Category: Men’s 1st XV News

The Season Isn’t Over Yet!

This weekend there will again be four senior teams representing Hillhead Jordanhill and that is without the Men’s 2XV or Women’s 2XV being in action. The U15 Girls will also be taking on Caithness in the semi final of their cup competition. This is a considerable feat of organisation and a testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the club. Particularly so, when you compare the number of senior teams our nearest neighbours put out. Your correspondent is in the midst of a UKCC Level 1 coaching qualification, being hosted at Hughenden, where one of the key themes is how we keep players in the game long term. For Hillhead Jordanhill, with the progress being made in the Mini and Midi sections, the future on that front must surely be bright! Now, to the weekends action!

This Weekends Match Schedules

20th April
Stirling County v Hillhead Jordanhill Women’s 1XV – KO 20:00 at Bridgehaugh, Stirling

21st April
Hillhead Jordanhill Men’s 1XV v Newton Stewart – KO 15:00 at Hughenden
Greenock Wanderers 2XV v Hillhead Jordanhill 2A – KO 15:00 at Fort Matilda playing fields, Greenock
Cartha Queens Park Veterans v Hillhead Jordanhill 4XV (Veterans) – KO 12:30 at Dumbreck

22nd April

Hillhead Jordanhill U15 v Caithness -KO 13:00 at Hughenden

Ladies Penultimate Match Before The Sarah Beaney Cup

The HillJills take on Stirling County in their final league match of the season. This will be the ladies last competitive fixture before the final of the Sarah Beaney Cup. The two sides last met on 26th January, with the HillJills running out comfortable winners in a 79 – 5 win at Hughenden. The league title was secured the same evening. The coaches will no doubt be looking for an assured performance to help prepare for the cup final. Coach Thomas Davidson should also be congratulated for his recent award as Stirling University Sports Coach of the Year. The two student teams under his watchful eye have both won their respective leagues. With a league win for the HillJills also under his coaching belt at Hughenden, a win in the Cup must surely be high on the wishlist to finish the season in style!

Silver Saturday, featuring the Sarah Beaney Cup, will take place on Saturday 28th April at BT Murrayfield. The ladies cup final will kick off at 14:10, on the main international pitch. Tickets are £20 for Adults, £10 for concessions, and £5 for Under-18s. You can support the club by purchasing your tickets for Silver Saturday via this link, https://www.eticketing.co.uk/scottishrugby/?advcode=HillJor.

The Silver Saturday Details.

Final Match Of The Season For Men’s 1XV

As this is the final match for the Men’s 1XV, it seems like an apt time to reflect on how far the team has come on. Last season the Men’s 1XV finished dead last in National 2. With no league wins to their name, the team scored a total of 229 points and conceded 1052. A points differential of -823. No try bonus points were won, with only 1 losing bonus point obtained in their 22 league matches. This meant the team finished on 1 point for the season.

Going into their final league match of the 2017/18 season, the Men’s 1XV sit 8th in National 3. The team has obtained 45 points. Out of 21 league matches played, the team has won 8 and lost 12. They have scored 396 points, conceding 580. A points differential of -184. Try bonus points have totalled 7, with losing bonus points coming in at 2. As it stands, the team is sitting on a points tally of 45.

If ever recognition for a steadying set of hands was deserved, coaches Dean Kelbrick and Graeme Blackhall are two worthy candidates. The number of points scored has increased by over 70% and the number of points conceded has been reduced by over 40%. No mean feat considering where the team was at the end of last season.

Our opponents this Saturday are Newton Stewart. The last meeting of these two sides resulted in a comfortable 45 – 3 win for Newton at home. They currently sit 4th in National 2, knowing that two bonus wins in their last two matches will keep them in the hunt for promotion. This will be a challenging match for Hills, no doubt about it.

