott Halliday (Michael Jones), Scott Busby, Jimmy Griffith, Rory Harte, Dan Williams (C), Blair Mackenzie (Ross Jackson), Harry Perston, Mo Adams (Ross Ferguson), Bill Kenny, Alex Armstrong, Conor Ferguson, James Reekie, Preston McGoldrick Subs all used.

Festival of rugby in the West End of Glasgow

This weekend sees a smorgasbord of rugby in the West End of Glasgow. Four matches will be played at Hughenden, over Saturday 7th April and Sunday 8th April.

The feature match is on Sunday 8th April, when our league winning Women’s 1XV will take on Stirling County in the semi final of the Sarah Beaney Cup. Prior to that, both the Men’s 1XV and 2XV are playing at home in important league matches, which will go a long way to determining final positions in the league table. Our youth section is also playing this weekend, with our U18 Girls team taking on Biggar in the Cup.

Women’s 1XV battle Stirling County in the cup

After being runner up three years in a row, the Hilljills finally got their hands back on the Sarah Beaney Cup in 2017. They won’t want to relinquish it easily, so expect a strong performance. Hills have already beaten Stirling County twice this season, including a 79-5 thumping at home on a cold January Friday night, which has proved a popular night for rugby in the West End.

Men’s 1XV take on Haddington

The Men’s 1XV take on Haddington RFC in what is an important match for both teams. Hills are nine points behind Gordonians, who play their last game on Saturday away. A couple of five point wins in their last two games could see Hills leapfrog Gordonians into seventh place. Haddington are in a four-way relegation battle and will be desperate for a result. Pre-match lunch available, please contact John MacLean ASAP

Top Table Clash for Men’s 2XV

The Men’s 2XV have two matches remaining in the 2017/18 season and are currently sitting third in their league. We require two wins from two to maintain this position as our local rivals Glasgow Academicals are snapping at our heels. Our opponents are Hamilton 3XV, who are second in the league, in what is expected to be a tight match. Hills narrowly lost 17-12 away in December at Hamilton.

Cup run continues for U18’s Girls

The U18 girls take on Biggar, on Sunday, in the Semi Final of the U18 Girls Club Cup. The girls have had nothing short of a stellar cup run so far, which is great to see for Girls rugby in the West End. Winning 54-0 against Annan at home in the first round, then beating Cartha QP 0-55 away, followed by a 5-55 win against Lismore Girls on Friday 23rd March. Expect plenty of tries and a strong contest, as Biggar also won their last match 55-5.

Match schedules

With all four matches being played at home, there is plenty of rugby in the West End on offer this weekend. The schedule for Saturday and Sunday is as follows:

Saturday 7th April, Hillhead Jordanhill Men’s 1XV v Haddington 1XV, 1500 KO, 1XV pitch

Saturday 7th April, Hillhead Jordanhill Men’s 2XV v Hamilton 2XV, 1500 KO, Great Western Road pitch

Sunday 8th April, Hillhead Jordanhill Girls U18 v Biggar, 1200 KO, Great Western Road pitch

Sunday 8th April, Hillhead Jordanhill Women’s 1XV v Stirling County, 1400 KO, 1XV pitch

Local professional side, Glasgow Warriors, are also playing on Saturday 7th April, KO at 1615. The matched will be shown live in The Yill Hoose. As if you didn’t need more of an excuse to come out and support your local club!

As always, team cards will follow on later this week via social media. You can also keep up to date with latest developments on rugby in the West End on Twitter via @HJRFC and @hilljillsrugby.

Hills/Loch Lomond U13 Back on the Grass

After a couple of cancelled matches it was great to finally have our combined Hills/Loch Lomond U13 out on the grass for their first match of the year. Any cobwebs were soon cleared when playing three 15 minute sets against a hard tackling Strathaven.

Both teams brought 17 or 18 boys so our boys had their first experience of fifteens over the thirteen usually played at S1.

Our scrum was good and we saw Strathaven going backwards on more than one occasion. We had some good phases of play and an excellent try in the first period. The game became more broken in the latter periods and Strathaven played better as a team in coming up in a defensive line and their support play and rucking.

Our front pack individually were good and will come together even more as our fixtures continue. Our rucking was sometimes tentative leading to turn-overs and we probably need to get more tackling from the backs. Combining with Lomond is great for us and the boys are getting on well together and getting to know each other better.

This fixture was a repeat of one in November and on this occasion we were clearly more competitive.

Big thanks to referee Stella Kyalikunda

By Gary Gillespie, U13 Coach

2A’s Break 2018 Duck Against Dalziel

Hillhead Jordanhill 2A XV 17 – Dalziel 3XV 14

Saturday saw a strong Hills 2A’s side host Dalziel in repeat of the close November encounter which saw Hills overcome Dalziel 31-33 away. After the previous week’s fixture with Greenock postponed due to flooded pitch, Hughenden was fortunate to enjoy excellent playing conditions this time round.

In the opening exchanges of the game it was Dalziel who demonstrated a greater physicality and managed to keep ball tight to the pack to maintain the initial possession advantage. However it was Hills that looked more dangerous ball-in-hand with some great runs in open play from both wing-forwards and a feisty Fergus Denton at 8. The midfield partnership of Euan McMahon and Ben Chaddock had pretty lean ball in opening quarter but made some good carries and distributed well to a strong back line after an excellent break from scrum-half Dean Campbell Drummond sent Dalziel defense scrambling. Some quick hands off the ruck finally managed to connect a flying Andy Bolster who duly held his man to put William Murphy away in the corner for the first score of the game.

However Hills failed to capitalize on the score and after many punishing phases Dalziel had won their way to 5 meters out and took advantage with a pick and go to ground behind the Hills posts.

Hills appeared to be in the ascendancy again before the break and in the next phase of possession Tom Donaldson tried to capitalize on a stretched defense with a cross-field kick to wing which did not quite come off. With the score 7-5 in favour of Dalziel at the break, Hills needed to focus on providing a better platform to execute more attacking options and take advantage of our pace out wide.

The start of the second half mirrored the start of the game with Dalziel claiming opening set-pieces to find themselves winning a scrum from a knock-on 10 meters out. Hills had defended well the repeated charges of Dalziel’s pack. But a scything run from the Dalziel outhalf stretched the Hills midfield to expose a gap which allowed him to cut inside for an easy try which he duly converted (i.e. a mis-tackle in the back line allowed them to score after being bounced by our pack…).

In the next phases Hills re-grouped with the front row matching the Dalziel challenge in the scrum to work the home side inside the Dalziel half before Tom Donaldson punted a sharp and rangy grubber through a gap to force a line out behind the 22. Hills, now looking more urgent, presented multiple attacking options before Finlay McMillan crashed over the line off the back of a ruck 2m out. The conversion went through the posts to put Hills in close range with 12-14 to the guests.

The following period saw lean pickings for both sides with some broken play and steely defenses halting momentum. However this ended with an inspired and incisive try from Dean Campbell Drummond, aka Dynamite Dean, who exploited a very narrow but exposed blind side from 10 meters out. The kick stayed shy of the posts but put Hills ahead 17-14. The game closed with Dalziel throwing repeated charges down the slope to take back the score. Hills defended well and demonstrated good enough discipline to ensure there was not a point taken in the Dalziel challenge until the liberating final whistle.

Hills will now look to build on this first win of ‘18 for the 2A’s with solid defense, discipline and more confident handling as positive improvements over the last few difficult games.

This game also saw a beautiful and too rare event to go unnoticed, as Niall Houston* received his first senior front rower star. Congratulations to him!