2A’s Aim To Finish On A High Against Greenock

With two matches to go in West Reserve League 2, the Hills 2A squad will be pushing to finish as high up the table as possible. Of 18 matches played, the team has conceded only one due to not being able to field a team. Compare this to the rest of the league and you won’t find a club with anywhere near as good a record. For this reason, many of the other teams in the league have as many as six matches still to play. This means Hills won’t know their final league position for some weeks. However, they will be keen to finish strongly. Hills beat Greenock Wanderers 62 – 20 at Hughenden, so expectations for a similar result will be high.

Vets Reunited!

After a hugely successful rebirth of the 4XV in January, another invite from Cartha Queens Park RFC has been received to get the old boys of the sofa for a few hours. Hector MacIntyre has been putting together a motley crew of Hills legends in the last few weeks. Hills ran out winners last time round, 17 – 45. Rumour has it that the infamous Jimmy Gow could be making an appearance, who knows how that could affect the result on Saturday!

Some of the Hills “Vets” at the previous match in January.

Dates For Your Diary

28th April | Silver Saturday, featuring the HillJills v Watsonians – KO 14:10 at BT Murrayfield
30th April | Hillhead Jordanhill RFC AGM – 19:00 in the Yill Hoose at Hillhead Sports Club
4th May | End of Season Dinner – 19:00 at Hillhead Sports Club. Tickets available at training from Dougie Grove and Sarah Smith or by email from Dougie on grovedougie@gmail.com
6th May | Hills Legends Lunch, 12:30 at Hillhead Sports Club. Our annual celebration of Hills legends, get your tickets from John MacLean on jnm@kelvinassociates.co.uk

Hills Hang On for Bonus Point Win

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL 1st XV 22 pts HADDINGTON 1st XV 21 pts

It was both the best of times and then the worst of times for the players and supporters of the Hills in this National League 3 game at Hughenden. The fact that the Hills, by dint of their hard fought victory against relegation strugglers Haddington, had won five precious league points seemed to be forgotten in the gloom of the post match analysis. After the first quarter, Hills were apparently coasting to an easy victory . They were twenty two points to nil ahead with fine individual tries from Jamie Maddox, Euan Brown, Alex Armstrong and then a Bill Kenny burst for the line from an Owen Gemmell assist. At the conclusion of the game, Euan Brown’s conversion of the final try was to prove very significant.

At twenty two points ahead, the home touchline cognoscenti were anticipating a sixty point winning margin, but that was proven to be fanciful in the extreme, as the visitors cut down on their errors, began to use their superior weight in the set scrummage and ran through the phases in their use of the ball. After forty minutes, Haddington had narrowed the margin with a converted try and for the second forty minute period were the dominant side in the game.

Hills tried perhaps too hard to get back into the game but their early promise had evaporated. They lost their shape totally, allowing Haddington to sense a chance for an upset victory. Hills conceded three consecutive scrum penalties and the fourth produced the inevitable penalty try. Despite the prompting and occasional meandering runs from full back Rory Harte, Hills could not make any kind of breakthrough, but when the visitors brought the game back to the home twenty two, a series of close range drives brought the third try which was converted. Hills then managed to see the game out and hung on for a single point victory.

Hills conclude their league programme with their final game vs Newton Stewart at Hughenden on Saturday the 21st April with a 15.00. KO. The 1st XV have no game on Saturday the 14th but the 2nd XV play away at Torrance House, East Kilbride with a 15.00 KO.

Hills 1st XV Rory Harte, Jamie Maddox ( Angus Lauder ), Scott Halliday, Scott Busby, Arnaud Bauchet, Euan Brown, Darren Knox, Mark Barrowman ( C ) ( Blair Mackenzie ), Harry Perston, Ross Jackson ( Mo Adams ), Owen Gemmell, Bill Kenny, Alex Armstrong, Ryan Reilly Conor Ferguson ( 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 Come Close in Orkney

Orkney 29 pts Hillhead Jordanhill 26 pts

This game defied conventional rugby wisdom which tells us that the team playing with the elements should monopolise the territory and score. That was blown away at Pickaquoy Park, Orkney, on Saturday when Hills playing with the stiff breeze in the first half were seventeen points to seven down at the interval, but rallied into the wind to take the second half by nineteen points to twelve. The recovery was not sufficient, however, to win the tight game, but Hills took home two precious bonus points, one for scoring four tries and the other for losing by seven points or less.