Report: Stephen Cunniffe
Picture: Ian McLennagham

Summer is Coming, and Tartan Touch at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC is very proud to have been selected as a new Tartan Touch Hub this season!
This summer, The Hills will host sessions at Hughenden of this very integrative and simplified non-contact version of Rugby. Minis, junior and senior players will all mix in, and welcome any new comers to the game and the club.

The rules are very easy and designed to maximise the fun around a rugby ball; please visit tartantouch.org for a preview.

More information will come following this announcement, stay tuned for details!

Hilljills Put on a Glorious Sight to Secure League Title

“Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive: Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,” This could be mistaken as a side-line description of a rugby game, of a pack of forwards hungry for the ball in a scrum. However, it is taken from Rabbie Burns’ “Address to a Haggis”, describing a hungry pack of diners devouring their dinner.

The game which took place between Hilljills and Stirling County on the day after we celebrated the great Robert Burns could be summed up in a much simpler phrase, taken from the same poem: “O what a glorious sight”. The supporters who ventured out in the plummeting temperatures were entertained under the lights of Hughenden by a display of clinical set pieces, precise passing and fast powerful running which saw Hillhead Jordanhill run in 13 tries overall, of which 7 were converted. Stirling, as always, put up a strong fight and at times had a solid defence and some clever play saw them touch down early into the second half, hinting at a possible comeback, which never showed face.

The game was off to powerful start with Sophie Anderson breaking a tackle and crashing over the line with only 3 minutes gone on the clock. 5 minutes later fullback Amanda Moore threw a clever dummy to put herself over the try line. Play then slowed down as the forwards took centre stage and competed in a number of scrums on Stirling’s 5m line before the ball was shipped once again to Moore who crossed the line and subsequently converted the try to bring it to 17 points in the same number of minutes.

The rest of the 9 tries in the first half came from a mix of backs and forwards, clearly showing the depth of talent in the Hilljills squad. A side step master class was performed by backs Sarah and Hannah Smith who ran in 1 and 2 tries respectively. Constant powerful running by Abi Evans was rewarded when a lineout ball was shipped across field to put her in at the corner. With forwards not wanting to shy away from the points tally both Hannah Telling and Kirsty McConnell showed pure class to beat the defence and cross the line. All but 3 of the first half tries were converted by full back Amanda Moore bringing the half time score to 57-0.

The second half took a slightly slower pace with Stirling County showing both a strong defence and keen attack. They were rewarded for this early on when they fought back and claimed their first try of the night; a missed conversion brought the score to 57-5. From here supporters might have mistaken the game for a round from the Australian Open as the ball was kicked back and forth down the pitch as both teams fought to settle back in to the game. Thankfully, the cold was there to remind us we were at Hughenden and after a slow advance from Hilljills, Hannah Smith reached out to put the ball over the line, claiming her hat-trick and bringing the score to 62-5.

Once again the forwards stood up to the mark with a scrum on Stirling’s 5m line. A keen eye for space came from Hilljills skipper Louise McMillan who opted to pick and go left before shipping it out to winger Emma Barlow who danced over the line in fine form.

The second hat-trick of the night came deservingly to Amanda Moore who backed herself from half way, beat the Stirling defence and crashed over the line, she then converted to bring her personal points tally for the night to an impressive 29. This solid display of attack paired with a number of critical tackles earned Moore Player of the Match. The final try of the night came from Abi Evans who once again showed impressive pace to cross the line at the corner.

The final minutes of the game showed a revival of the strong Stirling defence who held off any Hilljills advances. Credit must be given to the Stirling side who showed fight and determination throughout the entire game in the face of a relentless Hilljills. The final whistle came with the scoreboard sitting at 79-5, giving Hilljills a bonus point win and putting them 11 points clear at the top of the table with only 2 games to go. This crowns Hillhead/ Jordanhill as winners of the BT Women’s Premier League.