The game was notable for many features, the main one being the contrast in playing styles with Orkney constantly recycling off their first and second receivers and then punching holes in the Hills defensive walls, while the visitors sought to move the ball quickly to the wider channels. Both tactics were fruitful : Orkney scoring five close range tries with constant pick and go tactics despite some heroic Hills defensive efforts, and Hills for their part touching down four times from their two principal flair players, winger Arnaud Bauchet scoring three wonderful tries and stand off Rory Harte, mesmerising everyone in the grounds with his side stepping for his. Indeed Arnaud displayed the range of skills that his International team, France, used to be renowned for : side step, swerve, vision and genuine pace. His Gallic legerdemain was a wonderful contrast to the physicality in the forwards battle.

At the end of a titanic struggle and a fine game to participate in and watch, Hills were left to rue missed chances, particularly not playing the game in the opposition areas in the first half and some fragile work on the touchlines. Yet all the nineteen players who travelled and played in this fixture should be proud of their commitment and effort in almost matching a highly motivated and well supported side who had to win this fixture to avoid slipping further into the National League 3 relegation quagmire.

On Easter Saturday, the 31st March, Hills travel to Memorial Field to play Ardrossan Accies in what might be termed a mid table tussle. Kick off at Ardrossan is 15.00 .

Hills 1st XV Jimmy Griffith, Jamie Maddox, Scott Halliday, Scott Busby, Arnaud Bauchet, Rory Harte, Dan Williams(C), Ross Jackson ( Mark Barrowman ), Harry Perston ( Harry Singh ), Maurice Adams ( Ross Jackson ), Charlie Smillie ( Ryan Reilly ), Bill Kenny, Scot McMIllan ( Alex Armstrong ), Ryan Reilly ( James Reekie ) Conor Ferguson Subs all used.

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:

Off Colour Hills Lose Their Way at Dalziel

Dalziel RFC 24 pts Hillhead Jordanhill 3 pts

This was a game which everyone associated with the Hills will do well to forget very quickly. It is important, however, to take nothing away from a very determined Dalziel squad who took the game repeatedly to the visitors, but the reality was that, both individually and collectively, Hills were far below what they were were capable of producing. Certainly Dalziel, in the league relegation area, had much more to play for than their visitors, who are at least comfortable from the spectre of relegation for this season.

Dalziel were already fourteen points to the good at the end of the first quarter, both their scores coming from defensive lapses in the Hills twenty two. The rest of the first period of play saw some abrasive ball carrying from Owen Gemmell and linking play from Ryan Reilly and Mo Adams but there was little evidence of any phase building, due to frequent knocks on and turnovers. Euan Brown collected Hills only points after thirty eight minutes with a well struck penalty goal from some 42 metres across the face of the wind.

Dalziel extended their half time lead with an early penalty goal and then the game entered an attritional phase in which neither side could claim an advantage with skill levels being at a premium, due to the very cold, wintry conditions which made passing a lottery at times. Hills , through the dependable Bill Kenny at the line out and Rory Harte in broken play running, certainly never at any stage gave up trying, at one stage going through some twenty number phases to attempt to break down the home defence, but it was of no avail. Dalziel lifted the siege and took the game back to the Hills twenty two from where they scored after a driving maul. The try was converted to yield the home side a very comfortable twenty one point winning margin.

Hills will require to regroup very quickly given their next league game is away against Orkney who ,like Dalziel, are trapped currently in the relegation basement, and will therefore be fighting hard for any advantage they can claim. Momentum is a very important component for success in any team sport, and Hills will need to rediscover theirs to ensure a successful conclusion to their final four National league games.

Hills 1st XV: Rory Harte, Jamie Maddox, Scott Halliday, Arnaud Bauchet, Darren Knox (Graham Davidson), Euan Brown, Dan Williams, Blair Mackenzie (Ryan Williamson), Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Maurice Adams, Ryan Reilly, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan (Martin Malone), Conor Ferguson, Owen Gemmell(C). Subs all used.