Scottish Rugby were there to present the well-deserved trophy to the squad whose hard work throughout the season has been outstanding both on and off the field. With Hilljills regularly turning out 20 plus girls for training each week it is clear to see the foundations of this team are built on hard work and a hunger for perfection, which is now paying off. Captain Louise McMillan reflected on this after the game: “The girls have been rewarded for the hard work put into the season so far. Our focus now turns to the Premier Development Cup and Sarah Beaney Cup where we hope to retain both titles to take 3 out of 3.”

Hillhead/Jordanhill Squad: Siobhan McMillan, Lindsey Smith, Heather Lockhart, Hannah Telling, Sophie Anderson, Marta Estellés Chaparro, Kirsty McConnell, Louise McMillan (C), Rachael Whyte, Sarah Smith, Lucy Mills, Hannah Smith, Abi Evans, Aimée Watson, Amanda Moore, Debbie Falconer, Fiona Reardon, Stella Kyalikunda, Ally Cook, Emma Barlow

Stirling County Squad: Megan Kennedy, Tracy Scott, Rowan McNeil, Sarah Murdoch, Shannon Goundry, Nikki McLeod, Heather Davis, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Jodie, Hutton, Rachel Shankland (C), Amy Bilsborough, Siobhan Cattigan, Katrina Roszynski, Katie Mcliwraith, Lindsay Macnaughton, Ashley Aitken, Lara Flint, Rhonwyn Spence, Jenny Menday, Eilidh McNab

Hilljills now move on to the next challenge of The Premier Development Cup. Round 1 is away against Stewartry Women on Sunday 4th February, 14:00 KO.

Report: Hannah McHugh
Pictures: Hannah McHugh; Grant Payne

More photos from the game can be seen on the snsgroup website

Hills Defensive Skills Win the Day

Hillhead/Jordanhill 20 pts Gordonians 12 pts

The conditions, with a heavy ground and the prevailing south west wind blowing stiffly all through the game, did not allow for a high intensity, end to end match, but the commitment from both sets of players provided an absorbing contest for the fair sized crowd sheltering in the Fraser stand.

It took Hills a while to get going even though playing with the wind, as they preferred to play with the ball in hand rather than chase wind assisted kicks. Hills in fact did not enjoy much territorial domination in the whole eighty minutes, but they were purposeful when in the visitors twenty two, due to the attacking skills of both Rory Harte at full back and Euan Brown at stand off, encouraged by the rugby nous of inside centre, James Reekie. Brown opened the scoring with a well struck penalty goal from far out on the left of the visitors twenty two. He repeated the trick some ten minutes later as Hills responded well to a close range Gordonians try which they converted. With the first half clock running down, Hills, at last, found the elusive cutting edge to move breakdown ball quickly right via prop Mark Barrowman to the intruding Rory Harte who,from some twenty metres out, backed himself to make the line and score. Euan Brown converted well from tight on the right hand touchline to take his side to thirteen points to seven at the interval.

The second half saw a transformation in the game with Gordonians dominating both possession and territory to such an extent that Hills had to rely on all their defensive qualities, while rarely crossing the half way line. The visitors scored quickly after the restart, but their left footed kicker failed to convert from the left hand touchline ; indeed the visitors unreliable goal kicking was to prove ultimately their downfall as they failed to convert any of three kickable penalties awarded during the second half. From the forty fifth to the seventieth minute of the game, Hills tackled every visitor’s shirt that moved and all players showed huge commitment. Given the physicality and intensity of the engagement, it was hard to believe at times it was bona fide amateurs who were playing.

The decisive and winning try in the game arose from bizarre circumstances . Brown and Reekie worked the ball well downfield to the visitors twenty two where a breakdown penalty was awarded to Hills. Rather than kick to the corner for a close range attacking line out, captain Owen Gemmell asked Euan Brown to kick for goal. It was, however, his poorest shot of the afternoon, the arc of flight taking it towards the far side of the field. First to react, however, was Rory Harte who followed up to field the ball and set up an attacking ruck. Five phases later, substitute prop, Maurice Adams drove over from close range to touch down, and Euan Brown recalibrated his radar to send the ball just across the crossbar. This gave Hills an eight point cushion and, although the final few minutes were typically frantic, they held on to record an excellent win in the circumstances and leave the spirited Gordonians squad pointless in a game to which they contributed so much without taking their chances.