Hills Get To Grips With The Set Scrum

Glasgow has ground to a halt this week and given the weather, not much has been happening on the training paddock either. However, the Men’s senior squad were recently treated to a training session with the “Scrum Doctor”, Grant Sweenie, who was brought in by Head Coach, Dean Kelbrick, to polish the forward packs scrummaging skills.

“Ball coming in now!”

Under the lights at Hughenden, three packs of forwards worked hard under the watchful eye of “Dr. Sweenie” and at the end of the workout, Dean was enthusiastic about the outcomes:

“This was a good session and we are all grateful to Grant for the expertise he passed on. Certainly, I think we shall have more of these, perhaps before kick-offs, since it is the most animated I have ever seen Mo Adams on the rugby pitch.“

Outdoor training opportunities have proved hard to come by this week, however, the Men’s coaches have encouraged all senior players to maintain their fitness levels whilst the “Beast from the East” continues to cause disruption.

“Bind…”

Words & Pictures: Bernie Mitchell

Deserved Bonus Point Win in Perth

Perthshire 11 pts Hillhead Jordanhill 38 pts

Never headed at any time in the game, Hills recorded their third away win of the season against Perthshire on the North Inch park by the handsome margin of five goals and one penalty goal to two penalty goals and one try. The only time that Perthshire threatened the Hills superiority was in the third quarter of the game when they came within six points of the visitors at seventeen points to eleven, but the Hills quickly re-engaged their higher gears to brush aside the hosts in the final quarter, Perthshire being overwhelmed and finishing the game with three players in the bin.

This was a fine team performance for most of the eighty minutes : the line out was more reliable with James Acheson being an able provider of ball : the scrummage won two tight head strikes and at times looked devastating, but could not quite maintain the intensity needed to be fully dominant ; and all the backs ran and handled the dry ball well with the power, pace and direction being supplied by Scott Halliday at 12 and Jimmy Griffith, a veritable wrecking ball, on the left wing. At the back. Rory Harte was his usual mercurial self, running with abandon and displaying a side step which mesmerised not only the opposition, but also at times his own teammates. Number 8 and captain, Owen Gemmell, was abrasive whenever he had the ball, and also sent the correct message to his opponents that he would not stand for any nonsense.

Hills scorers in the first half were Rory Harte with a typical meandering run through the home defense, touching down for his try between the posts ; Harte converted his own score. The second try of the afternoon owed everything to Jimmy Griffith’s anticipation and strength. Perthshire rather unwisely tried to run the ball out of their own twenty two, but unfortunately for their right winger he could not avoid his nemesis, Jimmy, who won the collision and the ball and then scampered unopposed some thirty metres to the line, stand-off Euan Brown converting the try. Early in the second half the Hills no. 10 kicked a penalty goal, but the next fifteen minutes were ceded to the hosts who threw everything at the Hills yet broke the visitors line only once. Normal service was soon restored with Alex Armstrong, Rory Harte and finally Jamie Maddox all touching down, Euan Brown successfully converting each of the three tries into the wind.

An emphatic victory was secured. There is then the fine prospect of the next game against league leaders. Newton Stewart, at Hughenden on Saturday the 3rd March with a 15.00 KO ; there is no game next Saturday the 24th February due to the Calcutta Cup game at Murrayfield. If the Hills can maintain the skills and attacking shape they showed at the North Inch and display more intensity at the set scrummage, there is every reason to look forward to a shock victory on the first Saturday in March.

Hills 1st XV:  Rory Harte. Jimmy Griffith, Arnaud Bauchet, Scott Halliday. Darren Knox (James Maddox), Euan Brown. Dan Williams. Mark Barrowman (Ross Jackson). Harry Perston, Maurice Adams (Ross Ferguson), James Acheson. Bill Kenny. Conor Fergusson. Owen Gemmell (C) Alex Armstrong (Scott McMillan) Subs all used .

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!

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