Next up for the Hills is an away game in the Borders at St. Boswells on the 3rd February. The game will kick off early at 13.00 to allow the players to watch the second half of the Cardiff international. The bus will leave at 10.00 and all supporters are welcome.

Hills 1st XV : Rory Harte, Darren Knox (Scott Halliday), Arnaud Bauchet, James Reekie, James Maddox, Euan Brown, Dan Williams, Ross Jackson (Maurice Adams), Harry Perston, Mark Barrowman, Charlie Smillie (James Acheson), Bill Kenny, James Acheson (Alex Armstrong), Conor Ferguson, Owen Gemmell (C), Subs Harry Singh

Improved Performance Doesn’t Shake League Points from Highland

Hillhead Jordanhill 17 pts Highland 28 pts

Coming off a sixty point thumping at New Anniesland the previous Saturday, the Hills supporters could have been forgiven for a lack of enthusiasm for their team’s chances against the high flying Highland, but by the end of an enthralling contest they adjourned to the warmth of the Clubhouse in better spirits, although they had seen their side defeated by twenty eight points, four goals, to seventeen, two goals and a penalty goal.

Hills struggled all day to contain the visiting forwards’ driving maul which was well orchestrated and rumbled mercilessly and uncontrollably on, and paved the way to Highland’s opening two scores. For their part, Hills looked good in breakaway from their talented midfield backs, Euan Brown and Rory Harte, and it was from the former’s mazy run through the Highland defence that led to the first home score. Quick possession from a ruck in the visiting twenty two allowed the fleet footed, Arnaud Bauchet, to scamper across the line for a try which Brown converted to take the score to fourteen points to seven for Highland at half time.

The third quarter saw Hills in a more aggressive mode with no.8 and captain Owen Gemmell, powerful in ball carrying chores and Conor Ferguson proving a reliable source of line out ball. Euan Brown banged over a forty meter penalty goal, but the Hills were unable to profit from meandering break outs by Rory Harte. The visitors showed their opponents how, with a patient build up, it is possible to score tries by working their way up the field collectively to touch down to the left of the posts.

Highland were now twenty one points to ten up with the game is its final quarter, but the Hills had not given up and scored the try of the day. Its genesis lay in Rory Harte’s quick thinking and wonderfully long spun pass to the left flank where Owen Gemmell and Jamie Maddox made impressive yards. Quick ball from the breakdown allowed Euan Brown to copy Harte’s sleight of hand by spin passing some twenty metres to his right to find the quicksilver Arnaud Bauchet in space to run over unopposed to dot down his second try of the afternoon and his fourth National league try in two games. Brown’s successful touch line conversion brought the scores to within four points with ten minutes left. But the denouement saw Hills at their lowest in the game. Failure to secure loose ball allowed Highland to move quickly up the field to score a converted try but there was still time left to draw closer to gain a well deserved losing bonus point. Chances presented themselves a plenty to score, but poorish execution and a lack of patience to grind through the hard yards cost Hills dear at the conclusion of what had been a fine advert from both teams for National League rugby.

Weather permitting, Hills now travel to the Clelland estate to play Dalziel next Saturday the 20th January, kick off is at 14.00.

Hills 1st XV :  Jimmy Griffith, Matt Murray, Arnaud Bauchet, Rory Harte, Graham Davidson (James Maddox), Euan Brown, Dan Williams, Ross Jackson (Mark Barrowman), Harry Perston (Harry Singh) Maurice Adams, James Acheson, Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson, Owen Gemmell(C), Alex Armstrong (Charlie Smillie), Subs all used.

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!